Newcastle Rugby League: Cessnock Goannas break long-standing Harker Oval hoodoo

EMBRACE: Blake Andrews (right) celebrates with Cessnock teammates after scoring a try in Sunday’s win over Western Suburbs at Harker Oval. Picture: Jonathan CarrollCESSNOCK’S victory over Western Suburbs at Harker Oval on Sunday did more than simply open the Goannas account for 2018.

The 20-6 result actually broke a 1365-day winning drought for the Coalfields club at the New Lambton venue.

Cessnocklast tasted successat Harker Oval five visits ago, with a 22-6 triumph on August 10 in 2014 before going down to the Rosellas 22-8 less than two months later in thegrand final.

ROUND 4: Cessnock v Lakes, Macquarie v Maitland (Saturday); South Newcastle v Western Suburbs, Central Newcastle v Kurri Kurri (Sunday).

* RYAN Walker followed in the footsteps of younger brother Cody over the weekend by taking to the footy field only days after their motherhad passed away.

The reigning Newcastle first grade player of the year lined upfor Wests, laying on one try and almost saving another, just 48 hours after sibling and Rabbitohs playmaker scored an NRL four-pointer against the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.

The Walker’s mum, Linda Stewart, died of a heart attack last Wednesday night.

* WHATday willthe 2018 grand final be held?

That’s the $64,000 question being discussed by Newcastle Rugby League officials and clubs at the moment.

September 22-23 has been nominated as the weekend, but no call has been made yet about sticking with last year’s Saturday trial or reverting back to the traditional Sunday time slot.

The issue will be taken to the board later this month.

* LAKES and Kurri both entered early guilty pleas on Wednesday in relation to weekend charges.Seagulls prop Kodie Charles will be suspended for two gameswhileBulldogs front-rower Michael Steele misses one.