In-form Shellharbour Stingrays to light up Flinders Field

Shellharbour MP Anna Watson checks out the Flinders Field lights with Kyle Ellis, Kaleb McLaurin, Josh Check, John Sinclair and Blake Bowman. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Shellharbour MP Anna Watson checks out the Flinders Field lights with Kyle Ellis, Kaleb McLaurin, Josh Check, John Sinclair and Blake Bowman. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Shellharbour Stingrays will take another step towards Group Seven's top competition on Friday when they host their first night game at Flinders Field.

With lighting not long completed, the third-placed Stingrays will host second-placed Gerringong in a milestone match that will continue the club's rapid rise towards the South Coast's premier competition after entering the senior ranks in 2013.

"Last year we had our first under 18s team and this year we have third grade as well," president Scott McLaurin said.

"Both teams are going OK and they've both got a shot at it [premiership].

"We are growing. We started from a Catholic school [in 1961] and now we're the biggest club in the Illawarra and South Coast as far as teams go.

"We have 26 junior teams, which has grown from three in 1998, and next year we are hoping to field reserves, thirds and under 18s."

McLaurin said the upgrading of facilities at Flinders Field was one of a number of steps required to achieve the long-term goal of fielding a first grade side in the top competition.

"That's what we're looking at long-term," he said.

"We're not in a massive hurry to get there, it's just that out of necessity with all the juniors that are coming through, that's what we need to do.

"The Shellharbour Club support us fairly well and they've given us some grants for lights and with the help of [MP] Anna Watson we've got the lights up."

Gerringong sit just one point clear of the Stingrays on the ladder after defeating them 32-26 last week.

A win would see the Stingrays leapfrog Gerringong into second place and coach Josh Check said his players had taken a lot from their last-start loss to the Lions.

"It's our second game against them. We only played them last week, so we're expecting another tough one," Check said.

"We feel it was one we let slip, it should have been a game that we won but we're expecting another tight one this week.

"We've had a great start to the season with 25 blokes signing on and they've come from far and wide.

"We've got a few that have come through from last year's 18s, a couple have come out of retirement and a few others have come from other grade sides.

"It's a mixed bag but so far it's been really good and they've come together well," he said.

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