THEY went, they played and they are well on the way to conquering ... seven Macksville Falcons junior touch football rep teams made the journey to Wollongong to take their hard earned positions in the NSW Touch State Final Championships.
Of these, five sides made it through to the quarter-final play-offs - an amazing feat for one of the only small country associations to have qualified for the prestigious event.
The competition was tough and the weekend was jam packed with the best 16 teams in each division vying for the title of State champion.
The Falcons four youngest teams (the U10 and U12 boys and girls) showed great maturity and weren't intimidated. They are exciting to watch - some playing in their very first rep season - and all exceeded expectations.
The U16 girls and U18 boys had the arduous task of battling their quarter-finals out with the highly regarded Manly teams. While giving it their all, they unfortunately fell short but can well and truly hold their heads up knowing they are now ranked within the top 8 teams in NSW.
The U18 girls were the standout performers of the weekend. Progressing through the round games with four wins and a draw with Parramatta, they were then comfortable winners in the quarter and semi-finals which gained them a live streamed grand final berth against the juggernauts of junior touch - the Manly U18 girls - a team which has never been close to being beaten since they started playing rep in the U10s
However, the girls from Macksville - some of whom had been playing since the club's inception in U12s and were about to play their last junior game - were having none of it and went out hard. They went try for try with the defending champions for the majority of the game, the commentator stating he knew nothing about the little town of Macksville or its players but was extremely impressed with the monumental effort that the girls were putting in.
The end result saw Manly take the game out, scoring seven tries to Macksville's five - taking the local giels' ranking to No.2 in the State.
Club president Craig Englert, who has also coached (along with his assistants) the girls for the past seven years, is extremely proud of all of the hard work put in this season by the representative teams, coaches, managers and supporters which is being rewarded with the rapid growth of the sport and the tremendous development of both junior and senior players and officials in the Nambucca Valley.
The club has a record number of young players who have now been selected in NSW Northern Eagles teams and they have begun preparing for the NSW Junior Regional championships which are being hosted by the Orange Touch Association in July.