Mallabulla Panthers claim 2015 Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League B Grade title

A HUGE contingent of Mallabula rugby league fans were on hand at Lakeside sporting complex on Saturday to witness the Panthers bring home the B grade premiership trophy in grand style.

In a physically tough, drama-charged grand final, the Panthers held off a resilient Waratah for a 16-6 victory amid scenes of jubilation among players, officials and supporters.

The coaching staff of Ben Mossop and Steve Knoke could not be prouder of their charges as they battled with grit and determination in heavy conditions.

"This was a win worth celebrating ... thanks to the hard work, courage and commitment of all players," Knoke said as he lifted the trophy during Saturday's presentation.

"We must also thank our training staff and loyal army of supporters who have been a real inspiration all season," he said.

The first half was a typically dour struggle with the two teams locked at 6-6 at halftime.

In the second half, however, the Panthers lifted a notch in defence as they kept the Waratah forward pack at bay.

The Panthers, with metre-eater hooker Scott Holland leading the way, took the ascendancy to run in two further tries to complete the rout.

"Mr Reliable" fullback Koby Martyn was voted player of the match while backrower Jake Porter and winger Mitch Hodson were stand-outs in a super team effort.

Mallabula lost forward Dillon Gilroy with a broken collarbone and Holland late in the match with concussion.

But nothing would stop the club celebrating a worthy grand final back at their home town.

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