Sharks reunion to bring back stories of old

CLASS OF 1998

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Members of the 1998 Mossman Sharks A Grade premiership team. (L-R) BACK: Shau Landy, Gavin Kelly, Graham Harris, Kym Jones, Scott Breen, Christian Addison, Colin Prince, Luke Jorgensen, Jesoni Koroi, Dallas Harvey, Calvin Norris, Iowane Seru, Nathan Croft, Wayne Styles. FRONT: Joe Lepaio, Graham Warner, Dion Williams, Mick Jenkins, Noel Haslem, Darcy Dunn, Mick Cameron (captain-coach), Keith Golsby-Smith.

THE visiting mascot had to save face from the opposition as he was attacked for no reason which caused a delay to the match; the local baker downed tools for the first time to travel to the game; and the Captain Cook Highway was awash with streamers and screaming fans as they made their way to the Grand Final.

This is how members of the 1998 Mossman Port Douglas Senior Sharks rugby league team will re-live and celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 22-4 grand final victory over the Ivanhoes at Barlow Park in the Cairns & District League Competition. 

And on June 23 at the Football Ground, these and many more memories will be recalled at a grand reunion. In a twist of irony, the Sharks play the Ivanhoes on the same day. The time of the reunion will be announced at a later date.

For former player Col Prince, there are some events and stories he will never forget.

“I remember an ‘attack’ on our mascot, local butcher Aaron Valentine, which caused a delay to the kick-off as the mascot battled to maintain his pride. The attack made the front page of the Cairns Post, and the match report was on the back page,” recalls Prince.

“I can remember businesses such as Carrington’s Bakery not baking on Sunday afternoon for the first time in many years, instead going to the Grand Final.

“The highway was lined with streamers from the bus and car loads of people heading to the game. We had to stay in a Cairns hotel the night before the game to avoid the many supporters.

“And Mad Monday was even crazier with at least two dozen shaved heads as the celebrations continued well into Tuesday,” said Prince.

The Sharks defeated Mareeba in overtime to make the grand final. The captain/coach was Mick Cameron from Tamworth.

Prince said the star players on the day included local juniors Graham Harris and Noel Haslem; former South Sydney prop Scott Breen and Luke Jorgenson, an import from Wynnum, Manly.

“The game was relatively subdued until the final 20 minutes when it picked up and we showed our ascendency. This allowed us to pile on the points.

“It is interesting to note that several seasons prior to the Premiership, the club was questioned why it should be allowed to continue in the CDRL.

“Hard work from Wayne Styles, Anthony Zammataro, High School Deputy Headmaster Iquabal Singh and Martin Harris saw the club rebuild which ultimately led to making the finals and Premiership success,” said Prince. 


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