Weaponised 'Green Army' makes huge impact
TWEED Coast Raiders players and coaches have lauded the gigantic contingent of fans that travelled down to Ballina yesterday to see their team win an historic NRRRL premiership.
The legion of fans, all clad in green, are better known as the 'Hill Billies'.
The Hill Billies' presence was no hick operation. It was a co-ordinated, brazen and utterly successful attempt to create a favourable atmosphere for the away team.
The green army's exact head-count would be hard to approximate as it seemed to swell across the game, as if to mimic the Raiders' growing lead - but between 500-700 is a rough ball-park.
Even Ballina fans had to hand it to the chutzpah of the travelling faithful, as the chorus of the away crowd roared louder than that of the home crowd all day.
And as the match wore on, and victory drew nearer, the roars only got louder.
Like a gang entering hostile territory and staking their turf, the green menace created a sense of dread for Ballina, compounding every time the Seagulls blundered in the second half.
The Hill Billies erupted in celebration at the final siren, swarming the pitch and soaking it up with the players who had etched themselves into club folklore.
The gravity of this green army will forever be a part of that folklore, and the celebrations aren't set to finish any time soon.