A convincing win against minor premiers Dora Creek on Saturday has sent the Fingal Bay Bomboras to the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League grand final.
Fingal Bay will face the Shortland Devils in the A-grade grand final in Newcastle this Saturday, September 16.
It comes after the Bomboras defeated Dora Creek 32-12 in the preliminary final at Lakeside in Raymond Terrace on Saturday.
“It was a good effort by the boys,” Fingal Bay Bomboras president Stuart McDonald said.
“We lead from the first kick off, despite Dora Creek being the red hot favourites to win it.
“We turned up with a good attitude and it showed.
“It puts us in good stead for this Saturday’s game. If we turn up with a good attitude again, we can win it.”
Dora Creek finished the season on top of the ladder and were tipped to claim the premiership this year.
McDonald said the grand final berth was a “massive” achievement for the Fingal Bay team, which was only promoted to A-grade this season.
The Bomboras came from behind to win the NHRL B-grade grand final against West Wallsend last year. Both teams were promoted to A-grade for 2017.
Fingal Bay finished the regular season in second place to Dora Creek, which before Saturday’s preliminary final had only lost one game all season to Tea Gardens.
The Bomboras lost to the Devils 24-10 in the first round of finals.
Fingal then beat Tea Gardens 40-12 in the sudden death final the following week to stay alive in the competition.
The Bay’s defeat of Dora Creek on Saturday clinched their grand final spot.
“This is massive for us,” McDonald said.
“At the start of the year, no one gave us a chance.
“We’ve proved everyone wrong.
“Win, lose or draw this weekend, we’ve made everyone proud.”
Shortland played South Newcastle in the other preliminary final on Saturday, winning 26-22 to claim the other grand final spot.
McDonald said it was “even pegging” between the Bomboras and Devils. The teams have played each other three times this season which resulted in a win for Fingal Bay, a draw and a loss.
Fingal Bay captain coach Bo Earl has been mentored this year by Michael Hagan, a former Newcastle Knights player and current assistant coach of Australia’s rugby league team.
Hagan has also helped to motivate the Bomboras team by pushing them to believe in themselves.
The grand final will be played at No. 1 Sportsground in Newcastle on Saturday. The A-grade final is the last game of the day. Kick off is 4pm.
Supporters are being called on to get behind the team at the grand final this Saturday.
A bus will be running from the Bay to Newcastle on Saturday from 2pm. Pickups will be from the Fingay Bay Sports Club, Shoal Bay Country Club, the old Bunnings site in Nelson Bay and Anna Bay IGA.
The cost to be on the bus is $20 per person, payable when you get on.
To secure a spot on the bus, head to the Fingal Bay Bomboras Facebook page and leave a comment on the post about the bus.