Glad­i­a­tors go down fight­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - RUGBY LEAGUE GRAND FINAL 2014 - Shirley Way shirley.way@cnbtimes.com.au

GLAD­I­A­TORS un­til we die is the motto of Gayn­dah’s A-grade rugby league team and it was put to the test in thrilling ac­tion.

As the rain drenched the Mun­dub­bera sports­ground, hopes be­gan to rise that the Glad­i­a­tors’ 31-year premier­ship drought would end.

The young Glad­i­a­tors kept their feet and their heads to nar­row Mun­dub­bera’s lead.

Seven­teen-year-old Ben Kenny, who said he was “the young one on the team”, was the first to con­vert a penalty in the game. He scored five goals over­all.

“The wet con­di­tions made it harder. I couldn’t use my foot­work so much,” Ben said.

“We just had to stick with it. We knew (the Tigers) would tire and we were fit­ter than them.”

His team worked hard in the sec­ond half.

“We got Mun­dub­bera scared for a bit and we gave the crowd some­thing to cheer about.”

Ben said team con­fi­dence came dur­ing an ear­lier game against Monto, when the teams were tied at half time and again at the fi­nal whis­tle.

“It just made us re­alise when we drew that we weren’t just use­less at the bot­tom of the ta­ble,” Ben said.

While their match fit­ness helped the side in the wet con­di­tions, they “ran out of time” in the game to end their premier­ship drought.

The team’s three-point 29–26 loss was a dis­ap­point­ment to the coach and 1983 premier­ship fi­nal player, qui­etly-spo­ken Rus­sell Kenny.

“I was proud of how they all went,” Kenny said.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

WELL-PLAYED: Gayn­dah Glad­i­a­tors scored first in the fi­nal against Mun­dub­bera Tigers but couldn't close a three-point gap in the last three min­utes. Tigers won 29–26.

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