Tamworth Bolts welcome back imposing centre

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TAMWORTH Thunderbolt men have a big Mother’s Day matchup with Maitland Mustangs to light up a huge sporting weekend across the city and region this weekend.
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Country Under 16 rep Brock McMahon on the hunt for his Thunderbolt Under 16 boys in the CPL. Photo: Barry Smith 190316BSB16

The John Ireland-coached Thunderbolts welcome back Lawrence York from injury and the centre with a giant “wingspan” will be welcomed by his teammates, Ireland said.

“He’ll be great for us,” Ireland said.

“Jayden Pryer is only a couple of weeks off being right too. Hopefully he will be back ready for the run home.”

Ireland is looking forward to the Mustangs game.

“It’s important we keep momentum and keep building on what we have been doing,” he said.

It’s been a busy week for the Thunderbolts coach.

He’s been in Terrigal all week with the North West Boys PSSA Basketball side at the State Carnival.

Last weekend he was in Minto with the Thunderbolt Under 16 women for a second round of Country Premier League matches.

The Three Thunderbolt junior sides, including the Under 16 boys and Under 14 girls, all played down there with mixed results.

Ireland’s 16 girls lost to Western Reds and Illawarra on the Saturday but then had a massive win against Canberra, winning by a big score and then beating Albury by 60 to finish off a big weekend.

Josie Chick and Miah O’Sullivan starred in the win over Canberra while Jess Watt was outstanding against Albury with a 27-point game.

The Matt Hobson-coached 16 boys started with a convincing 81-48 win over Southern Blues, with Blake Russell and Sam Ellicott impressing but went down by three points to undefeated Illawarra 68-65 on Sunday morning.

Nathan Clarke (20) starred while injury hampered Brock McMahon’s weekend efforts as they finished off the weekend with a 71-67 win over Maitland Mustangs.

“It was a very patchy win,” Hobson said.

“The boys were pretty fatigued.”

Greg Irwin’s Thunderbolt Under 14 girls had a tough weekend, losing to Western Reds 52-48 in a tight first game, then starting poorly against Newcastle to be down by 20 at half-time but staying in touch for a 44-20 loss.

In their last game they played Canberra, a side that had been winning by 30 and 40 points per game, Irwin said.

“We were only down by five at quarter-time and six at halftime,” he said.

“It showed we can compete with any of the sides.”

The Canberrans won 43-26 but Irwin knows his side can only improve for the next round of games in Wollongong on May 28-29.

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