GUNNEDAH’S Ladies League Tag side has had a good turnaround in players and a good turnaround in form after upsetting North Tamworth for the first time in over two seasons on a special day for the club last weekend.
The town is still in shock after the loss of Alex Costello, who had a fatal heart attack on a special double header day between the Bulldogs league and the Red Devils rugby club.
Costello had plenty to do with both clubs and codes, with himself a serving member of the rugby brigade and his wife, Emma a league tag stalwart with the Bulldogs.
Bulldogs president Ray McCoy, who was driving Costello to the emergency room when the fatal attack took hold, said that the day was a tragedy for everyone in the town and region.
“We have several family members and friends of the Costellos and their families in the side,” McCoy said.
“We wanted to play for all of them today and got a good win.”
McCoy said that under new coach Paul Wicks the girls are starting to come together and play as a team.
“We have got a lot of local girls playing as well as a few new girls to town while a couple have become or are becoming mothers and won’t play this year,” McCoy said.
“All the different girls bring different skills and they are now just starting to put it all together.
“It has taken three years as a core group to gel and learn the game.”
The three tries to one win on Saturday in a trial over the Bears was their first victory over Norths in over two seasons, although the Oxley Diggers remain the side to beat after claiming two premierships from two attempts since the club was formed.
“The Diggers beat us 7-nil in the Knockout final and then flogged North in the final,” McCoy said.
“So that gave us a lot of confidence to go forward.”
McCoy said the Bulldogs girls’ first half against Norths set up the win, with stiff defence and a constantly threatening attack.
Jess Baker was a standout on the weekend and will use her experience and skill as a Group 4 representative to lead the girls this season, while Rachel Fulwood, Gemma Wicks and Lauren McCoy have all also stood up to show the young girls the way forward.
“The first half was exceptional,” McCoy said.
“They all know their roles and are doing on the field what they are doing at training.
“It could be a very exciting year.”
The Bulldogs girls will get to see exactly how all their pre-season work stacks up when they travel to Scully Park for a first-round clash with the premiers and Group Knockout champions, Oxley Diggers.