Junior rugby league in Port Stephens is as healthy as ever with the Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay clubs producing some amazing results at the elite level this season.
While a number of teams from both the Terrace and Bay Marlins featured in grand finals in 2019, the jewel in the crown performance came from the Roosters under-15s who created club history by winning back-to-back first division premierships.
The players, under the guidance of coach Sean Langdon, showed plenty of determination to come from fifth place to defeat Aberdeen, Valentine and Cessnock before downing Wests 13-12 at St John Oval in the grand final.
Trailing 12-6 at half time, the Terrace levelled the scores with a converted try before Brody Perry, the man of the match, iced the win with a field goal. Captain Brandon Thompson had a strong game.
Team spokesperson Nathan Bolton said that the players had remained focused throughout the three sudden death matches.
"This is a great achievement for a Raymond Terrace side that has a player base of around 20 players coming up against the might of Valentine, Cessnock and Wests, who each have lower division sides and over 40 players to choose from," Bolton said.
"This is a first in the history of the Terrace junior rugby league club, winning consecutive first division grand finals [under 14 and 15 years]. There is also a fantastic supporter base who created specially made banners and t-shirts for the big game."
Other achievements for the team included: five players selected for the Combined High Schools state trials; 11 players in the Newcastle Knights Harold Matthews squad; and eight players chosen to represent Newcastle at the country championships later this month.
The Roosters under 17/2s are minor and major premiership champions after downing Macquarie 28-26 in the grand final extra time.
The scores were tied at 22-22 at fulltime but when Macquarie failed to convert their extra time try, the Terrace boys celebrated.
The under 14 girls side, coached by Brooke Roach, finished runners-up, going down to undefeated minor premiers Muswellbrook in the grand final decider 32-10.
Unfortunately, a few of the girls were unable to finish the game due to injuries. Lacey Mitchell scored a hat trick on the day with Allana Johnson and Taania Agnew also crossing the try line. It was a great season for the girls, with some new to the game and majority having never played together before.
Meanwhile in the senior division, the Raymond Terrace Ravens ladies league tag team lost their final against University 18-6.