Club juniors shine in Ballina's NRRRL premiership win
THE future of Ballina is in safe hands after its latest premiership win in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
The Seagulls won their third straight grand final in a 34-6 effort against Murwillumbah at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, on Sunday.
It looked like this year was going to be a rebuilding year before Ballina took out the premiership off the back of nine straight wins in the second half of the season.
The team won back-to-back premierships for the first time last year and have created more club history with the three-peat.
Marist Brothers are the last team to achieve similar success when they won five in a row between 1997-2001.
Three straight is an impressive achievement for Ballina considering the high turnover of players from previous seasons.
The Seagulls lost no less than 10 players from its 2014 team including coach Greg Barnes.
Zac Beecher, Michael Dwane, Nick Meaney, Jay Meaney and Tommy Watkins all played starring roles this season.
Tyler Iverson took over this year from his assistant role and also brought in Troy Johnstone.
"It's an unreal feeling and this is a great thing to be able to experience," Iverson said.
"I've been part of all three but this one is obviously very special.
"There is probably an average age of 20 in this team and a few of them played first grade for the first time this season.
"All bar two players are local juniors and it's just great to see."
Second-rower Dan Gibson was named player of the match while centre Jayden Coldwell Jackey finished the game with a hat-trick.
Brothers Dylan and Kane Montgomery also played well in the forwards.
At a glance
Ballina 34 (J Jackey 3, J Perry, T Foster, T Watkins tries; N Roberts 5 goals) d Murwillumbah 6 (G Cook try; T McIntosh goal)