Warriors out of Group fold
By GREG WHITE
THE long-running Gimbisi Valley saga has come to an end after the Warriors were refused admission to the 2007 Group 2 competition at yesterday's annual general meeting.
Their four tumultuous seasons included three name changes, two expulsions from the competition (both overturned by Country Rugby League), numerous player suspensions, the current under-18 premiership and an endless supply of copy for the media.
Even their final participation in a Group 2 activity was enigmatic.
When Gimbisi officials were originally called to the floor to present their case for inclusion, former Macksville official Fred Quinlan stood to address the meeting.
Mr Quinlan had appeared in a television interview three weeks ago as spokesperson for proposed club Dunghutti Titans who were seeking admission to the main competition and claimed no connection to any other club.
But in the days leading up to Sunday's crucial vote, the Titans withdrew their application and threw their weight behind the Warriors. When the resolution of the secret ballot was announced determining Gimbisi would not be invited to participate, Quinlan thanked the delegates for their attention.
"Gimbisi no longer exists and we'll know throw all our resources into building the Dunghutti club into a great force for kids who want to play football," he said.
"We intend to prepare a case for admission by Dhungutti next season and will spend the next year making sure everything is done properly.
"There are no hard feelings."
Group chairman Greg Mayhew then left the door open wide for 2008.
"You may go away disappointed today but we don't want you to let your ideas slip," he said.
"Keep working on building up the juniors and stay in contact.
"We'd be open to another application next year."
The Gimbisi officials left the room but within minutes called secretary Peter O'Grady out for a discussion.
When O'Grady returned, he advised the (now former) Gimbisi officials were representing the Titans and were seeking to have their original application revived and presented for a vote.
After some debate, the request was overturned.
"Voting on a submission that was withdrawn and then re-instated, may not be the correct procedure," Mayhew said.
Gimbisi have the right of appeal to Country Rugby League but gave no indication they'd pursue this course of action.
So, the coming season will proceed with nine clubs ? or, will it?
Any appeal must be lodged in the next 72 hours.