Youthful Bobcats to benefit from grand final experience
MACLEAN Bobcats will benefit for the experience despite going down 3-1 to Coffs Coast United Lions in North Coast Football's Reserve Grade grand final on Saturday.
The youthful Bobcats at one stage led when Harry Nicholson scored early in the second half but were eventually undone by seasoned opposition who had not dropped a game since a surprise loss to Orara Valley in round two.
"The difference of experience hurt us a little bit," Bobcats player Giuseppe Terranova said.
"We've got a lot of young guys and Coffs are a club who know how to win and have a good winning culture.
"It took our young fellas a while to find their feet with the grand final nerves and it was a dogfight of a game.
"As a club it's an experience that will be valuable for us.
"Benny Arndell is 15, Harry Menzies and Harry Nicholson are 16, Jayden Granger and Hayden Towns are 17, Josh Arndell is 18 and Luke Hanlon 19. It's a very young side and they've got to be really proud of their achievements.
"In reserve grade you're playing guys who are fighting for Premier League spots. These were boys playing against men and they showed their worth."
While Maclean was valiant in its only grand final appearance at C.Ex Coffs Stadium on Saturday, the Lions proved their powerhouse status by winning three major premierships including 3-1 against Urunga Raiders in Mens Premier League and 2-1 over Boambee Eagles in Womens Premier League.
Boambee won the Women's Reserve Grade grand final against Northern Storm.
Maclean Bobcats will have another chance at premiership glory when when its Mens 3rd Division (North) team takes on Tucabia Wooli Bears in the Clarence Valley competition grand finals at Rushforth Park this Saturday.
Maclean and Tucabia Wooli progressed courtesy of 0-0 draws on Saturday to finish with higher aggregates over Iluka (2-1) and Yamba (3-1) respectively.
Defending premiers Yamba will take on Coutts Crossing in the Mens 2nd Division North grand final.