BATTLERS’ AMAZ­ING DOU­BLE

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Peter Car­ruthers Peter.Car­ruthers@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

FROM wooden spoon­ers to premier­ship win­ners, the Whitsunday Sea Ea­gles story in 2017 was in­spi­ra­tional.

So is the Proser­pine-Whitsunday Brah­mans who against the odds took out the premier­ship twice in the last three years.

For Brah­mans coach and cap­tain Phil Ra­m­age, the grand fi­nal on Satur­day marked his last game.

He said the vic­tory was tes­ta­ment to the com­mu­nity sup­port of a club he re­ferred to as “battlers”.

With no leagues club, poker ma­chine or restau­rant tak­ings to sup­port the club, the Brah­mans suc­ceeded on hard work and do­na­tions.

“It is a lot more de­serv­ing (for us to win the) premier­ship (as)... we are a small coun­try club,” he said.

“We are a tight knit fam­ily club. Our Satur­day night home games are the best to play. We get the best sup­port­ers and the old boys at the bar high-five you when you run out.

“And there is a real good feel­ing when you come off that field with a win.”

Ra­m­age plans to leave the Whit­sun­days to take on a mort­gage and set­tle down in his home town of the Gold Coast.

Coach of the Sea Ea­gles, Luke Somerville, said the grand fi­nal win against the Mackay City Hawks on Satur­day was as much a win for the com­mu­nity as it was for the club.

“We took two bus loads of sup­port­ers down there and you could see the joy on their faces that we had won some­thing,” he said.

“We had the cy­clone ear­lier in the year and the town copped a bat­ter­ing and its good to put a smile on peo­ple's faces know­ing their side has won premier­ship.

“It’s spe­cial thing in a small town.”

Somerville said the suc­cess for the club in 2017 had been a big turn around from last year and he was proud to give the crowd some­thing good to watch.

He hoped is­land con­trac­tors would boost player num­bers in 2018.

PHOTO: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

THE BEST: Cap­tain of the premier­ship win­ning Whitsunday Brah­mans Phil Ra­m­age and 2017 coach of the premier­ship win­ning Sea Ea­gles, Luke Somerville with their booty.

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