The drought has broken

By Dominic Geiger

• The victorious 2011 Condobolin Rams with the Australian National Field Days Southern Competition Trophy.

 For the first time in the club’s 32 year history the Condobolin Rams rugby union team has won a first grade premiership grand final.

The Rams defeated Blayney last Saturday afternoon 21-13, taking out the Australian National Field Days Southern Competition and securing their place in central west rugby history.

The victory was never a sure thing however, with many of the Condobolin players suffering from crippling bouts of nerves prior to the match.

Not to be overcome, the team steeled themselves and at the sound of the starting whistle marched onto the field in front of a record breaking crowd of supporters.

The game didn’t start well for the Rams, with Blayney putting a penalty kick over Condobolin’s goal posts within ten minutes of the match having begun.

The team seemed shocked and as countless penalties were awarded to the visitors the situation began to look dire for the Rams.

That was until Matt Browning pulled off a magical chip and chase, landing the Rams the first five pointer of the match.

Celebrations were short lived however, with Blayney responding quickly with a five pointer of their own and at half time the score read 8-5 in the visitor’s favour.

At the beginning of the second half the match again took a turn for the worse for the Rams, with player-coach Simon Murphy receiving ten minutes in the bin for giving the referee back-chat.

If being a man down was meant to impede the Rams no one told fullback Ryan Hall, who placed an impeccably timed field goal between the posts, levelling the score to 8 all.

Following a penalty kick five minutes later, the Rams soared to the lead once again.

With the match still looking as though it could go either way, Simon Murphy came off the bin and rejoined the back line.

Apparently wanting to make amends for his formerly foul mouth, the super coach ran rings around the Blayney defence from 30 metres out to score a try under the posts.

With fifteen minutes left on the board, Ryan Hall put another penalty kick away, pushing the Rams out to an unbeatable lead.

Credit must be given to Blayney who never gave up and crossed the line in the final moments of the match, but it was too little too late; the Rams had won.

Simon Murphy said he thanked all the current and past players for their support throughout the year.

“It was a great all round effort across the 25 players on the team and the massive crowd support definitely improved the players’ performances,” he said.

“We played a full 80 minutes this time and that’s something we haven’t been able to do every week.”

President of the Condobolin Rugby Club, Scott Worthington, said it had been a fantastic season.

“We’ve been riding a wave of support all year,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to have a premiership that we can dedicate to the Condobolin community, the current players and the past players.”

The Condobolin Rams would like to thank their sponsors for their support throughout the year including major sponsor the Condobolin Hotel Motel, as well as Ag ‘n’ Vet Services, Condobolin Shell, KMWL Condobolin, Frank Cooney and Son CRT and Chamen’s IGA.

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