Crookwell Green Devils Claim George Tooke Shield Premiership
The Crookwell Green Devils have avenged last season's Grand Final heartbreak by grabbing a 22-16 win over the North Canberra Bears in the George Tooke Shield Grand Final.
The Green Devils went down 24-20 to the Harden Hawks in the 2017 Grand Final but made up for that winning the club's first shield since 2006.
Crookwell, who boast former Raider Joe Picker amongst their ranks, survived a second half comeback managing to hold on after jumping out to a 22-0 lead early in the second half to become the sixth team in the past seven seasons to win the Shield.
It didn't take long for the Green Devils to put pressure on the Bears with the kick-off to start the match trapping the Bears in their own in-goal area.
The first try would come in the next set of six as a swift backline movement to the left resulted in Steven Cummins finding Caylon Jackson-Wilkie who scored untouched in the corner in the second minute.
Crookwell grabbed their second with a powerful darting run from hooker Ben Picker who carried bodies over the line to give the Green Devils a 10-0 lead.
It began to look easy for the Green Devils with 23 minutes on the clock with a perfect grubber through the line from Ben Picker in which he regathered and linked with Cameron Picker to score under the posts.
The Bears had attempts in the remaining 12 minutes of the first half to get back into it but were unable to hold the ball as they went on the attack.
The second half began as the first concluded as a wayward pass from the Bears was intercepted by Steven Cummins who raced 30 metres to score under the posts.
It took eleven minutes in the second half but the Bears grabbed their first try of the afternoon following a poor pass from Stanley Carmichael being picked up around the bootlaces by Christopher Thornley to score out wide.
The Bears continued the comeback when Jake Priestly threw a nice flat ball allowing Matthew Burnham to crash through the defence on the right edge.
With five minutes on the clock, the Bears grabbed another try through Thorley with Priestly linking with the centre for a short side raid to reduce the deficit to six points.
Crookwell Green Devils 22 (Tries: Jackson-Wilkie, B Picker, C Picker, S Cummins Goals: C Picker 3/4) def North Canberra Bears 16 (Tries: Thorley 2, Burnham Goals: Thorley 2/3)
Watch all the highlights in the video located at the top of the page!