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Redcliffe rugby league centre, Steve Cherry, said he had decided to keep "plugging away" after breaking his cheekbone in the July 5 third grade match against Norths.
Cherry's persistence and his devotion to Redcliffe could earn him one last crack at a Brisbane premiership which has eluded him since he joined the Dolphins from Roma in 1978.
The former Brisbane representative centre was the secret weapon employed by Redcliffe coach Darryl Van de Velde in yesterday's 30-7 Winfield Cup knockout semi-final win over Wynnum-Manly at Lang Park.Experience Cherry provided the experience in a youthful Redcliffe three-quarter line and formed a top centre partnership with another former Darling Downs boy Rohan Teevan.
Teevan originally was named alongside the equally youthful Jeff Doyle whose comments about Wynnum Test centre Gene Miles' age made him a marked man.
Doyle remained on the bench for the full 80 minutes yesterday and at one stage it looked like Miles had chosen Teevan as the target of his anger.
A cruel chest high tackle early in the match had Teevan on shaky legs but the youngster showed a lot of character to come back and score a fine try.
Teevan and Cherry supported a fine break by Test forward Bryan Niebling with Niebling finding Teevan with a pass which sent the youngster between the posts unopposed.
When it was suggested Niebling had chosen Teevan because of his superior pace Cherry replied that he was "just idling."
"Besides I knew Bryan wasn't going to pass it to me. I was on his weak side," Cherry quipped.
Cherry said three weeks ago he had resigned himself to playing in the lower grades in the finals.
"If you had said to me after I broke my cheekbone against Norths that I would ber playing in the first grade knockout semi-final I would have said "no way'.
"But I never thought of tossing it in. I decided to keep plugging away in the hope something would happen to make the season worthwhile."
Redcliffe's Test hooker Greg Conescu said the performance of captain and lock, Steve Bleakley yesterday emphasised the folly of Sydney talent scouts in not making an offer to the rugged Caboolture banana farmer.
"There is something wrong with Sydney scouts if they don't snap up Steve quickly after that performance," Conescu said.
Bleakley scored two tries and and worked tirelessly in defence.
He may not have the build of many Sydney backrowers but he is as tough as any of them.
By Steve Ricketts August 31 1987
Redcliffe's former Brisbane rugby league centre Steve Cherry hopes to carve a new representative career in the forwards.
Cherry says he believes his days in the backline are over and he wants to concentrate on becoming a specialist second-rower."I couldn't wish for a better group to learn from than the Redcliffe pack," he said.
Redcliffe coach Ian Pearce switched Cherry from the centres to second-row after some disappointing displays by his star-studded pack in the Woolies pre-season.
But it's not the first time the switch has been made. Former Australian coach Frank Stanton played Cherry at lock when he was in charge of the Dolphins in 1980.
"Steve has the strength, speed and build to be a top class backrower," Stanton said in Sydney this week."He was one of my favorite players when I was in Brisbane."
Cherry, at 25, still has plenty of years in front of him as a forward and he is aiming to make the representative teams.
He is keen to impress this Sunday when Redcliffe play Toowoomba at his home town, Roma, in a third round Winfield State League match.
The last time Cherry played at Roma was in 1982 when Redcliffe easily defeated Toowoomba. Cherry marked current Wynnum-Manly winger Warren Green.
Another Roma boy who will be making his debut for Redcliffe is centre Robin Thorne."I think playing in his home town will bring out the best in Robin," said Redcliffe coach "Bunny" Pearce.
By Steve Ricketts April 19 1985
Redcliffe's former Brisbane representative rugby league centre Steve Cherry hit the lowest point of his career in the Dolphins inglorious loss to Brothers at Lang Park on July 29.
Cherry was one of the worst of an uncommitted Redcliffe 13, which lost to a 12 man Brothers outfit.
He was dropped for the following match, but earned a reprieve when his replacement, Steve Bleakley, was ruled out through injury.
That was the turning point. Since then, Cherry has improved steadily and now he is back to his peak and ready for revenge against Brothers in the semi-finals play-off on Wednesday night.
"I won't need to be geed up for the match. None of us will. We've had nothing but a hard time from work-mates and supporters ever since our loss to Brothers," Cherry said.Poor form The former Roma star attributed his poor form earlier in the year to a lack of confidence.
On Saturday night in Redcliffe's 24-16 win over Valleys at Dolphin Oval Cherry and his team-mates oozed confidence, particularly in the first half when they established a 20-0 lead.
And besides Cherry, one of the most confident was former Test winger, John Ribot, who roamed all over the field looking for work.
"In these crunch games it's the experienced players who have to show the way," he said.
Forwards, Shane Bernardin and Dave Trewhella with 35 and 34 tackles respectively, were inspirations in the pack.
Cherry registered an incredible 21 tackles in the centres.
It was a big night for the Dolphins with the Bob Jones' coached third grade side sealing the Pacific Land Cup third grade minor premiership.
By Steve Ricketts September 3 1984