Sport / 27th July 2023
Old Unicorns never die...
Coonabarabran Unicorns Rugby League Club hosted its “Old Boys” day at Coonabarabran’s number one oval on Saturday, 22 July, where a number of former players strapped on the boots for a game of league tag.
It was a full day of footy at Coonabarabran on Saturday, as the senior league matches followed on from the junior rugby league games played that morning.
Opening proceedings in the senior league was – the seniors; the “Old Boys” pulling on boots and jerseys for a trip down memory lane, minus the tackling, competing in a 30-minute game of tag.
Much fun and laughter was had, by both players and spectators, with glimpses of the talent these old boys once displayed on the footy field for the Unicorns.
“It was an amazing day,” said club secretary, Tony Cole.
“We had many old boys answer the call out for players and the weather was wonderful – we couldn’t have asked for a better day.
“And what a fun game it was. Although we didn’t get as many old players as we first hoped, we got some juniors to round out the numbers, and how great was it that they could play alongside the old Unicorns?
"If we can keep the club going, then one day these kids might return to play as old boys themselves!”
Following the Old Boys was the reserve grade match, led by coach Caine Thompson. The Unicorns took a convincing 32-2 win over the Dunedoo Swans in this game, with Kyle Turner, Tyson Galvin and Sam Pickette awarded the club points. Sam also received the Players’ Player.
“The Coona reserves had a great win, and kept Dunedoo try-less,” Tony said.
“After going down to the Baradine Magpies last week, this impressive win will boost the boys’ confidence going forward.”
In a thrilling first-grade encounter, the Dunedoo Swans swooped to the try line on the full-time hooter, scoring under the posts and potting the conversion to win the game by just two points, the final score being 22-20.
“We always knew wewereupfora challenge against Dunedoo, as they are a quality side and near the top of the ladder. But we thought, with the “old Boys’ game and the support of the crowd, we might get the win,” Tony said.
“But, at the end of the day the game came down to a bounce of the ball, with Dunedoo scoring with seconds to go.
“However, the Coona boys need to holdtheirheadshigh as it was a display of some of the best country football seen for ages!”
The Unicorns’ first- gradeclubpointswere awarded to Anthony Harris, Thomas Varty and Bailey Reedman, with Thomas Varty nominated the Players’ Player.
The reunion of the Old Boys continued at the Coonabarabran Bowling Club following the games, where memories of hard-hitting tackles and scintillating tries were shared, with a collection of past games and Unicorns’ grand-final wins played on the big screen TV.
The weekend reunion concluded on Sunday morning with a barbecue breakfast for Unicorns, past and present, back at the 'Bowlo.