Devils under-14s bring home glory with premiership win
RUGBY LEAGUE: Working from the mindset "if you don't get what you wish for you get what you work for,” the Devils under-14s put in the hard yards to bring home a premiership trophy last weekend, dominating Valleys 28-4.
After a rough finish last year, the Devils went into the big game fighting for a chance at redemption.
Coach Jim Sankey said the game was on a knife's edge with the Dalby boys up 14-nil at half time, but Valleys scored quickly in the second half.
Sam Llewellyn's try from dummy-half was a turning point for the team, putting them up 18-4 and the Valleys threw in the towel, giving the Devils a surge of confidence to run in a few more tries to take the game.
Joey Gillett was named man of the match for his efforts on the field, putting "the cream on the pie” for the Devils in the season half.
Sankey said local support at the game gave the boys the confidence they needed to push it over the line
"The local support was fantastic, to hear the roar of the crowd when the boys ran out certainly lifted them,” he said.
The win was very pleasing and helped the boys to overcome mental barriers they had from last year and boost their confidence.
"The only thing being worse than losing a grand final is watching one, we certainly didn't enjoy watching one last year ... so we set about trying to work really hard to give ourselves the opportunity to play in another grand final.”
That hard work paid off for the Devils who had focused on their defence in the weeks leading up to the big game, after defensive efforts let them down in the major semi-final and put them out of the running last year.
"We knew we could score points but we just had to defend them and to restrict a good side like Valleys to only four points was really pleasing,” Sankey said.
"The boys played the perfect game of football on the day so it was very pleasing to see the boys get the rewards for their hard work.”
Sankey said the premiership was the perfect way to end the season with the boys getting their mojo back and jelling as a team as a result.
"It was a great team effort, I think that's our greatest strength as a team that everyone is valued equally in the team regardless of their skill level,” Sankey said.
"We had a few players who had played all year who missed out in the final but they were certainly still part of the achievement.”