It is believed the world’s longest game of rugby league was played in the Hunter Valley on the weekend with a staggering 128 minutes needed to decide the Group 21 grand final.
After being drawn at full-time, it took 48 minutes of unlimited golden point extra-time to split the two sides, before Denman scored a try for a
24-20 victory over minor premiers Scone.
“It was unbelievable,” Group 21 president and grand final timekeeper Tony Goldman said.
“The football was going from end to end and you didn’t want it to finish.”
Previous records for the longest game of rugby league have been recorded as 104 minutes – both the 1997 Tri-Series final and 2008 NSW Cup final – but more than an extra regular half of football was required to break the deadlock at Scone on Sunday.
One renowned rugby league statistician feels this may have given the 2015 Group 21 decider the No.1 mantle.
“Someone has contacted David Middleton and he seems to think it is a world record,” Goldman said.
A few years ago, Goldman said a Group 21 reserve grade grand final had 28 minutes of extra-time, but the most recent edition easily surpassed that.
But despite the fact that lights needed to be turned on at the ground to finish the showdown, the 3000-plus punters weren’t going anywhere.
“No one left the ground,” Goldman said.
“They all stayed until the very end.”
The game kicked-off at 2.30pm and finished at 4.50pm.
And Goldman was glad they didn’t start any later.
It was Denman winger Hamish Wolfgang who scored the winning try, after many unsuccessful shots at a field goal from either side.
Devils prop Ben Hagan was named man of the match after lining up against brother and Scone front-rower Tom Hagan.
The result made up for Denman’s narrow 18-16 grand final loss to Greta Branxton last year.
It was the Devils second major premiership in three seasons.
In the lower grades on the weekend, Scone won both under 18s and women’s league tag with 14-6 and 14-2 wins respectively over Muswellbrook.
In reserves, Singleton ran out 30-14 victors against Scone.
And to last week’s Group 21 presentation Greta Branxton’s Joby Patten finished with most first grade points for the season with 138 while the Colts’ Willie Poleo made the team of the year as a second-rower.
The under-18 player of the year went to Greta Branxton’s Dylan Cornes, while Aberdeen’s Marcus Marsh was best and fairest in the top grade.
First Grade: Denman 24 defeated Scone 20
Reserve Grade: Singleton 30 defeated Scone 14
Under 18s: Scone 14 defeated Muswellbrook 6
League Tag: Scone 14
defeated Muswellbrook 2