Magpies honour fallen member with premiership
LEAGUE: This title is for you, Owen Harms.
The Miriam Vale Magpies celebrated the life of their former life member in the best possible way yesterday.
The side claimed the Northern Districts Rugby League premiership with an 18-12 win over South Kolan at the ground Harms helped to build, Gary Larson Oval.
Harms died in August last year after serving as a policeman in the town for more than 20 years.
He also helped the club receive grants to get lighting and other equipment at the venue.
The Magpies, with Harms on their sleeve, led from start to finish and held off a late challenge from South Kolan to claim the title.
"They (South Kolan) gave it to us, they've got a cracking side,” Magpies coach Mitch Brennan said.
"But at the end of the day we've come too far to fall at the final hurdle.
"Our mateship won it, we're all mates. We did it for Owey.”
Miriam Vale dominated the first 35 minutes to lead 8-0 before a South Kolan try just before the half time break made the score 8-6.
The Noy brothers Brad and Ricky then combined with a try and penalty kicks to give the Pies an 18-6 lead before South Kolan scored with five minutes to go to set up a thrilling finish.
The Magpies were able to hold on and prevent the Sharks from scoring.
"I said to the boys in the shed 'we've got to win the first 20 minutes',” Brennan said.
"Whoever is in front after 20 will win the game.
"At the end of the game I just said stick to our game plan.
"There's no reason to stray from that, it has worked week in week out.”
But the win did come at a cost with Magpie Jed Farraway dislocating his knee during the match.
The game was forced to be stopped for 25 minutes for an ambulance to take him away.
"It was a dislocated knee but apparently as they put him in the ambulance it popped back in,” Brennan said.
"He's getting an x-ray now (Sunday) so hopefully he'll be all right.”
Brennan said the win was great for the town of Miriam Vale.
"For us to field a side in the grand final and win in front of our home crowd, you can't ask for anything more,” he said.
"This whole season was for Owey.
"He was one of them good blokes, was a good country copper.”
Brennan said the side would now aim to rebuild for next year with players expected to leave (below).
In other results on Sunday, Avondale won the Merv Slean Cup with a 48-10 win over Agnes Water and the Tigers also claimed the women's tag after defeating Agnes Water.
The competition is expected to return next year.