Cobar has been accepted into the 2018 Castlereagh League and, according to Roosters president Chris Deighton, the tri-colours are there for the long haul.
Castlereagh knocked back the Roosters’ initial advances to play in Rams’ northern competition at the league’s AGM late last year, but club delegates experienced a change of heart when Deighton delivered a passionate address at a meeting last weekend.
With Baradine’s representatives an apology from the meeting, a close 8-all club vote eventually fell 11-8 in favour of Cobar when the league’s executive conducted its vote, allowing the Roosters entry into the Castlereagh League.
His relief palpable, Deighton feels his club now has a home it will make the most of for “as long as I’ve got anything to do with the club”.
“We wanted a permanent home,” Deighton said.
“I was nervous standing up in front of everyone, but when it went to the vote I was more confident than I was at the AGM.
“Still, you’ve probably never seen a bloke shake so much,” he laughed.
Participants in the Barwon Darling premiership for the last two years, Cobar has a proud history in Group 11 and after having its first attempt at joining Castlereagh rejected a return to the region’s western group was mooted.
But the requirements of a first grade, reserve grade, under 18s and league tag sides to compete in Group 11 proved too great a hurdle.
“With the seven on, seven off roster here at the mine, we just can’t do that,” Deighton said.
“There will be more travel, but that’s never bothered us before. We have to travel everywhere.”
Travel, though, was one of the major concerns for the Castlereagh League clubs, particularly those on the eastern side of the competition.
Gulgong is a four-and-a-half hour drive, one way, and Castlereagh League secretary Bryson Luff said concerns were raised about such a road trip.
Gilgandra, Trangie and Coonamble shape as the Roosters’ closest opposition, geographically, and the closest of those three is still over two hours away.
“Eastern clubs were worried about distance, yes, but there were a couple of factors working in Cobar’s favour,” Luff said.
“Warren not forming created a vacancy on the draw. We’ve been able to remain at 10 teams now as well, which is positive.”
Luff said the assurance from Deighton that Cobar’s foray into the competition wouldn’t be fleeting was also a positive.
“That (Group 11) question was asked and Cobar said they have no intention of playing there in the future, they can’t sustain what’s needed,” Luff said.
The 2018 season starts on April 14 with Cobar’s first match in the competition at Gulgong.