Town pride to go on the line
THERE is much debate as to who last held the legendary “Town Crown”, but one thing is for certain - both Tweed Coast and Murwillumbah are out to secure it.
Last contested in the early 1980s, Town Crown fixtures were guaranteed fan favourites, with the best and toughest players around locking horns to be the pride of Murwillumbah.
No matter where a club stood on the table, bragging rights were always on the line and the Raiders and Mustangs troops vow to continue the proud tradition laid down by their forefathers at Murwillumbah Brothers, Old Boys and South Murwillumbah.
The only difference? The title they are playing for.
The teams will be vying for what is now known as the “Les Burger Memorial Shield”, in honour of the man who took Souths to the Cabarita Coast and was instrumental in forming and developing the Raiders club before passing away last year.
“We're bringing back and age old rivalry out of respect for what Les and what he did for our club, and for the generations of his family still involved with us,” Tweed Coast president Glen Winters said.
“There's always a healthy rivalry between both clubs and playing a local team you want to prevail as the dominant club; I blokes know what's up for grabs and they want to bring the Shield home and keep it at Cabarita.
“There will be a minute's silence prior to kick off and a member of the Burger family will present the Shield to the winning outfit.”
Murwillumbah president Brian Fletcher welcomes the revived contest and is looking forward to what he believes will be a passionate derby match fixture.
“No one on the committees was too positive about where the 'Town Crown' is at present, so it will be great to bring back a longstanding rivalry with this new Shield match,” Murwillumbah president Brian Fletcher said.
“It will be like any other local derby but better; both sides will have their eyes on the prize and will be ready for a great battle.
“The games always used to draw a large crowd, and I hope local fans get along to support their team in what promises to be a great match.”
On form, Tweed Coast will enter the game as favourites in front of home fans.
While the Raiders look to extend their winning streak out to four, the Mustangs will hope to emulate Wednesday night's confidence boosting victory over Evans Head - only their second for the season.
Victor Akiba was sensational from fullback and Dean Corrigan a true powerhouse up front as Murwillumbah hung on for a vital 26-18 triumph.
“We've had a terrible run of injuries and late withdrawals from matches, but we're finally starting to get some combinations out there,” Murwillumbah captain/coach Brad Purtell said.
“It was a scrappy game on Wednesday, but our defence was spot on and if we can repeat it against the Raiders they'll struggle to break us.
The action kicks off at Les Burger Field at 2.45pm.