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Newtown Jets 2019
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Image: Mario Facchini, mafphotography
Image: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Flashback Friday – Newtown v Wests 1981

Each week, thanks to Schofield King Lawyers, we bring you a story from our rich history.

It was the controversial try that ultimately cost the Jets a well-earned victory at Henson Park.

It was April 4th 1981, and Newtown was hosting fellow foundation club Western Suburbs. The Jets had dominated the opening stanza but only held a narrow 10-7 lead at halftime. Then came Wests’ lucky break.

Five minutes after the break, Magpies five-eighth Terry Lamb regathered a bomb to give his side 12-10 lead, however, Jets fullback Phil Sigsworth claimed Alan Neil had taken him out before he had the opportunity to contest the kick.

“There was no way it should have been allowed,” Sigsworth fumed following the 12-all draw.

Wests opened the scoring after 14 minutes when Neil put Bob Cooper in for a converted try, but the Jets got within one point following back-to-back penalty goals to Sigsworth.

 A brilliant try to Shane McKellar enabled Newtown to take the lead in the 28th minute. After winning a scrum deep in their own territory, Tommy Raudonokis created space for centres Mick Ryan and Ray Blacklock who combined to put McKellar away.

A penalty goal to former Jet John Ribot made it 9-7 in the 38th minute, but a field goal to Sigsworth gave the Jets a three-point advantage at the break. Lamb’s contentious touchdown put the Magpies back in front but a sixtieth-minute goal to Sigsworth tied up the game.

Jets lock Graeme O’Grady came close to breaking the deadlock late in the game when he crossed Wests’ try line, but referee Barry Goldsworthy judged that he had not successfully grounded the ball.

The Henson Park faithful was no doubt frustrated that their side had to share the points, but they would have been inspired by the form of their flying fullback, who had provided nine of his team’s 12 points and was an easy choice for man of the match.

Newtown 12 (S.McKellar try; P.Sigsworth 4 goals, field goal) drew with Western Suburbs 12 (B.Cooper, T.Lamb tries; J.Ribot 3 goals)

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