Chance a long time com­ing

Isis Town and Country - - Sport - By BEN TURN­BULL

FOR decades the Isis Devils have been trav­el­ling to and from their home base in Childers to launch at­tacks on their op­po­si­tion, and since 1973 with count­less kilo­me­tres trav­elled they have played in only two grand fi­nals.

The Devils have the op­por­tu­nity to make amends for a cou­ple of close losses in the past and give hope for the fu­ture when the Si­mon Ric­cia­rdi-led team takes on Wests Pan­thers in the A-grade Bund­aberg Rugby League this Sun­day at Sal­ter Oval.

Apart from a cou­ple of North­ern Dis­tricts Rugby League premier­ships, Isis has been on the los­ing end of two A-grade de­ciders – first in the Mary­bor­ough com­pe­ti­tion in 1973 with a 9–6 loss to Her­vey Bay and sec­ond to Easts in 2005 after one of the best sea­sons the club en­joyed.

Boast­ing the best de­fen­sive record in the com­pe­ti­tion, Isis con­ceded 348 points dur­ing the sea­son. The strength of the Devils will be called upon against a Wests line-up that has some dan­ger­ous at­tack­ing weapons.

But don’t think for a minute Isis will be with­out any fire­power.

Ready to strike for Isis will be Nathan Sul­li­van along with Jake and Kurt Thomp­son. The lat­ter Thomp­son brother is the best hole-run­ner in the league, and will chal­lenge the Wests line all game.

Isis will be at full strength for the game after a scare was sent through the camp. In­spi­ra­tional prop Peter Grant was put on re­port for a dan­ger­ous tackle on Easts hooker Caleb Gaz­zard dur­ing the ex­tra-time pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal, but with an early guilty plea, Grant is clear to play.

Club pres­i­dent Bill Trevor said the tough few weeks of rugby league would not ham­per his team’s chance, and with Wests play­ing one game since Au­gust 16, Trevor be­lieves the Devils will have far bet­ter match fit­ness than the Pan­thers.

As good as Sul­li­van, Grant and the Thomp­son boys are, Trevor knows the game won’t be won on their shoul­ders alone, and he said it would take a team ef­fort to re­verse the 12-6 loss Isis suf­fered the last time it played Wests, the A-grade mi­nor pre­miers.

Childers is get­ting be­hind the team’s ef­fort, and ban­ners of support have been pop­ping up around the main street. To be part of the build-up to the grand fi­nal, be at the Fed­eral Ho­tel to­mor­row night at 6.30pm for the nam­ing of the team and a cal­cutta.

As good as Sal­ter Oval is, there is no re­served seat­ing in the grand­stand, and Isis fans are en­cour­aged to get there early to cheer their team on.

There is a sup­porter bus run­ning to Bund­aberg on Sun­day. For book­ings, phone the Fed­eral Ho­tel on 4126 1438.

PHOTO: MIKE KNOTT

PRE­LIM­I­NARY FI­NAL: Isis’ Robert O’Don­nell with the ball at Sal­ter Oval.

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