Redeeming win for Hagan’s heroes
BY ALEX TIGANI
The journey of two Scone greats came full circle last Friday evening.
More than a decade after Tom Hagan coached Adam Clydsdale to a junior premiership the former NRL star returned the favour by assisting Hagan and his under-18 line-up during their final training session.
If you ask Hagan, Clydsdale had continued to help mentor the under-18 side in 2022 to ensure the club had its best chance of claiming a four-peat on grand final day.
And the extra efforts had paid off by the early stages of Sunday afternoon when the Thoroughbreds held on to celebrate a narrow 16-12 grand final win against the Aberdeen Tigers.
Momentary sighs of relief were exchanged for loud cheers when the game had come to an end.
This was due to their devastating major semi-final loss to the Tigers a fortnight earlier as well as their rivals late 12-6 lead with 12 minutes to go.
Hagan, who was also a three-time first grade premiership player, labelled his team as a terrific bunch of kids who worked hard.
“They deserved that one,” he explained.
“To go down 26-0 in a major semi was always going to be very hard for the boys to turn that around you don’t see that very often.
“Our message was to run harder, tackle harder and we should win it.
“I guess it was a bit of Johnny Lang coaching mentality but to me they just looked like they wanted it more.”
AJ Watts, son of former first grade coach Aaron, returned to the fold this year despite being based in Newcastle.
His loyalty was key when scoring the winning try of the grand final.
Mitchell Cox was named as the league’s player of the year while Callum Dowell was recognised as the league’s leading scorer.
Ashton Frost was named as the man of the match while Dylan Keane,15, was voted as the players’ player only 24 hours after guiding the Thoroughbreds to a memorable under-16 grand final 16-6 win over Singleton at Mount View Park.
“He started in the second row for us and scored the first try, kid with a massive future,” Hagan concluded.