The Nambucca Valley Lions Reserve Grade team have kickstarted their 2020 campaign with a gutsy and tough performance as they toppled the reigning premiers, Northern Beaches Blues, 3.7 25 - 3.2 20 on Saturday in Woolgoolga.
A 9-year absence from the competition had the Lions nervous at the beginning of the day but a rousing speech by veteran Jimmy Angel that would have inspired the Spartan Warriors of old gave the lads the confidence and determination needed for the first game of the season.
Skipper Aaron Boatfield led the pride courageously and new import Jake 'The Wizard' Hare impressed with a Best On Ground performance.
Rugby League guns Andrew 'Bull' Welsh and Joe McKay adapted to their new roles superbly with Bull bagging two goals and Joe, in fullback, contained the Blues forwards like he was born for it.
Coach Leif Stuart was sidelined with an injury but his decision-making and player tactics were crucial and is turning this mixed team of new and previous players into a well-oiled machine.
A special thanks to the support crew and spectators who made the effort to get to Woopi for the game and got right behind the team.
Overall a solid first performance by all the lads and an upcoming bye means the Lions have a well- earned rest next weekend, but the hunt continues when they take on the Sawtell Saints the following week.
Junior games scores
Port Mc Flyers 8.4.52 def. Nambucca lions 6.2.38
Goals for the Lions: M Baade (2), C Laverty, A Angle, A Nimmo and N Morrison
Best for Lions: A Nimmo, N Morrison and M Baade.
Nambucca Lions 9.6.60 def. Port Mc Flyers 3.4.22
Goals for the Lions: K Mcgrath (3), W Baade (3), R Laverty, F Harrison, W Devereaux
Port Mc Flyers 11.9.75 def Nambucca Lions 4.1.25
Goals for the Lions: W Baade, W Devereaux
Best Lions: J Monaghan, A McFarland, A Parker
This week's games
U11 and 13 at Sawtell
U15 at Coffs Harbour