It has been 13 years in the making and a group of local juniors delivered the Raymond Terrace Magpies the club’s first senior major premiership since 2001.
The Magpies, who had lost previous grand finals between 2010 and 2012, finally became champions when they defeated minor premiers Waratah Mayfield 18-12 in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby
League C-grade decider at Kurri Sportsground on Saturday.
It was a fitting reward for the committed group of Terrace clubman based on their loyalty and grand final performance, according to Magpies president Jamie Douglas.
“It was a fantastic day for the club and good for the boys to get a grand final win under their belts,” he said.
“They played exceptionally well in a hard game of football, both sides put their bodies on the line.”
The Magpies led from start to finish and two first-half tries gave them an 8-6 lead at the main break, which was extended after a neck injury to Raymond Terrace reserve Ben Sharkey.
Sharkey was taken to hospital but later cleared of any major damage and released that afternoon in a neck brace.
Early in the second half the Magpies increased their advantage to 14-6, but the Cheetahs scored a converted try and reduced the margin back to two, setting up a thrilling finale.
Raymond Terrace skipper and player of the final Josh Urquhart then sealed the win when the hooker crossed for the match-winning four-pointer.
“We have been waiting a couple of years for this after a couple of grand final losses,” Urquhart said.
“It was good to finally have that winning feeling.”
Other scorers for Raymond Terrace included a double to winger Pat Maloney, a single for centre Hayden McFadden and a conversion to second-rower Barry Kennewell.
The Cheetahs points went mainly to five-eighth Warren Towers with a try and two goals while No.9 Lucas Gordon also crossed.
In the other all age grand finals played at Kurri Sportsground on Saturday the Cessnock Cutters claimed the title in B-grade with a 34-26 victory against Tea Gardens, Cardiff overcame Windale 24-20 in a tight A-grade contest while Karuah were upstaged 25-18 by Williamtown.
RAYMOND TERRACE 18 (Pat Maloney 2, Hayden McFadden, Josh Urquhart tries; Barry Kennewell goal) defeated WARATAH MAYFIELD 12 (Warren Towers, Lucas Gordon tries; Towers 2 goals).