Last Saturday at Brookvale Oval, the most experienced set of match officials in the history of the Manly Warringah Rugby League Referees Association took the field. With 100 seasons of refereeing between them, whistleblower Phil Brown (40 seasons) and merry flag wavers Rob Peard (24 seasons) and Addie Flippence (36 seasons) officiated the concluding fixtures of the Manly Warringah Junior League Under-8s competition for 2015.
With more than 200 years' life experience between them and all valued life members of the Association, Phil (58) has refereed more than 30 grand finals in every age group from U7 to A grade whilst Addie (79) has refereed the second-most grand finals (more than 20) in the District. Rob (63) refereed a Sunday grade Grand Final every season he was active, including the U19 grand final three years in a row.
Phil continues to referee in the Manly Warringah Junior League on Saturday mornings while both Addie and Rob continue to referee in the mid-week schools competitions.
Another first also took place on Saturday in the Manly Warringah Rugby League Referees Association at Nolans Reserve North Manly. Simone Kelly took charge of the Under-11s Division 2 game between Narrabeen and Cromer.
Kelly was supported by touch judges Myah Fenson and Rheanna Hesp, making this all-female team of officials the first to officiate in a grand final in the District. The ladies have been working together for the past few weeks during the semi finals and have proved themselves a crack team.