Reaction from the players



"CONGRATULATIONS to Port Macquarie for putting up a good fight. They've been the best team all year, till the last 40 minutes when the Macksville boys came through. We held the ball and stole the game in the second half so that football was the winner on the day. Thanks to the VB Group 2 and everyone for a wonderful day. The boys came down here to put it up to Port and we won three in a row. We'll be back again, we'll try to defend the title, so good luck and best wishes to the other Group 2 teams as you try to stop us making it four straight." ? Macksville captain-coach Paul Davis. "I was thinking . . . we're gone (laughs). When we got that first ball and started getting a roll on, everything started coming back. From there, we're hard to stop. You can't underestimate us. We like to got to other people's grounds, steal the trophy and bring it back home." ? David Pickvance (on his feelings at being 23-0 down at half time). "Took a while (to get back in the side) but getting another win is just fantastic ? Jason Hughes (winger) "Schools out, I won't be turning up. Got some celebrating to do." ? Jono Freeman (on attending school next day at John Paul College) . "I feel like an egg beater. The game went one way, then it went the other. But gee whiz, wasn't it a great experience?" ? Rick Purton (referee) "Maybe, maybe not. I'll see how the back feels. But I felt okay when the final bell went. There's a lot of personal satisfaciton in winning. Port fans have been giving it to me since I played (a grand final) for Nambucca in 2001, and now, back here for one with Macksville means I can give some back. That second half was great. We can't play for 80minutes but what we do play is magic football. It wins matches so that's all that counts." ? Garry Jarrett (on the possibility of playing on). "A dream. A wonderful dream," ? Mick Ronan (centre and goalkicking maestro). "Never in doubt. Never, ever stop believing in them. Even at 23-0, it was never in doubt ? Peter OGrady (VB Group 2 secretary and Eagles legend on his feelings at half time) "Am I proud of them? Hey, this is Macksville, so yes. We weren't worried about the last four years. This is now. All we worry about is being successful today. Live for the future, forget about the past history, we never give up. Brilliant club, brilliant players and most of all, a brilliant mob of people ? Former coach, Maurie Lonergan. "Great effort by the guys. They stuck to their guns and did their job which is to entertain. That win was one if the best. "It's heartbreaking to be behind at half time, trying to lift yourself back up and is takes character to come back," ? Neville Donovan. "Macksville were terrific in the second half. It gives you a real buzz watching a team come back like that. You can never write them off ,"? Trevor Durant (Orara Valley team manager). "Wonderful people from a great club. They deserve all the praise they can get. I'm so happy for them," ? Bert Gray (Gimbisi coach and member of last year's Eagles team). "This is my first premiership in first grade. It took me 14 years to get one so it feels pretty good. "There was a big smile on my face at full time. This was the last dream I had to achieve." - Richard Dixon, who came out of a five-year retirement this year with the hope of winning a first grade premiership. "Even when we were down 23-0 at half time, I was confident. "I was sitting in the corner of the dressing sheds at half time and just looked at all the quality players we had. "I knew we had the talent to come back and win it." ? Dean Buchanan, another first-time premiership winner. "We gave them a big start and were still good enough to beat them. This is unbelievable team, the senior players have really led the way today." ? Chris Martin.i "The first 10 minutes of the second half when we had a bit of ball made all the difference because we had played poorly in the first half. Gonzo and Neville really sparked us in the second half. ? Rod Jarrett. "We showed today what it means to never give up. It is fantastic to be involved in such a great team." ? Dewayne Laverty. "We just keep rising to every challenge, being part of this great football team is something I will remember forever." ? Reg Donovann



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