Legend Neville turns back years
THE TAG of 'legend' is thrown around freely in sporting circles but in the case of Macksville playmaker Neville Donovan, the term is a perfect fit.
The great man may be well into his veteran years but was again a key ingredient in the Sea Eagle's narrow 24-20 victory over their traditional rivals from Orara Valley in the match played at Coramba today.
With defeat staring his team in the face and with the clock counting down to injury time, Donovan dropped a high lofted bomb on the head of the Axemen's rookie fullback Hayden Spinks who failed to handle.
Charging onto the spilled kick came replacement Joe McKay and once the try had been awarded by referee Kirk Taylor, another great escape by 'the Mightys' had been achieved ... just like in the good old days.
"It was a narrow squeak but Neville came to the fore again for us," captain-coach Troy Grace said.
"We didn't play well at any stage of the day but managed to get away with it."
Grace knew exactly what the problem was.
"Failure to complete our sets," he said.
"We started with a fine game plan and had a list of all the things we weren't going to do.
"And then we did them."
As expected, the Axemen back on home turf proved a handful despite being understrength.
"Their little half (Nick Lythgo) plays okay and caused some damage,"Grace added.
"The boys had a close shave today but I was pretty glad when I saw what happened from Neville's kick."
Donovan added extra spark to the winning side with his successful goal kicking display.
The battling Axemen are suffering the toll of a long hard season and were forced to back up seven reserve grade players for the main event.
MACKSVILLE SEA EAGLES 24 (L Buchanan J Hawkins L Grace J McKay tries N Donovan 4 goals) bt ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 20 (N Lythgo 2 W Brown S Lacey tries N Lythgo Jarrod Few goals)
Referee: Kirk Taylor
At Coramba Sportsground, Coramba
Reserve grade: Macksville bt Orara Valley 48-18
Under 18s: Macksville bt Orara Valley 62-0