Gladstone's Cridland brace secures mighty win for Cowboys
TOUCH: Gladstone's Justin Cridland was a part of history as his North Queensland Cowboys Touch team won the 2019 NRL Touch Premiership.
In what was a cracking contest, the Cowboys edged out Newcastle Knights 5-4 after scores were even with just seconds left at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Cridland played a massive role with two touchdowns and these proved decisive to the outcome.
North Queensland's Kristian Congoo completed a spectacular try despite the Newcastle players disputing the try because they believed an airborne Cowboys player Braydon Hegarty was touched before he tapped the ball inbound to Congoo.
Just prior to boarding a plane back to Gladstone, Cridland's father Kevin said it was a nervous final few minutes.
"Justin played really well and that is something he would remember for a long time," Cridland Sr said.
When the Knights levelled scores, Cridland Sr said the atmosphere was as tense as can be.
"We were a bit nervous with about 30 seconds left in the game," he said.
The Cowboys were never going to let the game slip as Hegarty and Congoo weaved their magic with just four seconds left.
Lachlan Pierce was awarded as player of the final in a game where a number of other players deserved the accolade.
While the crowd was sparse ahead of the NRL clash between the Sydney Roosters and New Zealand Warriors, Cridland Sr said the Cowboys side got plenty of vocal support.
"There was a group of us in the crowd but I know a lot of people watched it on FOX and Kayo," he said.
Cowboys completed the season undefeated.
In the women's grand final, Brisbane Broncos covered themselves in glory with a 4-2 win against Parramatta Eels.
Broncos co-captain Emily Hennessey was presented with the Player of the Final medal.