Far North Coast hockey players Mark Harris, Brett Crawford, Darryl Hughes and Grafton's Matt Lobsey are in the NSW over-40s team at the Australian hockey masters.
Far North Coast hockey players Mark Harris, Brett Crawford, Darryl Hughes and Grafton's Matt Lobsey are in the NSW over-40s team at the Australian hockey masters. Mitchell Craig

Big moments in Northern Rivers sport

Cricket

Cudgen completed the double by taking out the two-day premiership and the Twenty20 final against Pottsville in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.

All-rounder Caleb Ziebell made the NSW Country team for the first time and was a standout at the Australian Country Championships in Western Australia in Jan- uary.

Ziebell was the player of the Twenty20 final, scoring 110 not out from just 60 balls against Queensland.

He was the leading run-scorer at the Country Championships with 395 runs at an average of 43.89.

Rugby union

Wollongbar-Alstonville won a fifth straight premiership with a 19-14 win over Lennox Head at Crozier Field, Lismore.

Captain and five-eighth Ben Damen returned to the field following a knee injury and was selected in the NSW Country team along with Dan Rollinson and Sam Pearce.

Damen went on to captain the team while a knee injury meant Pearce missed out on playing for the Cockatoos.

Lismore product Izack Rodda continued to impress throughout the season playing for the Wallabies and Queensland Reds.

Rugby league

Northern Rivers won the NSW Country rugby league championship after a 26-22 win over Monaro in the final at Camden in May.

Six players were selected in the NSW Country team with five of them - Joe Besgrove, Michael Dwane, Anthony Colman Sam Grant, Kyle Kennedy and Caleb Ziebell - going on to tour Papua New Guinea in October.

Ziebell was also named the NSW Country representative player of the year.

Tweed Coast Raiders won their first premiership after a convincing 24-4 win over Ballina in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League grand final.

Premiership winners

Glee celebrated its 90th year by winning the Far North Coast A-grade women's hockey grand final 2-0 over Northern Star.

They have now won 17 of the past 18 grand finals.

Coraki beat East Lismore 4-1 in the A-grade men's grand final.

Byron Bay won the Far North Coast premier division men's soccer grand final 2-1 over Richmond Rovers.

Striker Jonathan Pierce scored both goals and won the Terry Greedy Medal for his player-of-the-match performance.

Lismore Thistles beat Byron Bay 2-1 in the women's grand final. Madison Fiedler won the Lisa Casagrande Medal while Thistles also won the Anzac Cup and were pointscore champions.

Byron Bay were dominant in the local Aussie Rules grand final with a 21.9 (135) to 4.6 (30) win over Ballina at the Cavanbah Centre, Byron Bay.

Magpies forward Billy Barry was named player-of-the-match after kicking seven goals.

The Lismore Swans claimed a second straight women's premiership with a 8.11 (59) to 2.2 (14) win over the Tweed Tigers.

Redbirds took out the Far North Coast Major League baseball grand final series while Ballina Sharks were the FNC Division 1 softball champions.

Bundjalarms were the Lismore Netball Association Division 1 winners while Shirley and Co won the Ballina Senior Division 1 grand final.

The team is named after the Ballina association life member Shirley O'Brien.

Personal favourite

It's hard to go past the Australian Masters Hockey Championships played at Ballina and Goonellabah over a two-week period in September and October.

A large contingent of Far North Coast players competed across the various age divisions with 80 teams and 1500 players taking part.

It was a big effort from Far North Coast Hockey and its volunteers, who did a great job running the event.

A handful of FNC players were selected in Australian teams following the event including Robert Barrett (over-55s) Chris Clark (over-50s) and Neil Chaseling (over-60s).

Paul Leadbeater was named a shadow reserve in the over-60s and was part of the winning NSW team.

Ballina stalwart Wayne Porter was picked as a shadow, having played for a combined West Australian Country and Tasmanian team after missing the NSW trials.

David Brown, Simon Brown, Brett Crawford and Grant Smith were selected for Australia with Darryl Hughes a shadow in the over-40s.