News Parliament

FEDERATION CHAMBER - ADJOURNMENT - CALARE ELECTORATE: RUGBY LEAGUE

Spring in Calare brings with it grand finals fever. I would like to recognise the Bathurst Panthers Rugby League Football Club for their stellar performance across three grades in this year's grand finals. Firstly, congratulations to the under-18 side, which defeated Orange CYMS with a 20-points-to-eight victory. I'd like to acknowledge and honour each of those players, including: captain, Zac Hunt; man of the match, Ty-Lee Simmonds; try scorers Mackenzie Atkins, Finlay Grabham and Noah Griffiths; Matthew Cole, who was awarded most improved for the Bathurst Panthers at their presentation night recently; Elijah Sharwood, who received the Bathurst Panthers coaches' award; Nathan Ward, who took out the players' player; and Brad Fearnley, who along with Nathan, received the award for best and fairest. I would also like to acknowledge John Bird, Cody Craib, Dylan Miles, Cooper McDaid, Nic Barlow, Matt Ellsmore, Hunter Siejka, Koen Gillespie, Josh Payne, Braydon Burke, Tyrone Locke, Blaze Piper-Hurst and Ty Siaksioni. I'd also like to specially mention coach, John Fearnley—well done, John—as well as manager, Stu Ward; head trainer, Kevin Franklin; and trainer Steve Miles. It was certainly an amazing effort.

The Bathurst Panthers reserve grade side fought all season to make it to the grand final, but unfortunately they were unsuccessful. It was a tough game against the rival Bathurst St Pat's side, who emerged victorious after 80 minutes with a score of 27-14. Well done to the boys on an incredible game nonetheless. I'd like to acknowledge: Marcus Turnbull; Ben Dolan; Jason Hewitt; Jace Hood; Stu Peel; Storm Siejka, who walked away with the club's best and fairest award recently at the club's presentation night; Trent Hotham; Tyson Chapple; Johnny Loughlin; Pat McGarry; Adrian Averio; Callum Young, who received the players' player award; Jarrod Gafa; Jamie Crawford; Braydon Wicks; and Zac Burke, who was named the most improved in the side. I would also like to acknowledge Tom Loader, Matt Hodges, Jacob Barnes, Matthew Bohane and also Andrew Bennett, who received the coaches' award for the season. Well done, Andrew. I'd like to acknowledge those who supported the side throughout the year as well, including: coaches Johnny Loughlin and Jarrod Gafa; manager, Adrian Chapple; head trainer, Kevin Franklin and trainers Tony Davis and Grant Walsh.

To the Premier League side: the Bathurst Panthers took home the title in the Premier League division with a 12-10 win over the Cowra Magpies. This was the first time since 2007 that the Panthers had made the grand final. The game did not get off to an easy start as they were facing the Cowra Magpies, who had a game advantage. The grand final was a race to the clock, as the sides were only a few points apart the entire game. The premiership was only secured in the dying minutes, and it all came down to a last-minute try by the Panthers that relied on a successful conversion that had to be taken from the sideline. Five-eighth and goal kicker Willie Wright lined up the tee and kicked the footy—kicked the pill—straight through the goal posts in what will go down as one of the best moments in the Bathurst Panthers' history!

Congratulations to the team, including captain coach, Doug Hewitt, who made his debut as coach this year and is also the youngest coach in the competition at just 24 years of age—well done, Doug. Brent Seager was awarded the Dave Scott Medal for player of the match and took the Bathurst Panthers best and fairest award and Wilmer Asher Ward—well done, Brent. The try scorers were Blake Hewitt and Andrew Mendes—good on you, guys. Callum Young was named the most improved at the club's presentation night. Jed Betts took home the coaches award. Luke Bain was named player's player for the 2018 season and won the Guys Weeks Memorial Trophy. Congratulations to Josh Rivett, Blake Lawson, Jye Barrow, Kade Barrow, Nick Loader, Dane Thorogood, Blake Seager, Jack Siejka, Kara Rotarangi and Trent Hotham. Well done to the support team, who included manager Danny Dwyer—well done, Danny; head trainer Kevin Franklin; and trainers Tony Davis and Grant Walsh. Grant was named club man of the year.

I'd also like to acknowledge the Bathurst Panthers committee on a fantastic season, including the president, Dennis Comerford; senior vice-president, Bill Humphries; secretary, Wayne Boyd; Treasurer, Danny Dwyer; and members Jodie Hodges and Ross Woolmington. Congratulations to everyone at the Bathurst Panthers. They are a wonderful club, and they have had a wonderful season. Clubs like them contribute so much to the life of our country communities. It's a privilege to be able to honour all of the Panthers in the House today.