2023 Big Boards Home Match

2023 Big Boards Home Match:  Brave Dragons go down fighting

All the results can be seen here.

Norths players Mark Baterowicz, Rob Watson and Gary Armstrong ready to take the John Kellner/Terrey Shaw Trophy back over the Bridge

Despite heroic attempts by all the 45-strong St George team, Norths managed to erase the two point advantage we had coming in, and then move ahead by a further three points. After four losses to Norths over the last two years, St George had put on a mighty performance to win the away match, 26.5 to 24.5, but in the end it was a 49.5 to 46.5 victory to Norths for 2023.

We did well on the top 14 boards (9-5), and were still up by 2 after winning Board 20. But then they won 8.5-2.5 with no losses on the next 11 boards! They then won the bottom 14 boards by 1 point for their overall 5 point victory.


As always, the rivalry between Sydney’s two biggest clubs exists across the board only, and the conviviality of the event was very obvious as old friends chatted before and after their games. Next year it might be an even better event, if a proposal that has been put to Norths is taken up. Currently team selection is based purely on one’s ranking within the club – this means that there is not really a fair representation of our membership. In the proposed format, each club would put forward 6-7 players in six ratings divisions, each division with a 200 point spread (e.g. one division might be 1400-1600). This would avoid the very unbalanced matches that have occurred in the recent past (where Norths have outrated us by an average of 300 points on each board). This year the average rating for St George was 1708 versus 1655 for Norths, but that has only been achieved by Charles’ very active recruiting of strong, past St George players. We are very indebted to them for turning up and making the match competitive!

But the high average rating also tells us that a lot of current lower-rated St George players are missing out on the fun of the night. The ACF-rated Little Boards event that runs alongside the Big Boards is better than nothing, but the proposed structure promises an event truly in the spirit of St George.