A Cherbourg forward takes on the Devils’ defence.
A Cherbourg forward takes on the Devils’ defence. Craig Warhurst

Crowd support for ladies Devils

A FEW early nerves didn’t prevent the newly formed Gympie ladies Devils from giving Cherbourg a fright at the weekend.

Playing as a curtain-raiser to an afternoon of rugby league at Jack Stokes Oval, the women’s side went down valiantly 26-20 to the visitors.

Gympie Devils player Darren Burns refereed the game and was full of praise for the women’s team.

“It was their first proper hit out and they did really well,” he said.

“Everyone performed well and there were a few nerves before the match, but you wouldn’t have known it once the first ball was kicked.”

Cherbourg went into the game as favourites after having a handful of games under their belt.

But the Gympie girls’ inexperience didn’t stop them mixing it with their more hardened rivals.

Cherbourg controlled the first half and hit the sheds at half time leading 18-6.

Down but not out, Gympie came out fired up in the second half and immediately set about reducing the deficit in the score line.

With minutes remaining on the game clock, Cherbourg’s lead was reduced to 18-16 and the game’s result rested on a knife edge.

However, the visitors’ experience came to the fore at this vital stage and one final try sealed Gympie’s fate.

Burns said the Gympie girls were unlucky to have the result not fall their way.

“It could have gone to either team at this stage,” he said.

“But credit to Cherbourg because they dug deep and managed to get that try just inside of full time.”

A large home crowd was on hand to cheer the Gympie girls in their first outing and the support made all the difference.

“The level of support was great to see for the girls,” Burns said. “It really added to the game.”

Having played their first proper game, the Gympie girls will continue to train each Friday night in the hope of being able to hit the field again soon.

Burns said the Gympie club was attempting to secure a curtain-raiser match in the South Burnett.

“We are trying to get them some more games so hopefully they will be able to play again shortly,” he said.

“It will be good to keep the momentum going.”

Gympie Rugby League is considering the possibility, in time, of having a women’s team entered in a Sunshine Coast competition, provided the girls remain interested and numbers hold strong.

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