WITH fifteen minutes left on the clock and the scoreboard reading 12-8 in the opposition’s favour, the Taroom Wandoan Battlers’ dream run of being undefeated since before 2021 was on the brink of collapse as the club celebrated its annual Ladies Day.

Chinchilla, coming off a strong win against Miles the week before, had rallied a revamped side led by returning Bulldogs great Steve Brownhalls which, for a period, looked like causing the biggest upset this year in the Reserve-grade competition.

But the Battlers weren’t going to lose in front of what’s believed to have been the largest ever crowd gathered at Ross Bourke Oval.

Late try scorers including Braden Doherty and Tom Phipps put the home side in front at 24-12 by full time, meaning the Taroom Wandoan Battlers remain undefeated competition leaders in the south west’s Reserve-grade competition.

Battlers president and dummy half Jayden Baker looks for space

“Chinchilla came out really strong and it was pretty hard to get over the top of them. We were thankful we could get there,” said Battlers club president Jayden Baker (pictured), who played dummy half.

“Jimmy Conway (five-eighth) went exceptionally well and Clancy Stanford (second row) was strong again. Toby Bennett (prop) was great through the middle”.

Other players praised on the Battlers Facebook page were Joe Dwyer and Joel Robinson.

Jake Parry looks for options out wide


Joe Dwyer meets then Chinchilla defence at Ross Bourke Oval

“Not sure what was in the cereal bowl at the Dwyer house but Joe obviously went back for seconds! Creating absolute belting runs and bone rattling tackles,” the Battlers’ match report said.

“Joel decided to participate in the game for once and came up with some really nice finishes over the try line.

“Not sure if it was the terrible hair cut or mummy watching again but Phipps again produced a nice game on home turf, crossing for another vital try to swing momentum back to our favour deep in the second half.”

Five-eighth Jimmy Conway with a quick change of direction


Cody Steedman eyes the defence

In the A-grade game Chinchilla put on a dominating 60-6 win over a depleted Western Ringers outfit, which consisted of eight Battlers players who backed up for a second 80 minutes following their Reserve-grade victory.

A makeshift Under-18s team also had a run. The Battlers don’t field a regular side in the competition but in an arrangement with Chinchilla, the clubs played two games over consecutive weekends in celebration of their respective Ladies Days.

After a hiding from Chinchilla the previous week, Taroom Wandoan brought a big fight ending in a narrow loss of 28-24 to the Bulldogs.

Battlers and Bulldogs Under-18s teams celebrate the end of an enjoyable two-game competition. IMAGE: SOPHIA KELLY

Nearly 200 tickets were sold to the Battlers’ Ladies Day function, which raised just shy of $8,000 for Mater Mothers.

Most of those in attendance were based in the Taroom and Wandoan districts but several locals now living away came home to join the crowd.

“It was a very successful Ladies Day. All the girls seemed to have a great time and really enjoyed it,” Baker said.

“I believe there were 190 tickets sold to the Ladies Day function, which was twice the size of last year. It’s great to give back to all the women involved in the club – wives and girlfriends, sisters, daughters and mums who support us all season.

“They follow us around to all the games every year and we’ve got to have a day for them.”

SLIDESHOW – Images by Sophia Kelly

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