Jack seals the deal for gallant reggies
BY ALEX TIGANI
There were many individual highlights across the board for the Scone Thoroughbreds on Sunday.
Michael Radford made it back into the side after a long-term injury.
Radford, a former Quirindi Grasshopper and North Tamworth Bear, and Queenslander Hayden Topliss were the only players who had not graduated from the Thoroughbreds junior system.
Both played their role on grand final day.
A loud cheer echoed across the park when 23-year-old Caleb Taylor joined the long list of Thoroughbreds’ first grade premiership players.
The former Scone Brumby (rugby union) and Singleton Rooster (AFL) was tipped as a contender for the player of the year award by coach Adam Clydsdale shortly after his side’s 54-6 win over Greta Branxton in Round 14.
And then there was Daniel Ritter.
His man of the match title was icing on the cake for his third premiership adding to previous titles in 2006 and 2018 (as captain).
The three titles made up for his heartache on the sidelines in 2016 and 2019 when suffering season ending injuries prior to each grand final.
To truly understand the significance of the afternoon you only have to look at the resilience of the club’s reserve grade side.
For the next generations the history books will tell you that Scone’s 16th premiership was won by a single point against Aberdeen.
Nevertheless only the trivia buffs will tell you that the winning line-up was limited to 12 men for 65 of the 70 minutes.
For the second time that day the Thoroughbreds conceded the first score of the match before Isaac Smith and Jack Pennell, the league’s leading point-scorer, converted truly to hand his men a 6-4 lead at the break.
Playing coach Jade Smith extended his side’s lead at the start of the second half before Pennell scored the winning field goal with eight minutes to go.
The prolific goal-kicker was announced as the man of the match before adoring fans at Pennell Park.