DENMAN Devils won their second Group 21 premiership in three years in amazing circumstances at Scone Park yesterday.
It took 46 minutes of extra-time to decide the champions, with the Devils eventually claiming the silverware 24-20.
Trent Walker combined with talented young 18-year-old centre Hamish Wolfgang for the match-winner after minor premiers Scone had scored under the post with a couple of minutes remaining of regular time to square it up at 20-all.
“I’m very very proud. Yhey were just superb,” Devils coach Paul Gallagher said.
He said he didn’t know how either side kept lifting themselves in extra-time, with the two sides playing over another half of footy.
“One of the officials told me after the game it was 20 seconds off being the longest grand final in history,” Gallagher said.
“It was a bloody long time.”
“It was a cracking grand final and it took two really good sides to produce it.
“Hats off to Scone.”
The Thoroughbreds were the best side all year and dropped just one game but the Devils knew what they had to do.
“We had to close down their key players in Hayden Topliss and Tim Smith,” Gallagher said.
He thought they did that pretty well.
They also knew the Thoroughbreds would come back on the inside at them but the defence really aimed up.
“Our aim was to be in the dogfight at half-time,” Gallagher said.
They thought if they were in it at half-time they could put some pressure on the Thoroughbreds in the second half and wear them down.
No side had really done that to them this season.
There was only two in it at the break, with the Thoroughbreds up 10-8.
The Devils then jumped out to 20-10 but the Thoroughbreds fought back and, after earning a penalty with about four minutes to go, crossed to lock up the scores with the conversion.
Extra-time is often decided by field goals and both sides gave it their best shot.
Between the two of them, they probably took 11 shots, Gallagher said, but they were all off target.
“We finally decided to run the ball and that’s when we made the break,” he said.
Walker made it down the short side before offloading to Wolfgang looming up in support on the inside and he raced away about 40m to score.
Gallagher was loath in such a mammoth effort to single anyone out but it was hard to go past Ben Hagan.
The Country prop was a deserved player of the grand final.
“He played the whole 125 minutes,” Gallagher said.
That is a huge effort for a front rower.
“He’s got such a motor on him,” he said.
Singleton won second grade, defeating Scone 20-10, but there was success for the home side in the U18s, 14-6 over Muswellbrook, and Ladies League tag, 14-2 also over Muswellbrook.