Narromine Jets won their first Tooheys Group XI Premiership since 1995 when they defeated minor premiers Wellington Cowboys 52-28 in the Grand Final at Apex Oval, Dubbo on Sunday 4th September. A large crowd, in overcast conditions, paid $29,200 at the gate and witnessed a tough and entertaining game with spectacular tries by both teams.

Mrs Dawn Fardell, the Member for Dubbo, honoured the Group by accepting our invitation to be special guest at the pre Grand Final breakfast which was held at the Dubbo R.S.L. Memorial Club.

Minor Premiers Dubbo CYMS won the Reserve Grade Premiership, defeating Wellington 18-10. CYMS Minor Premiership team ended Narromine Jets 3 year reign by taking the Dubbo R.S.L. Memorial Club under 18s 22-10 in a high quality Grand Final.

The TOOHEYS Group XI Club Championship for the Charles Dwyer Memorial Shield was won by Dubbo CYMS. The Laurie Walsh Memorial Shield awarded to the club scoring most tries in all grades, was also won by CYMS, with a total of 359. Both of these prestigious trophies were presented by Mr Bob Walsh, Treasurer of Tooheys Group XI Rugby League and Mr. Jock Colley, President of Tooheys Group XI, at the very popular and successful pre Grand Final breakfast Dubbo R.S.L. Memorial Club.

At the Annual inter-group trials at Apex Oval, Tooheys Group X defeated Tooheys Group XI by 28 to 24. In the under 18's Tooheys Group XI defeated Tooheys Group X by 42 to 20.

A total of 516 seniors and 239 juniors participated in the Group's competitions. The Parkes and District Junior Rugby League and the Dubbo and District Junior Rugby League registered in excess of 2000 players. It is anticipated that a further 700 schoolboys competed in competitions organised by the schools. Nine clubs competed in the Group Senior competitions, ten clubs competed in the Parkes Junior League whilst ten clubs competed in the Dubbo Junior League competitions.

Tooheys Group XI were again very well represented on the various Country Rugby League sub-committees: Secretary Tom Nelson was a member of the Management, General and Competition and Boundaries committees; Group President Mr. Jock Colley was elected as a senior Country Rugby League selector; Group Patron Jim Fawkner was again elected Patron of the CRL and Chairman of the referee's appointments board.

Blaine Stanley from the Wellington Cowboys won the Radio 2DU/Regency Jewellers Player of the Year Trophy adjudicated upon by the Group senior selection panel. Narromine Jets captain Michael Ryan won the Best and fairest medal, organised by Referee's Association. Steve Talbot of the Tooheys Group XI Referee's Association was the recipient of a special Award for Excellence and Achievement in Rugby League, again organised by his peers. Blake Dunn of Dubbo CYMS was the Under 18 year player of the year. Teammate Mitchell Griffiths was named Player of the Grand Final. These awards, in the form of medals, were organised and presented by the Under 18 year's Premiership sponsors, Dubbo R.S.L. Memorial Club.

The BOB WEIR medal awarded to the Player of the First Grade grand final was awarded to Jets captain Michael Ryan.

The Parkes and Dubbo Junior Rugby Leagues again staged very successful competitions. With the able organisation of both Junior Leagues, together with programs organised by Development Manager Steve McLellan, the future looks very sound for Rugby League in TOOHEYS Group XI.

Parramatta Eels, Eastern Suburbs Roosters and foundation club Newtown jetted into Parkes in February.

Andrew Ryan proudly returned to his home town as an NRL Premiership winning captain,
Ashes retaining Kangaroo and fully-fledged State of Origin Blue. On a glorious day in June thousands flocked to Apex Oval, Dubbo, to welcome their heroes. Five days later, the Blues defeated Queensland on their way to the Origin series win.

Terry Fahey added "Team of the 70's" selection to "Best of" honours with three NRL clubs Souths, Easts and Canberra.

Dubbo City Council fulfilled the dreams of numerous Rugby League and sporting volunteers with the unveiling of a state-of-the-art grandstand at Apex Oval.

Dean Pay offered his considerable talents at a local level, coaching the Group side against Newtown Jrts and Group 10. Dean was back in the National spotlight, teaming up with harness-racing partner Ricky Stuart in a star studded Blues coaching team.

Group XI Junior teams reclaimed the NSW Country U16's Cup title with the under 15's winning the Plate.

Group XI Junior Grand Finals were played in Parkes (see details below).

Referees Ben Millington and Zeke Shaw officiated at Country representative level. Sadly, police Officer Ben Millington suffered a broken arm late in the season and in a double blow to the Group was transferred to Manly.

Country Rugby League Development Officer Steve McLellan moved into his new headquarters at the revamped Junior League complex at Apex Oval in Dubbo.

Cobar's Clayton Cup winning coach Scott Meini overcame serious illness to again take charge of Country on their Queensland Tour. Group XI's annual charity golf day at Narromine was dedicated to the support of the popular coach in his brave fight against cancer.

Dubbo Macquarie's much-travelled hooker Darren Jackson retained his Country No. 9 guernsey. Along with Pat Gibson, who returned to Manildra mid season, Jackson toured with Meini's team.

Wade L'Strange (CYMS), David Eddy (Parkes), Mick Ryan and Anthony Louis (Narromine) joined Gibson and Jackson in Western Division's run to the Country Championship semi-finals.

Joel Thompson (Forbes) and Blake Dunn (CYMS) represented Country Under 18's for their Queensland tour and match against New Zealand at Wollongong.

Dubbo College made it to the semi-finals of the University Shield, beaten 24-12 by Westfield Sports High after a gripping battle at Apex Oval, Dubbo.

NRL players Andrew Ryan, Russell Richardson and David Peachey continued a close association with their home town, returning to present their respective trophies for Western Schools Rugby League excellence. Brian Prendergast stepped into the breach with the Cobar Roosters when Mark Gleeson left suddenly on the eve of season kick-off.

Finals gate-takings and record crowds reflected sustained interest in arguably the strongest Rugby League haven in Country New South Wales.

In a stirring return to the glory days of Australia's glittering past, Ron Coote led the "Men of League" down memory lane on a wonderful night in July. Over thirty former internationals joined with over 500 admiring fans to raise funds in support of those who have fallen on hard times.

TOOHEYS GROUP XI PLAYERS WHO REPRESENTED WESTERN DIVISION. Seniors. Peter Boon and Darren Jackson (Dubbo Macquarie), Anthony Louie and Mick Ryan (Narromine), David Eddy (Parkes), Wade L'Strange (Dubbo CYMS), Damien Kennedy and Pat Gibson (Manildra),Derek Hoe (Parkes) was Manager and Mark Murphy (Dubbo) was trainer.
Juniors. Kurt Beahm and Anthony Toomey (Narromine), Matt Hanlon (Nyngan), Mitchell Griffiths, Reece Mastelloto, Thomas Yeo, Blake Dunn and Nelson Dotti (Dubbo CYMS) Dale Rogers and Brendan Hewen (Parkes), Joel Thompson (Forbes) and Phil Bishop (Parkes) was coach.

Darren Jackson (Dubbo Macquarie).and Pat Gibson (Manildra).
Joel Thompson (Forbes) and Blake Dunn (Dubbo CYMS)

Preliminary Parkes Def Dubbo Macq. 28-26.
Semi-Finals. Narromine Def Dubbo CYMS 26-10.
Semi-Finals. Dubbo CYMS Def Parkes 32-6.
Wellington Def Narromine 25-16.
Final. Narromine Def Dubbo CYMS 45-18.
Grand Final. Narromine Def Wellington 52-28.

RESERVE GRADE. Preliminary Dubbo Macq. Def Manildra 28-20.
Semi-Finals. Wellington Def Narromine 44-18.
Semi-Finals. Wellington Def Manildra 28-20.
Dubbo CYMS Def Dubbo Macq. 30-12.
Final. Wellington Def Dubbo Macq. 28-16.
Grand Final. Dubbo CYMS Def Wellington 22-10.

JUNIORS GRADE. Preliminary Parkes Def Nyngan 40-12
Semi-Finals. Forbes Def Narromine 36-18.
Semi-Finals. Narromine Def Parkes 22-10. Dubbo CYMS Def Forbes 34-16.
Final. Narromine Def Forbes 32-26.
Grand Final. Dubbo CYMS Def Narromine 18-10.

Under 11 Eastridge Def St. Johns 22-12.
Under 12. St. Johns Def South Dubbo 16-8.
Under 13. Narromine Def South Dubbo 36-16.
Under 14. South Dubbo Def Narromine 32-12.
Under 16. Gilgandra Def South Dubbo 32-12.

Under 12. Forbes Def Parkes Marist 28-16.
Under 14. Forbes Def Parkes Marist 42-10.
Under 16. Red Bend Def Parkes Marist 20-12.

GROUP XI FINALS(Northern v Southern Premiers)
16s- Fawkner Shield Red Bend 24 d Gilgandra 16
14s- Kennedy Shield South Dubbo 34 d Forbes 24
12s- McGrath Shield St John's 18 d Forbes 6
10s- Walkom Shield Eastridge 18 d Condobolin10


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