Cowra’s under-16s bowed out of the 2018 premiership race on Saturday with a 30-6 loss to Orange CYMS in the minor semi-final at Blayney.
In many ways the match was a snapshot of the Magpies’ season with errors and silly penalties interlaced with patches of great play and gritty defence.
Cowra’s points came through Blake Williams, who was on the end of a backline play, before Luke Kinsey slotted the conversion from the touch line.
However, the opening half, in which the Magpies leaked 24 points, was ultimately their undoing creating a bridge too far despite a much better showing after the break in the freezing conditions against their more fancied rivals.
The loss also draws the curtain on the team’s junior league playing days and their close association with coach Rodney Eastwood who will pass on the clipboard after four years at the helm.
Rodney has played an integral role in players’ development and deserves special congratulations for the way he has dealt so positively with individuals and rotated the roster to allow game time for all.
He has been a terrific role model, treated everyone with respect and contributed immensely to an atmosphere where players enjoyed each other’s company and never took themselves or the game too seriously.
Special thanks also to the support staff of Matt Pollard and Barry Craig who have assisted right through the year from the torturous pre-season in their roles of trainer, strength and conditioner, hydration manager and coach when Rodney was unable to attend.
Finally, to the boys, you have always played the game in the right spirit with the utmost of integrity.
You have encouraged those new to the sport and understood that it is a team game, never laying blame at individuals.
This trait will stand you in good stead for the future.
As parents, we have ridden the highs and lows, but are extremely proud of the young men you have become. We look forward to the future.