FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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DOLPHINS teams competed in eight South East Division Juniors Chairman's Trophy finals last month and performed strongly in every game. The under 18s, the flagship team of our juniors, were very convincing winners over Eastern Suburbs, leaving the Tigers with few opportunities after a 44-16 scoreline. The two teams had met in a competition round just before the Chairman's final and the Dolphins had allowed Easts back into that game. Coach Doug Kellaway addressed that dropping off in intensity and the players corrected the problem on the field.
Determined to retain their leadership in the under 16A grade, the Craig Burrows-coached Dolphins displayed their usual determination to finish off a game and after some early stutters, came home with some force and finesse to record a solid victory over Wynnum-Manly. Ben Jones notched three tries, Luke Capewell and Dayne Rogers scored tries with Matt Lennon landing five conversions.
In a seesawing encounter, the under 16B1 team trailed Albany Creek going into the final quarter. With the scoreline favouring Creek and the Dolphins defending their own line, Craig McMahon was able to capitalise on a rare gap in the opposition backline defence, cut through and raced 70 metres to touch down under the posts. That took the Dolphins to a 22-18 lead with only four minutes on the clock. Possession changed over to Albany Creek in the dying moments and from a penalty close to the line, they dived over out wide, to the dismay of supporters and coach John Durstan. A conversion would have won the game but it drifted narrowly wide and it was a shared trophy at 22-all.
Playing on the Friday night, another innovation of the SEDJ, the under 14As took on Easts and were not able to start the trophy weekend on the right note, missing out on the spoils by 32-16. Coach Peter Buckett did get a number of pointers from the game that he is sure will prepare the team for another showdown in finals games in the Luxury Paints premiership which now restarts the 2005 season.
Under 13B1 Dolphins played the final against Wests Arana Hills and coach Simmon Taka reckoned that even though the team did not come home with the trophy, he is quietly confident that we will see more big things from this squad. The final score was 30-16 in favour of Arana.
In the under 12B north Final, Redcliffe's fortunes were smiled on with our young Dolphins gaining the upper hand as the game progressed, running out Chairman's Trophy holders by defeating Pine Rivers 26-14. Coach and former Dolphins player Brett Morris was pretty enthusiastic about his team's performance and said the players had been rewarded for consistent effort.
Redcliffe had good representation in the under 12 grade with the Dolphins also taking on Deception Bay in the 12C north competition. This game was complete with plenty of action, and though the final result showed the Bay winning 28-10, coach Mark Charlton reported his players had reason to look forward to the rest of the season and issuing another challenge for the "big one" come September.
Our youngest finalists, the under 11A Dolphins, came oh so close to their first junior league trophy. The opponents on the day were Aspley and the final score was 12-0. At halftime the lead to Aspley was 6-0 and coach Jason Warr urged his team to continue their effort and they were well in the game. As the result shows, a single scoring opportunity in each half went Aspley's way and games don't come much tighter than that. Well done to all Dolphins Chairman's Trophy finalists.
Representative opportunities have been broadened in 2005 with the SED Juniors introducing the inaugural zone championships in under 13 and 14 age groups. The concept adopted by the SEDJ is to be congratulated with players selected for their zone coming from the grades below A division. The first Zone challenge was played recently with Zone 5 declared winners on 24 points, while our team, Zone 1, came home with a wet sail to grab second on 19 points. Coach of the Zone 1 team was Craig Ingebrigtsen and he was thrilled with the quality and improvement shown by his players over the two-week competition. Redcliffe players to make the team were Leslie Hala, Adam Connolly and Terry Jones and each did his club proud. The under 14 zone games will be played at Centenary Club on June 1 and at Banyo Club on Wednesday, June 8 starting at 7pm. Redcliffe players in the 14s are Anthony Allison, Shaun Barnier, Mitchell Breed, Josh Elks and Blake Marshall.
THE Dolphin Juniors have started a Volunteer of the Month program to encourage parents and supporters to help out the team their child plays in. The game day requirements are either touch judge responsibilities, running the line or timekeepers. After volunteering for two games, the name of the parent or supporter goes into the draw for a monthly prize of $50 to be spent at the One Eyed Dolphin English pub. At the end of the year, the names of all volunteers go back into the draw for the major prize. OUR first winner Jason Rogers of Under nine Petero.