ADAM Hall has achieved most things in a glittering rugby league career, but winning a Woodbridge Cup premiership would be the playmaker’s career highlight.
The 31-year-old took over the reins at his home town club this season after playing in Groups 9, 10 and 11 for the past decade.
Now the Boomers will meet Cargo in Sunday’s Woodbridge Cup grand final at Condobolin.
Hall last played for Trundle in the under 14s at the turn of the century.
Despite a career that has also seen him win a Tier 2 Country Championships title with Group 11 in 2011 and also represent NSW Country Seconds, Sunday will be Hall’s first senior rugby league grand final.
“It would be the highlight of my life,” Hall said.
“To be back in your home town and to have the chance of winning a premiership with a great bunch of blokes that is so tight-knit, it would mean everything.
“Words can’t really describe what it would mean to win it. Win, lose or draw the community will be proud of us.”
Hall believes most of Trundle’s 600-strong population will be at Condobolin on Sunday. With some players commuting from Tullamore (population 300) as well, the Boomers will have plenty of support.
“It’s incredible,” he said.
“The town is right behind us and the Tullamore community too, not a bad word is said about the footy club.”
Trundle finished the regular season as minor premiers, winning 13 of 16 matches and scoring 587 points while conceding 308.
Cargo finished in third place, winning 11 of 16 matches and scoring a competition-best 672 points while conceding 390.
Cargo defeated Trundle 32-30 in round one before the Boomers hit back to beat the Blue Heelers 44-32 in round 10.
Trundle had a big 38-12 win in the major semi-final a fortnight ago.
Hall said attitude is the key to winning this grand final and added playing at a neutral venue is no concern.
“Condo (62km) is as close as you’re going to get to Trundle anyway,” Hall said.
“For us it’s just about being accountable for what we do. It’s a cliché, but ball retention and keeping the simple.
Trundle will be looking to reverse its recent grand final history, losing 2015 and 2016 deciders under Jesse Durning by two points.
The Boomers were pipped 30-28 to Binalong at Young in 2015 before entering last year’s decider as favourites before going down 18-16 to Condobolin at Canowindra.
“It’s been used as motivation … but now we have reached the finals we haven’t mentioned it,” Hall said.
Hall said having players with grand final experience has been great considering he doesn’t have any.
“They are all probably helping me … they have been there and know what it is about,” Hall said.
“As a club we have plenty of exposure to this situation.
While Hall, a playmaker, has lined-up at in numerous top-grade semi-finals at Forbes Magpies, Orange Hawks and Wagga Wagga Kangaroos, he said he hasn’t noticed much a change competing in the second division Woodbridge Cup.
Most premiership-winning second division outfits contain half-a-dozen class players. Hall said Trundle and Cargo are no different.
“It’s only a small difference (between first and second division),” he said.
“In first division there is quality players right across the board and less weaknesses to target … that’s the only difference. We are on an even keel there … each team has match-winners.”
Hayden Robinson and Blake Ridges (second row) and 2016 Boomers captain-coach Jesse Durning (lock) are “one of the best back-rows” running around, Hall said.
“They’re all quality,” Hall said. “It’s strength of ours.”
Another former captain-coach Brendan Sense is also still playing at Trundle.
The abundance of leaders at the Boomers is something Hall is thankful for.
“I think it says a lot about the club,” Hall said.
“Blokes could have moved on for cash or the opportunity to play first division, but they have stuck around. They enjoy playing with each other so much.”
For Cargo, Hall said it is hard to go past bush legends and brothers-in-law Steve Lane and William ‘Bubba’ Kennedy as big dangers.
The Boomers have a rich history.
The football club was formed in 1925 and in 1927 it even boasted its own league (Trundle Football League) with teams from Bogan Gate, Condobolin, Fifield and Trundle competing before Yarrabandai and Tullamore came in later to make a six-team competition.
Woodbridge Cup itself has an interesting past, disbanding from the CRL and Group 9 Second Division in 1989 to form its own amateur competition in 1990.
They went straight back to the CRL in 1991 and ever since the Woodridge Cup has remained an inclusive competition and sought new clubs after many original sides folded, the geographic base shifting north markedly in the last 27 years to become a Western Division competition.
WOODBRIDGE CUP Sunday September 10, 2017 at Condobolin
Gates open 9:00am
10:45am: Youth League Grand Final - Trundle V Manildra
12:15pm: League Tag Grand Final - Grenfell V Eugowra
1:50pm Condobolin Pre Grand Final extravaganza
2:30pm: 1st Grade Grand Final - Trundle V Cargo
The story Hall’s career highlight a chance as Boomers take on Cargo first appeared on Central Western Daily.