Walcha v Barraba – written by Dave Healey
Les’s dairy extract: Tuesday 30 July 2019
Dear Diary, Home bound, alligator see ya later….. First thing check tinder account 4 new blood, but I guess Thors swooped in on any low hanging fruit. Then, Rugby!!!!!! The lads haven’t dropped a game in my 6 weeks away so I’ll need to get straight into it; now, obviously I’ll be too jet lagged for Rogers training, but hopefully back Thursday to show the lads who’s alpha male, especially the 1st grade front rowers. P.S. jeez I love Walcha.
Coming off a fresh win against table leaders Moree the previous week there was an air of confidence to Walcha 2nd grade. The rams started the game strong demonstrating structure and maturity in the first 15-20 minutes hold on to the majority of the possession and putting quality phase play together; contrary the river rats (Bingara) boosted by a few extra lads post the Rugby League season proved too strong in defence holding out Walcha’s assaulting forward pack and inside backs.
It wasn’t long before Bingara figured out their strength was bringing league aspects into the game and using deeper running wide backline. Once they did this meters started to go their way every time they got the ball.
Bingara got the first points, followed by a rare Thomas Hoy try seeing the butcher of Brackendale get off a nudie run, to both his and everyone else’s content. This would be the last time a Walcha lad would cross the line in a game where a fair few professional fouls from Bingara should have seen multiple yellow cards handed to the rats. The only consolation coming from a penalty try, too little too late. Bingaras backline running away with the game 40-12. Walcha’s best were Wally Davidson with 3 points, brother Gussy “his royal highness the 1st King of Sommerton” Davidson with 2 and players player, and with a captains knock Thomas Rose getting the 1.
When Walcha travelled to Barraba last year the rams went down in 1st grade after running away to a quick lead in the first half. No doubt this was still lingering in the minds of many players and the regular supporters, when things seemed to be going in similar fashion.
A quick start saw Walcha open the scoreboard with flying backs Dom Bower and Ed Cordingley crossing early before big Mike crossed in Barn storming fashion off the back of solid forwards play. Walcha’s defence however certainly seemed like it was left somewhere around the 70 minute of the Moree game a week prior letting Barraba in for 2 tries before halftime. Potentially the rams were adjusting slightly to loosing regular tackling machine Lachie Brown to a head knock with fellow star Richie Hunt. Board not knowing if he was Arthur or Martha for a short period.
With the score board at half time eerily similar to 2018 Walcha knew they needed to get the job done and manage to focus a little better in the second half put phase play together off good guidance from the halfling hobbit at the back of the ruck and impressive form from Billy Porter who got the call up for Brown making the most of the opportunity tackling like the man he replaced and leading in attack, a performance that seen him earn player player for the top grade. Walcha eventually prevailed winning 54-19 with 3 point going to the Ingelbra Bull Catcher Sando Cameron, 2 point to Dave Healey and 1 to Dom Bower bird.