The fab four
THE condition of Orara Valley's four old warhorses will be a hot topic of debate till the decider so let's get the ball rolling.
Calling them old isn't to denigrate them.
Rather, anybody who saw Hart, Davis, Donovan and Munday do their stuff at the weekend would feel comfortable age hasn't mellowed them.
Just made them a whole lot smarter handling their unique talents and reputations.
Time can be unkind to champions.
Some stay too long at the party but anybody watching the Big Four against Woolgoolga would think they have years of giving pleasure to the fans and lessons to team mates and opponents alike, still to come.
Matt Donovan remains Mr. Magic.
Has there ever been a prettier ball runner seeming to glide inches above the turf?
Uncle Brett appears to be over the injury blues and must have players half his age green with envy he can still run rings around them.
Brad the boss carries (I suspect) more war wounds than he's prepared to admit but it's undeniable he's still got it and after being named player of the decade for the 1990's is still looking over his shoulder for fresh challengers that aren't coming, five years into a new century.
And what of old Johnny, all his career in danger of being kicked out of the front rowers union for being too gentlemanly?
He was in reserves and the sweatband was missing but already the faithful are demanding his restoration to the A list no matter how much he'd prefer to stay out of the limelight and while away his remaining years in serene contentment.
All four still have the spark of youth just below the surface from the days they could carry the day single-handed.
The tricks are still on call but with an abundance of emerging talent in the ranks its no longer mandatory they save the world every Sunday afternoon.
Temptation to dominate will never go away, particularly when the most unlikely of opponents unexpectedly tightens the thumbscrews.
But if each is content to play the team role ? a link man who doesn't take it easy ? and turn on the charm when the glorious opportunity is too good to miss then their respective careers could go on indefinitely.
At least while passion to enjoy football remains.
And, boy did they look to be having fun last Sunday?