Bradshaw makes right choice
By GREG WHITE
FOOTBALL coaches are in the business of making tough choices and they don't come harder than what Gerald Bradshaw faced on the weekend.
Stay in Kempsey to lead Gimbisi Valley against Macksville or remain in Coffs Harbour with his Group 2 under 15 rep squad.
Bradshaw chose the trip north, missing another hammering for the Warriors but still wound up with the win grin.
"Considering what happened last night I guess I pulled the right reign," Bradshaw smiled after watching his young charges defeat Group 1 28-20 in the Trophy final at Coffs International Stadium.
"They got stronger towards the end and finished all over the other team but there were a few worries."
He meant the period in the second half when Group 2 had 'discipline problems' and gave away a string of piggy back penalties.
"We started with 20 players but lost three by the time the final arrived," he said.
"I liked the way they got back on track, hung in and worked for each other.
"It was a bloody tough schedule of matches for the youngsters."
While Bradshaw was ready to celebrate there was less joy for under 16's coach Matt Abel after watching his squad go down 22-12 to Group 1 in the Cup and Trophy decider.
"They couldn't come back after that third game in the rain on Saturday night," the coach said.
"For a while I thought they could do it but they were flat when it counted.
"Still, it was a top effort to get this far as most of the other teams had strong quality."
A total of 33 matches were played in the Country Rugby League's northern regional carnival primarily organised by Beautizone official Karen Gardner.
"What a turnaround in the weather," junior president Steve Speare remarked as the event wound down.
"It poured on the first day and parts of the ground were like a swamp but we couldn't have asked for better on finals day.
"The Stadium staff did a wonderful job to get the track ready."