Gloucester Cockies, Dennis Wamsley retires

Retirement: Dennis Wamsley (right) notched up 400 games for the Cockies during the 2017 season pictured with his sons, Kenneth (left) and Liam (in front).

Retirement: Dennis Wamsley (right) notched up 400 games for the Cockies during the 2017 season pictured with his sons, Kenneth (left) and Liam (in front).

The Gloucester Cockies farewelled their 400-game rugby union hero, Dennis Wamsley, in the most satisfactory way with a comfortable 40-14 win over the Old Bar Clams at Gloucester Park on Saturday.

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Myrtle’ has been a magnificent warrior for this club. It was the finish he deserved.

Mick Wooster

With the club’s champions, Jamie “Emu” Andrews and Chris Marchant, appearing in guest roles to honour the man they all know as “Myrtle”, the Cockies put behind them a season with little glory in finishing out of the top four for next weekend’s semi-finals.

“It was a good, tough game and the Clams played some attractive football. They made it hard for us,” captain Mick Wooster said.

“’Myrtle’ has been a magnificent warrior for this club. We have played him everywhere and he has never let us down. It was the finish he deserved.”

Veteran goal-kicking front rower Wooster said that Wamsley’s son, loose-head Kenneth, was player-of-the-match against the Clams, and with other young players such as utility back Ryan Yates, halfback Doug Laurie and injured five-eighth Nick Clarke, the Cockies had the nucleus of a team to be play-off contenders next year.

It is always a delightful experience in Gloucester’s bracing air beneath the Bucketts Range, and with their two tries the Clams displayed enough enterprising football to suggest their committee and new coach, Tim Tout, are involved in an important revival of the club.

Semi-finals to be played on Saturday, August 5 at Tuncurry are: Manning River versus Myall Coast at 1pm and Forster Tuncurry versus Wallamba at 3pm.

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Meanwhile, the Gloucester Cockies women’s rugby 7s side welcomed casual development officer for NSW Rugby and satellite coach of the University of New England Lions, Paddy Bowen for a ‘come and try’ session on Saturday, July 29 at the Number One Oval in Gloucester.

The women learned some new skills and ran several training drills during the session.