Above: Champions: Jack Woolaston Nines grand final winners – back, Blake Hilderson, Adam Suckling, Grant Green, Robert Doolan, Brady Jenkins, Daniel Jobson, Raymond Goodwin, Jock Small, trainer Bruce Nichols, manager Jeremy Toomey, Josh Trindall, front, Robert McIntosh, Tristan Lamb, Blues captain-coach Brenton Cochrane, Shaun Fogarty, Damon Gleeson and Phil Vincent. Photo – Geoff Newling
By Geoff Newling and Blake Jarrett
The Narrabri Blues were crowned winners of the inaugural Jack Woolaston Nines at Jack Woolaston Oval, North Tamworth on Saturday evening.
The Brenton Cochrane captain-coached Blues beat Dungowan Cowboys 17-4 in the grand final after accounting for Werris Creek 25-8 in their semi-final.
The Cowboys, who had caused the first major shock of the tournament by beating North Tamworth 13-10 in the first game of the day, overcame Kootingal 19-12 in their semi final.
The Blues had plenty to cheer about on the day.
The club had two teams in action at the tournament.
Each team played two matches where they were competing for semi-final spots.
Narrabri One was the side which was victorious in the final.
It beat the Newcastle University Seahorses 18-17 in its first game after a late Grant Green try in the corner which was set up by a Cochrane flick pass.
The side then cruised past South West Robins 33-4 in its second match.
Narrabri Two won its first game 18-15 against Manilla, but was downed 23-6 against Gunnedah in its second.
Those results saw Narrabri One progress to the semi-finals while Narrabri Two missed out.
The Blues were dominant in their 25-8 semi-final win over Werris Creek.
They led 19-4 at the break before outscoring their opposition 6-4 in the second stanza.
In that game Raymond Goodwin crossed for two tries, and Josh Trindall and Cochrane went over once each.
Blake Hilderson kicked three conversions and Rob Doolan slotted the other.
Narrabri One then met Dungowan in the final.
It was a match that the Blues never looked like losing, winning the 20-minute decider by 13 points.
In that match Cochrane, Grant Green and Damon Gleeson scored tries, while Trindall and Hilderson converted a goal each.
Narrabri Rugby League Football Club president Michael Gleeson was pleased with how his club’s two sides, but especially the championship-winning team, played at the tournament.