TOP 20 SPORTING MOMENTS
Take a look at the Central Western Daily's Top 20 most significant sporting moments throughout an unprecedented year of action.
It's time to wrap up the countdown with the five best moments of the year! Introducing, 5-1.
#5 - Cody Kelso caps off derby demolition with sensational solo try
When Jarryd Hayne scored a sensational solo try on the stroke of half time in game I of the 2007 State of Origin series, he probably didn't think anyone would ever go close to topping his efforts.
Fast forward 13 years to a crisp Wednesday night at Wade Park and CYMS' back rower Cody Kelso did his best to impersonate the two-time Dally M Player of the Year as he put the finishing touches on a 34-0 drumming of the Hawks with a breathtaking four-pointer down the left edge.
The marquee forward took a run one-off the ruck and after seeing some space down a very narrow short side, backed himself to break through along the sideline.
Once he'd surged past the Hawks' line, he showed surprising pace to burn the players chasing him but had a convoy of opposition defenders closing in.
He had to pass it or kick it to keep the play alive so Kelso dropped it onto the right toe and after leaving the field of play, re-entered it to try to chase down the ball.
After getting a bounce from room service, the big man dove over the line to put an exclamation mark on a massive win.
#4 - Emus claim fourth title in six seasons against crosstown rivals
September 26 was the day Orange Emus claimed their fourth Blowes Clothing Cup premiership in six seasons as the forward pack helped lift the greens past rivals Orange CIty, the 26-14 derby victory capping arguably the most trying season the region has ever endured.
Players worked through two pre-seasons following the COVID-19 pandemic, had to comply with new restrictions and took park in a shortened campaign in 2020.
They knocked off the defending premiers in week one of the semis, though, and then found themselves under-fire from an Orange City side that has improved immensely in 2020.
But Emus showed real grit to weather that Lions storm early.
And on the back of two tries to Charlie Henley and another to Archie Hall produced their best 40 minutes of the season when they needed it most to secure the title, the club's fourth in the last seven seasons, in front of 2000 people at a COVID-safe Wade Park.
"This means everything. This has been the toughest year of footy I've ever had," an emotional Henley said post-match."
#3 - Group 10 cancels season for the first time in history
At the beginning of the winter, Group 10 made the unprecedented call to abandoned plans to run senior competitions in 2020, chairman Linore Zamparini describing the decision as the toughest he's made in over a decade running the game.
Determined at a board meeting, Group 10 premier league, first division and senior league tag competitions were put on the shelf for the season.
Zamparini revealed the decision was unanimous, adding the uncertainty surrounding crowd restrictions and the COVID-19 regulations clubs would have to follow forced the board's hand.
Group 10 started in 1946 and has run a top grade premiership in the region every year since.
"These are certainly uncharted times. We've never been in this situation as a country, let alone a Group," Zamparini said.
"It was a tough decision, but one in the back of everyone's mind now for a long time."
#2 - Jack Wighton signs off on incredible campaign with MVP award
It isn't the medal Jack Wighton wanted this year, but it's a pretty good consolation prize.
The Bloomfield Tigers and Orange CYMS junior capped off a brilliant 2020 NRL season with the Canberra Raiders as the Dally M Medallist.
Wighton now joins club greats Ricky Stuart (1993) and Laurie Daley (1995) as the only Raiders to have won the award, ending a 25-year drought for the Green Machine in the process.
He no doubt would've preferred a premiership medal having gone so close last year, but the Melbourne Storm knocked the Raiders out of the title race at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Not a bad way to ease the pain, though.
It was a remarkable 12 months for Wighton, who won last year's Clive Churchill Medal as best-on-ground in Canberra's narrow grand final defeat to the Roosters in 2019.
In a thrilling finish, Wighton polled 26 votes to edge out Parramatta captain Clint Gutherson (25 votes) and Cleary (24).
#1 - OHS Hornets snap Orange City's streak in unbelievable fashion
Orange City Craig Harvey Mechanical's dozen-year stranglehold on the Orange Netball Association's Toyota Cup was broken by the students of Orange High School in a heart-stopping 32-31 buzzer-beating grand final.
A shot from Poppy Keegan on the buzzer put the students up by one point and sent the side into hysterics. Moments after the game, wiping tears of joy from her eyes, goal keeper Annalise Maier said she felt overwhelmed.
"I mean I don't know, I don't know how to speak," she said.
"We've just beaten the team that's won 12 years in a row in the grand final and we were the biggest underdogs all season.
"We've done it."
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