Parkes Boars took 43 years and 100 minutes to win their first grand final and they did it on the hallowed turf of Cale Oval against Narromine Gorillas.
The Blowes Menswear Cup decider was destined to be close but few were prepared for a 3-all scoreline at the end of 80 minutes and in the ensuing 20 minutes of extra time, Adam Porter scored the winning try to seal the deal 10-6.
Central West CEO Peter Veenstra couldn’t remember extra time being needed to decide a grand final.
The loss in front of their home crowd was hard for the Narromine players to endure. After winning their first central west grand final in 2009, they lost to Bathurst Bulldogs last year and now to Parkes - all at Cale Oval.
Earlier it was nil-all at half-time before Mahe Fangupo kicked a penalty goal for Parkes to lead 3-0 only to see Ben Strachan get it back on even terms at the 77th minute.
While it was a tough day for all the players in both camps, it was a dreadful day for the goal kickers. Fangupo finished with one penalty goal and a conversion from four kicks, while Strachan had a wretched day booting two from six penalty attempts.
For the big crowd they will remember the guts-and-all battle in the forwards between two committed packs. Both sides made handling mistakes, but Parkes made fewer and finished with more than an even share of the ball.
As Parkes coach Trevor Whittaker watched his game plan play out from the sideline, his co-coach the veteran Heamani Levaka signed off his long rugby career in the middle. He was magnificent in a well-drilled and committed Parkes pack.
No only did they finish with the honours over Lachy McCutcheon and his forwards, they won the premiership as well. That’s all that matters.
And to add to the afternoon’s drama, first grade referee John Colgan was injured and had to be replaced by Matt McGuire at half-time.
In the minor grade games Bathurst Bulldogs won seconds 20-12 over Orange City; and in thirds, Orange Emus were too strong for Bulldogs 24-10. Bulldogs upset CSU 15-8 in Colts and CSU Bathurst Ewes won the Women’s Cup with a strong 31-17 win over Grenfell Pink Panthers.
GRAND FINAL RUGBY: Pages 24 and 26