By Neesha Sinnya
It was impossible to get a photo of the Cherbourg Hornets team alone following their impressive victory against the Murgon Mustangs on Saturday, 11 September.
The A Grade Premiership game was a nail-biting spectacle of football but with a strong lead in the second half, the Hornets defeated the Mustangs 40 to 24.
For the close-knit community of Cherbourg, the win was not only for the team but for the entire community – this was clear by the volume of people celebrating on the field after the win.
Starting off strong, the Hornets scored in the first two minutes and after a successful conversion were already ahead of their competitor six to nil.
An epic try from Mustangs’ Arthur Saltner and a successful conversion from Daron Saltner-Bligh brought the teams to an equal playing field.
The Mustangs took the lead in the first half with Maurice Fisher scoring a try and another successful conversion, bringing the score to 12 for the Mustangs and 6 to Cherbourg.
Another try and successful conversion from Cherbourg brought the teams to an equal score.
With 12 minutes left for the first half, the Hornets charged ahead of the Mustangs finishing with a score of 24 to 16.
The crowds were buzzing as the final half of the rugby league season began.
Although Cherbourg was in a clear lead, fans were still apprehensive knowing that the Mustangs could strike back and take the title in the final 40 minutes.
It was a slower start to the second half, 15 minutes in the Hornets scored and unsuccessfully converted, making the score 28 to 16.
A couple of minutes later the Hornets scored again and successfully converted bringing the score to 34 to the Mustangs’ 16.
With 12 minutes left the Mustangs scored a try and the score sat at 34 to 20.
A tense final 10 minutes saw the Hornets score twice more and the Mustangs score a redemption try in the final two minutes.
The crowd erupted in cheers as the Cherbourg Hornets were declared victorious.
A Cherbourg player upon accepting the trophy said the win meant a lot to the whole town.
“We’ve had a lot of sadness in the community so this is really special,” he said.
South Burnett Rugby League treasurer, Sheree Prendergast congratulated all of the teams for a successful season.
“We’ve had significant numbers back on the paddock after Covid-19 last year,” she said.
“Saturday’s game was a great spectacle of football and great crowd support shown in Cherbourg.”
Despite the teams closely competing for the Premiership, the camaraderie and sportsmanship on the field was undeniable.
“It was a very tough game on Saturday but Cherbourg had the run of the green – they were hungry for the win,” Prendergast said.
The man of the match was awarded to Cherbourg Hornets player, Tyreese Gyemore.
The other South Burnett Rugby League presentations will be held in Wondai on 23 October.
Turn to page 54 to read about the U14s Grand Final match and page 44-45 to see action shots and socials from the afternoon.