In 2017, Nelson Bay Junior Rugby League Club’s under-11s became the first Bay team in nearly 40 years to win a first division premiership under the excellent tutelage of coach Richie Kinkaid.
This year the club was able to retain the majority of players and coaching staff in the fiercely competitive Newcastle under-12 division one premiership competition.
And last Saturday this exciting team of footballers completed a rare double by becoming undefeated premiers in 2018.
This amazing achievement was matched by the remarkable fact that the boys only conceded seven tries all season.
Playing in front of a huge contingent of travelling Bay fans at Windale Oval last Saturday, Nelson Bay backed up last year’s grand-final effort by downing Valentine Red 14-6.
Coach Richie Kinkaid said he was extremely proud of the boys, who have worked hard to achieve their success.
“They are a great bunch of kids, they train hard, which shows in the results over the last two seasons and I have no doubt you’ll see a few of them making the rep side next season,” Kinkaid said.
“It’s a massive thing for a small club like ours to have a team with the results we have had but it certainly hasn’t come easy.
“They have done our club proud.”
Nelson Bay went into Saturday’s premiership deciders with no reserves due to winger Jett Doherty being out with a broken collar bone.
It was a physical match and Valentine were determined to make an impact from kick off, scoring first points but five minutes before half time Max Fines opened the Bay’s scoring with a try in the corner.
The unsuccessful conversion had the home side down 6-4 at half-time.
The Bay went out in the second half full of running with lock Jett Woodward breaking the line before Whare Kuru went over for a 10-6 lead.
With a massive support crew that travelled to Windale to cheer on the boys and the determination to defend their title, the boys held on with some gritty defence and with a minute to go Woodward went in for his second try, sealing the win and man of the match honours.
The team comprised of Zac Harrison, Liam Brabant, Max Fines, Talon O’Neill, Jett Doherty, Brock Ible, Patrick Slade, Jeddlin Beninca, Whare Kuru, Jarrod Walls, Rylee Moses-Kinkaid, Lochie Bartlett-Baldwin, Jett Woodward and Cal Paix. Manager was Nicole Moses.
The Nelson Bay club completed another successful season in the juniors, with the under-10 golds, under-12 golds and under-16 Div 2 sides all reaching the semi-finals.
The Bay also hosted another semi-finals, which has become a great source of generating funds through the canteen and the great support from committee and parents.