Confusion hits Group 2 again

GROUP 2 chairman Greg Mayhew is feeling frustrated by the latest series of unfortunate events to unsettle his organisation.

After believing several years of upheaval in the Kempsey region had finally been settled, Mayhew was astonished to discover all is not well in the Macleay Valley club despite newly-elected president Michael Sultana declaring two weeks previously at the annual conference that the club was in fine shape.

A mix-up in dates for a 'crisis meeting' designed to save the club saw Mayhew arrive 24 hours after the meeting had already been held.

That's not to mention the nonsensical television report describing the so-called woes of the Macleay 'rugby' club, leaving sporting supporters confused and dismayed as to whether it was the Kempsey rugby (Cannonballs) or rugby league (Mustangs) club that was in trouble.

“There are so many rumours going around and so much misinformation that I sometimes don't know which way to look,” Mayhew admitted.

“But as late as this morning Michael Sultana assured me the Mustangs . . . that's the rugby league, not the rugby club . . . are working through their difficulties and will certainly be a part of the Group competition in 2009.”

Further clouding the issue are reports in the local Kempsey media that appear to have president Sultana and secretary Charlie Bowen at cross purposes.

Bowen has suggested at least two matches each season be played at Smithtown Oval, giving rise to rumours a faction in the Lower Macleay is trying to take over the club or re-start the Smithtown Tigers senior club which pulled out of the Group competition midway through the 1993 season.

“Yes, those rumours are doing the rounds but after talking to several parties, they assure me rumours are what they are,” Mayhew said.

“Still, I believe former football identities connected to a local hotel would like to see a Smithtown club operating as it's good for their business.

“What effect it would have on the business of Macleay, Dunghutti and the rest of the VB Gold Group 2 clubs may be another matter.”

Mayhew said he'd spoken to the Hastings League to ask if some mysterious new club had applied for admission.

“No, they aren't taking any more clubs at this stage,” he said. “But Smithtown is not part of our competition and the Mustangs are and just like when Woolgoolga and Bellingen had problems over the past 10 years, our concern is just with them.

“I've told Michael Sultana my executive and the management committee will always be available to offer assistance and give them a shoulder to lean on.

“But it's still terribly frustrating to have these things happen, just when you thought all the old problems had been solved.”

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