The Mary Valley Stags will be the first senior rugby league side to play at the Imbil showgrounds in more than 50 years. Pictured form left are Ashley Grant, Brad Carlson and Daniel Ferguson.
The Mary Valley Stags will be the first senior rugby league side to play at the Imbil showgrounds in more than 50 years. Pictured form left are Ashley Grant, Brad Carlson and Daniel Ferguson. Craig Warhurst

League hits showground

IT HAS been more than 50 years since senior rugby league has been played at the Imbil Showgrounds.

That will change today, with a top-of-the-table clash in the Sunshine Coast/ Gympie Red Rooster C Grade competition between the Mary Valley Stags and Yandina.

The Stags have turned their form around this year after an average 2010 season.

They are undefeated and sit on top of the table after winning seven games in a row.

Today’s game will test the Stags, but players Ashley Grant, Brad Carlson and Daniel Ferguson say they will give Yandina a run for their

money.

They say the Stags’ form has taken a turn for the better because of new player-coach Chad Parker.

“He is a quality coach,” Carlson said.

“He has a lot more experience teaching us the finer points of the game.”

Another factor in the form turnaround is that the players are fitter

after a year playing league in 2010.

“A lot of the players hadn’t played since school and were a bit rusty and unfit,” Grant said.

“We are a lot fitter this year.”

The Mary Valley Stags are proud to be playing back on the showgrounds after such a long time and officials say the field will be a great place to watch rugby league.

Club spokeswoman Jenny Carlson said grandstands would be installed on the eastern edge of the field so that play would be framed by the camphor laurels on the western edge of the field.

She said the playing surface was not in bad condition considering the Imbil Rally had semi-trailers parked all over the showgrounds less than a month ago.

“The whole community is behind the Stags,” Jenny said.

“It is a real footy atmosphere in Imbil.”

Jenny said it was a historic day for the town and the club.

“The Stags have been a real positive for the community,” Jenny said.

“It is not just a game of football but an injection of vibrancy to our community.”

Another attraction for footy fans venturing to Imbil today is

Imbil’s own Ray Warren, Allan Lutton, will call the game.

The Stags will run on to the showgrounds at 3pm.

Gympie Times


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