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Address: 1A McLachlan Street Maclean, New South Wales, 2463
Phone: (02) 6645 3711
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Last Updated: 22/06/2017 at 10pm

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History ...

A History of the Bobcats

In the Beginning


The history of the Maclean Bobcats Senior Soccer Club can be described in many ways. Colourful, clouded, fruitful and funny are all words that come to mind in varying degrees. The Bobcats were and still are considered the most social club in the region and a Bobcats history could be filled with stories of great conquests on the field and at the bar, but many of those stories are for another time and place. This version of the Bobcats history has been compiled by current players & may not be the most complete and is sure to spark some debate. Feel free to provide feedback via the contact us option if you have anything to add.

The Bobcats were founded in 1981 by Alex Johnston a local Maclean businessman who worked with industrial machinery - namely Bobcats - hence the moniker. Whilst it has never been made 100% clear to me, legend has it that Alex came to the rescue of the Maclean Senior Soccer Club, which was on the verge of folding and provided the backing required - financial and administrative - and the Maclean Bobcats were born. For many years Alex and his wife Margaret formed the backbone of both junior and senior soccer in Maclean and over time became known as Mr & Mrs Bobcat.

In the early years the Bobcats played in different competitions run by the Clarence Association and the later moving to the Lismore Association. From 1981 to 1985 they played in 5 consecutive Grand Finals in the Clarence competition before moving to the stronger Lismore Association. In these formative years the Bobcats were well served by players such as - Garry Northcote, Richard Newbold, Neil Ridgeway, Col Burgess and Michael Spencer to name but a few.

The Bobcats won their first major trophy in Lismore when they won First Division Premiership in 1989. In that year they had Richard Newbold as captain coach and the team featured players like Robbie Clare, Col Stephens and John Solonyca. For the years following the Bobcats were becoming stronger and were starting to become a big fish in the First Division pond before their promotion to the Premier League in 1994.

Promotion
The Bobcats were promoted to the Far North Coast Premier League for the season 1994. They finished 2nd in the First Division to fierce rivals Bangalow in 1993 under the guidance of coach Richard Newbold, but when Bangalow declined the chance to step up, the Bobcats made the strong decision to go into the top flight and have been there ever since. Bangalow must look back and rue the missed opportunity as they have been up and down between Premier League and First Division ever since whilst the Bobcats have gone from strength to strength.


PREMIER LEAGUE TIMELINE

1994 - THE PREMIER LEAGUE ROOKIES
23 year old Tony Teni took over as captain-coach in the Bobcats inaugural year in the Premier League. In a really tough year finding their feet the Bobcats finished an admirable 9th out of 12 teams and took the important step of keeping their Premier League status intact.

Association Awards
Far North Coast Rep Selections - Grant Neilson

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Geoff Simmons


1995 - BOBCATS WARMING TO THE TASK
In '95 another young player coach took over the reigns in Grant Neilson. After hanging on the first year the Bobcats started to make their mark in the Premier League. With 4 games remaining the Bobcats needed just 1 point to qualify for the semi finals. In a heart breaking finish the Bobcats lost 4 games in a row to just miss out on the semi finals - finishing 6th.

Association Awards
Far North Coast Rep Selections - Grant Neilson

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Tony Roder
Players Player - Grant Neilson
Most Improved - Aaron Bylos


1996 - THE FIRST HANGOVER YEAR
Terry Wratten the Reserves coach from 1995 took over as first grade coach with Grant Neilson moving out of the area with work. The Bobcats had a hangover from 1995 and struggled through the season to finish second last but importantly did enough to maintain their Premier League status.

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest -
Players Player - Craig Anderson
Most Improved - Pat Saul


1997 - HEATBREAK, BUT HERE WE COME
One of the Bobcats most loyal servants in Col Stephens took over as coach in 1997 and similar to 1995 went within a whisker of making the semi finals. The Bobcats again finished 6th just 1 point out of the semi finals. Regardless of the final heart breaking result this was the beginning of something big with Stephens instilling a real self belief within the Bobcats club.

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Geoff Simmons
Players Player - Craig Anderson
Leading Scorer - Geoff Simmons (16 Goals)
Most Improved - Joel Bylos


1998 - HANGOVER YEAR TAKE 2
After returning mid season 1997 Grant Neilson took back over as coach for a second term in 1998. Again the Bobcats seemed hungover from the disappointment of the previous year and finished a disappointing 8th, never really threatening the semi final race.

Association Awards
Far North Coast Rep Selections - Grant Neilson
ZZZ Team of the Year Members - Grant Neilson and Craig Anderson.

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Kevin Crofton
Players Player - Graham Beamer
Most Improved - Beau Paine


1999 - CHAMPIONS - THE YEAR THE BOBCATS CAME OF AGE
In a year that was disrupted by terrible weather the Bobcats showed consistency throughout (losing only 3 games) to win the Pointscore Championship for the first time and in doing so became the first team in history from outside of Lismore to ever win the Championship - the first non Lismore team in 50 Years.

Soccer Far North Coast decided they were not going to run semi finals and make it first past the post only because of all the washed out weekends. Neilson, the Bobcats captain-coach lead a band of criticism that had a reduced semi finals format reintroduced. However the Bobcats were bundled out 1-0 by 4th placed Rovers in front of a huge mid week crowd under lights, at of all places Yamba. Rovers went on and won the Grand Final that weekend.

Association Awards
Coach of the Year - Grant Neilson
Far North Coast Rep Selections - Grant Neilson
ZZZ Team of the Year Members - Grant Neilson, Kevin Crofton and Aaron Bylos

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Aaron Bylos
Players Player - Craig Anderson
Leading Scorer - Kevin Crofton (12 goals)
Most Improved - James Dillon


2000 - SEMI FINALIST BUT NO TROPHIES
Neilson was coach for the third year in row and was hoping to reproduce the form from the previous season and started well by making the Anzac Cup semi finals for the first time. The Bobcats didn't reach the heights of 1999 but still qualified for the semi finals in 5th place. They smashed Workers in the first semi rattling up 4 unanswered first half goals before being bundled out of the premiership race in the Final by Uni. Italo Stars won the premiership double.

Association Awards
Player of the Year - Daniel Fung
Golden Boot - Daniel Fung (16 goals)
Far North Coast Rep Selections - Daniel Fung, Kevin Crofton and Craig Anderson
Far North Coast Rep Selection U19's - James Dillon
ZZZ Team of the Year Members - Daniel Fung

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Shane Maycock
Players Player - Daniel Fung
Leading Scorer - Daniel Fung (16 goals)
Most Improved - Izaac McClymont


2001 - THE YEAR OF THE DOUBLE - CHAMPIONS & PREMIERS
In 2001 Dave Hirst started the season as the new coach but resigned after 2 competition matches. Newcomer to the club Jamie Harris took over and from there the Bobcats drew twice and lost once for the rest of the season, eventually winning the Championship by a massive 8 points. Also the Bobcats Reserves finished the minor premiership in 2nd place making the semi's for the first time in history but were unfortunately shuffled out the back door losing their both semi finals matches. First Grade one their Major semi to progress straight to the Grand Final where they met Byron Bay. In a thriller the Bobcats won 3-2 with goals to Grant Neilson, Aaron Bylos and Kev Crofton to seal the Bobcats first ever Premier League Major Premiership. Crofton's winner coming one minute from full time.

Association Awards
Golden Boot - Daniel Fung (24 goals)
Services to the Game - Grant Neilson
FNC Rep Selection - Daniel Fung, Kevin Crofton, Izaac McClymont and Grant Neilson
FNC Rep Selection U19's - Izaac McClymont
Clarence Rep Selection U15's - Jimmy Harris and Fraser Robinson
Northern NSW U15's Rep Selection - Fraser Robinson.
ZZZ Team of the Year Members - Daniel Fung, Kev Crofton and Craig Anderson.

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Shane Maycock
Players Player - Daniel Fung
Leading Scorer - Daniel Fung (24 goals)
Most Improved - Izaac McClymont


2002 - TIME TO REBUILD
After the history making year of 2001 the Bobcats lost 5 of there Grand Final heroes for 2002. Daniel Fung, Aaron Bylos, Jason Rainbow and Graham Courte all moved from the area and Graham Beamer retired which lead to a rebuilding process. Players like young up and coming stars Neil Thomas, Jimmy Harris and Fraser Robinson were introduced to First Grade along with others. The Bobcats always hovered in and around the top 5 but when a controversial decision by the association to dock points from the Bobcats score due to an out dated substitution rule (that was subsequently changed) their charge faltered and they finished mid table. In the Reserves the Bobcats made the top 5 but were beaten in a penalty shoot out the first week into the semi's at Stars.

Association Awards
Far North Coast Rep Selection - Kevin Crofton, Izaac McClymont and Craig Anderson
Far North Coast Rep U19's - Jimmy Harris, Fraser Robinson and Neil Thomas
Northern NSW U15's Rep Selection - Neil Thomas (captain)

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Craig Anderson
Players Player - Kevin Crofton
Leading Scorer - Kevin Crofton (11 goals)
Coaches Award - Izaac McClymont

Club Person of the Year -
Junior Club Person of the Year -


2003 - AGONISINGLY SHORT
Jamie Harris continued as coach but had a disrupted year as his business commitments proved a distraction. However the season started well with the Bobcats making the Anzac Cup Final for the first time only for Byron bay to gain revenge for the 2001 Grand Final loss as they comprehensively beat an injury ravaged Bobcats in the Final. Injuries proved a major hurdle from that point onwards as the Bobcats battled away trying to make the semi finals. The last two weekends of the season saw the Bobcats play two double headers to catch up washed out games. They went into the final weekend needing to beat Workers on Saturday and Byron Bay on Sunday to squeak into the semis. A 3-1 win against Workers kept them alive and on Sunday they were hobbling but up 2-1 with 3 minutes to go before Byron equalised with a spectacular bicycle kick to knock them out.

Association Awards
Jimmy Harris - Player of the Year
ZZZ Team of the Year - Jimmy Harris and Kevin Crofton

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Gary Carmichael
Players Player - Eris Dufficy
Leading Scorer - Grant Neilson (9 goals)
Coaches Award - Grant Neilson

Club Person of the Year -
Junior Club Person of the Year -


2004 - SEMI FINAL FOOTBALL RETURNS TO MACLEAN
2004 saw a former Bobcat First Grader Wayne Sutton take over as coach. The local high school teacher brought vast amounts of playing and coaching experience along with his young son Kyle who was a player on the way up. The ongoing conjecture about whether the Bobcats should be playing in the Far North Coast Association or the weaker Clarence Valley Association hung over the season. Bobcat veteran Grant Neilson created a mid week FA Cup style competition for the Clarence Association and the Bobcats entered it as a form of compromise. The Bobcats swept all before them to win the competition in a canter to re-inforce the gulf between the Bobcats and the other local clubs. Neilson stepped away from the Cup competition the following year and it subsequently folded, so the Bobcats were the one and only winners of the Clarence Valley FA Cup. Back on the FNC competition the Bobcats finished 4th and smashed reigning premiers Italo Stars 10-0 in the last game of the season. Missing captain Kev Crofton after a training mishap the Bobcats hosted Byron Bay in the first week of the semi's and the Rams continued their hoodoo over the Bobcats winning 3-0 to knock the Bobcats out for the second year in a row.

Association Awards
ZZZ team - Kev Crofton

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Eris Dufficy
Players Player - Kev Crofton
Leading Scorer - Grant Neilson (19 goals)
Coaches Award - Kyle Sutton

Club Person of the Year -
Junior Club Person of the Year -


2005 - MID TABLE OBSURITY
Sutton continued as coach but had a difficult season where he lost 5 players from his first grade side from the year before (Eris Dufficy, Beau Paine, Denver McClymont, Jim Harris and Luke Wingfield). Ultimately it was draws that proved costly as the Bobcats had 6 of them and they finished 7th without ever threatening the semi final race. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the year was the fact that 3 Bobcats (Kev Crofton, Aaron Bylos and Kyle Sutton) all got selected to play in the FNC Rep side to play against Brisbane Roar from the fledgling A-League competition.

Association Awards
Far North Coast Rep Selection - Kev Crofton, Aaron Bylos and Kyle Sutton
Far North Coast Rep Team Assistant Coach - Wayne Sutton
ZZZ Team of the Year - Kev Crofton

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Gary Carmichael
Players Player - Aaron Bylos
Leading Scorer - Grant Neilson
Coaches Award - Cody Wratten

Club Person of the Year -
Junior Club Person of the Year -


2006 - THE ENTERTAINERS
Steve O'Sullivan took over as coach and with the return of some fine attacking players - frontline of Fraser Robinson, Izaac McClymont and Trav Armstrong with a midfield of Kev Crofton, Aaron Bylos, Eris Dufficy and Jeremy Walters just behind them, the Bobcats were a goalscoring machine that finished the season with over 50 goals and second on the ladder. O'Sullivan, the former top grade rugby league front rower, had educated himself on the round ball game for years and was one of the most qualified coaches on the North Coast. His technical know how moulded the team into a fine attacking force and by the end of his debut season as a senior coach he was named Coach of the Year at the FNC Association Awards, following in the footsteps of former Bobcats coaches Grant Neilson and Jamie Harris. Unfortunately an injury ravaged Bobcats fell one game short of the Grand Final going down to Rovers in the elimination final.

Association Awards
Far North Coast Rep Selection Under 20's - Brodon Hirst
North Coast Football Rep Selection U15's - Braden Burgess and Jarred Doyle.
Northern NSW U15's Rep Selection - Braden Burgess
Northern Territory Rep Selection - Jarred Doyle
Coach of the Year - Steve O'Sullivan
ZZZ Team of the Year - Eris Dufficy

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Izaac McClymont
Players Player - Aaron Bylos
Leading Scorer - Izaac McClymont
Coaches Award - Graeme Courte

Club Person of the Year -
Junior Club Person of the Year -


2007 - DEJA VU
The Bobcats started the 2007 season one of the favourites and mid way through the year they were leading the comp and living up to the hype. Once again the spectre of where they would be playing the following year raised it head mid way through the season with the Coffs Harbour/Grafton based NCF confirming that they would have to play in their league in the following season in 2008. This proved a distraction for the Bobcats and they faltered in the second half of the year and finished in second place. If that wasn't deja vu enough the Bobcats were once again bundled out in the elimination final by Rovers with captain Kev Crofton injured. It was 2006 all over again. Coach O'Sullivan had the Bobcats playing great football and really deserved more.

Association Awards
Far North Coast Rep Selection Under 20's - Braden Burgess and Brodon Hirst

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Braden Burgess
Players Player - Aaron Bylos
Leading Scorer - Travis Armstrong
Coaches Award - Graeme Courte

Club Person of the Year - Kylie Johnson
Junior Club Person of the Year - Kylie Johnson


2008 - North Coast Football - HERE WE ARE!
After much consternation the Bobcats were forced to leave the Lismore based FNC competition and made their debut in the Coffs Harbour NCF competition with O'Sullivan still at the helm. In the opening game Boambee, one of the strongest teams in the league, came to Maclean and the Bobcats promptly announced themselves with 4 first half goals and eventually won 4-2. Still a free scoring outfit the Bobcats went on a goal scoring spree that year but could not overcome eventual premiers Coffs United and they finished second. For the third year in a row they were knocked out one game short of the Grand Final when Boambee came to Maclean and sneaked past the Bobcats 1-0 to contest the Grand Final against Coffs Utd.

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Gary Carmichael
Players Player - Dane Ellis
Leading Scorer - Fraser Robinson
Coaches Award - Lance Knibbs

Club Person of the Year - Paul Curtis
Junior Club Person of the Year - Geoff Simmons

Life Membership - Allan Johnson


2009 - HISTORY IN THE MAKING- NCF PREMIERS
2009 was a memorable year for the Bobcats. O'Sullivan was coach again and finally got the reward he so much deserved and craved. Also president Mick Corbett was able to reform a women's team that also went on to have a magical first season back on deck. Corbett had worked hard for a number of seasons and finally got a women's team together combining many ex players from a decade ago when the club last had a team with a new generation of players. They entered the Second Division and made it all the way to the Grand Final but finished runner up to winners Urunga. It was quite some comeback from the Bobcats women. Meanwhile O'Sullivan stayed true to his passing and attacking brand of football and late in the season made a slight formation change that proved difficult for the Bobcats opponents to contain. The Bobcats finally broke through and went on to win the Grand Final 2-1 against Coffs United. It was a memorable and history making achievement as the Bobcats became the first ever team to win both the FNC and NCF competitions.

Association Awards
NCF Representatives - Fraser Robinson and Travis Armstrong

Bobcats Awards
Men
Best & Fairest - Fraser Robinson & Aaron Bylos
Players Player - Jeremy Walters
Leading Scorer - Fraser Robinson
Coaches Award - Lance Knibbs

Women
Best & Fairest - Rebekah Teni
Player Player - Natalie Anderson
Coaches Award - Hannah Smith
Leading Scorer - Tracy Want

Club Person of the Year - Mick Corbett
Junior Club Person of the Year -


2010 - ANOTHER YEAR OF REBUILDING
The Bobcats restructured their coaching set up and O'Sullivan took up a Director of Coaching role for the club and after retiring from playing Grant Neilson took over for his third stint at First Grade coach. Five of the 2009 Grand Final heroes had either left the area (Izaac McClymont, Izaac Garrard and Dane Ellis) or retired (Jeremy Walters and Neilson himself) and Aaron Bylos spent the entire season out injured, so it was time to rebuild. Young strikers Jarrad Doyle and Brodon Hirst returned to the club to help fill some gaps and other players like Brad Corbett and Dan Usher stepped up their performance a notch. Mid way through the season the Bobcats were probably overachieving and were winning the league in both grades and were into the finals round of the newly formed Solo Cup - a NNSW state FA Cup competition. The Bobcats got knocked out of the Solo Cup in the quarter finals by Newcastle NBN League professionals Broadmeadow Magic and their league form wilted in the second half of the year to finish third on the ladder. They beat Woolgoolga 4-0 in the first week of the semis but were once again knocked out one game shy of the grand final this time by Coffs Coast Tigers. Meanwhile the Bobcats Women went from strength to strength. Under the guidance of Col Stephens the girls only lost once all year and went on to win the Grand Final in just their second year back.

Bobcats Awards
Best & Fairest - Gary Carmichael
Players Player - Lance Knibbs
Leading Scorer - Fraser Robinson
Coaches Award - Dan Usher

Club Person of the Year - Paul Curtis
Junior Club Person of the Year - John & Joy Allen

Life Membership - Geoff Simmons and Grant Neilson

2013 - NEW COACH - GIUSEPPE TERRANOVA

2013 was a year of rebuilding after the retirement or unavailability of several key players. A new coach was brought in, Giuseppe Terranova, who had been coaching Coutts Crossing 2nd Division. Terranova had previously played at a high level in the Queensland State League and ticked all the boxes to oversee the new generation of Bobcats. The Premier League squad was missing Fraser Robinson, Kevin Crofton and goalkeeper Graeme Courte among others meaning blooding some young players into the top team became a necessity. 16 year old Evan Lloyd was a standout in his debut year, whilst other teenagers Nathan Shugg, Hayden McMahon, Luke Hanlon, Cullyn Stewart-Butcher and Ben McMahon all saw Premier League action at various stages. It was a mixed year for Premier League finishing in 8th position but still the team upset many of the fancied rivals throughout the season. Best performing lower grade teams were the Ladies 2nd Division (finished 3rd) and the Men's 3rd Division (Runners-Up). Maclean again entered a team in the FFNC U/20's Summer Youth League competition and whilst fielding a very young team with an average age of 16.8 years old, the squad managed to finish in a credible 4th position on the table.

Bobcats Awards

Best & Fairest - Evan Lloyd
Players Player - Brad Corbett
Golden Boot - Jarred Doyle
Club Goalkeeper of the Year - Matt Farrell (2nd Div)
Junior Club Person of the Year - Jayden Grainger & Josh Arndell
Senior Club Person of the Year - John & Joy Allen

___ 2014 ___

Maclean's Premier League team started the season with a Round 1 FFA Cup match against Boambee. At full time the teams were locked at 2-2 but Boambee were victorious in the penalty shoot-out. The Prems had a season full of bad luck losing 6 matches by just one goal, and a number of those winning goals were scored by the opposition in the dying seconds of the match. Premier league finished the season in 7th position. Reserve Grade started the season brilliantly and after 6 rounds found themselves undefeated and were topping the table. The team however lost momentum in the latter half of the season and ended up in 5th position 6 points adrift of the top 4. 2nd division finished 4th but were bundled out in the semis by Yamba whilst 3rd division finished the season in 5th position. The highlight for the season however was easily our Ladies 2nd Division team who were crowned Major & Minor Premiers and the girls certainly flew the flag proudly for the Bobcats.


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Fixtures & Results:


Mens Premier: Saturday 1st July

Maclean 6th (away) v CCUFC Lions 2nd at 5pm _______________________
Womens Premier: Saturday 1st July

Maclean 2nd (home) v Woolgoolga Wildcats 3rd at 3pm

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Mens Reserves: Saturday 1st July

Maclean 5th (away) v CCUFC Lions 2nd at 3pm

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Womens 2nd Division: Saturday 1st July

Maclean 5th (home) v Yamba Breakers 3rd at 1pm

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Mens 3rd Green: Saturday 1st July

Maclean 7th (away) v Yuraygir United 8th at 1pm

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Mens 3rd White: Saturday 1st July

Maclean 10th (home) v Westlawn Panthers 3rd at 1pm

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U15/16's: Friday 30th June

Maclean Black 1st (away) v Maclean White 4th at 6pm

Maclean Green 7th (away) v Coutts Cougars 6th at 7.30pm

Maclean White 4th (home) v Maclean Black 1st at 6pm

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U14's: Saturday 1st July

Maclean Green 6th (away) v Westlawn Jaguars 1st at 11.40am

Maclean Black 5th (home) v Westlawn Tigers 2nd at 11.30am

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U13's: Saturday 1st July

Maclean Green 1 lost Grafton City Rockets 3

Maclean White 3 def South Services Gunners 0

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U12's: Saturday 1st July

Maclean [3rd] v Yamba Breakers [2nd] - Wherrett Park 2 - 9.30am

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U11's: Saturday 1st July

Maclean Green v Coutts Crossing Cougars - Coutts 2 - 11am

Maclean White v Grafton City Blitz - Rushforth Park 6 - 11am

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U10's: Saturday 1st July

Maclean Green v Grafton City Slickers - Rushforth Park 6 - 10am

Maclean White v Bye

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U8/9's: Saturday 1st July

Maclean Green v Yamba Breakers - Maclean 3 - 9am

Maclean White v Yamba Strikers - Maclean 3 - 10am

Maclean Black v Bye

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U7's: Saturday 1st July

Mac v Iluka v Yamba - at Maclean - 10am

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U6's: Saturday 1st July

Mac v Iluka v Yamba - at Maclean - 9am

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