It was a different-looking Bears outfit that took to Tony Luchetti showground on Saturday, July 15 for their retro and sponsorship day.
Thirty-five years ago the Lithgow Bears first stepped out onto the footy field wearing the colours of a local family business, Tobins Transport, black with the red ‘V’.
The Bears played host to the Wallerawang Warriors. The grounds in front of the grandstand were full of the red and black supporters, cheering on the Bears like it was years ago when many Lithgow community members enjoyed a Saturday afternoon down at the footy.
Unfortunately, in their nostalgia match, the Bears went down 64-8 in rugby league and 88-0 in league tag.
The league started out strong with Wang scoring the first two tries.
The Bears retaliated with Bears fullback Blake Collins finding a gap in Wang’s defence and scoring over the line.
Not long after, the ball was passed out wide and Blake was in again, scoring in the corner. Both conversions were unsuccessful.
After taking a big hit, Blake went off the field with a bleeding nose and at half time the score was 10-8.
Wang came out in the second half firing and proved why they are the at the top of the leader board.
Players’ player this week went to Blake Collins for his great chases and tackles. Points went to Zach Jones (3), Kaleb Ritchey (2) and Ryan Bilby (1).
Blake Collins received two points from the referee.
The girls league tag was a different story as there were minimal players on the bench which left players in all sorts of positions.
Wang was quick off the mark and scored numerous tries within minutes. Injuries continued to hit the Bears girls and a Bears player was sent off for the full game for arguing a disputed decision.
A player down, the Bears had to try extra hard but as Wang has the strongest players and best kickers in the whole New Era Cup competition, it was almost impossible to stop Wang from running up the field to score.
Players’ player this week went to Latia Hardie. Points to Clare Larkin (3), Ashleigh Thompson (2) and Hollie Kemp (1).
The Lithgow Bears would like to thank all sponsors who have come on board this season and for the past 35 years as well as past players and supporters of the Bears.
The Bears reunion will be held on Saturday, November 11 at the Lithgow Workies. All past players and supporters are welcome to attend. Tickets are $30 each, including finger food, and can be purchased from the Bears Committee.
This Saturday, July 22 will be the Bears' last home game, hosting the Portland Colts. League Tag starts at 1.30pm, league at 2.30pm at Tony Luchettii showground, Lithgow.