© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Hornby Panthers return to home ground

Zion Dayal
James Regan
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Hornby Panthers will return to Leslie Park after a year away from their historic home ground.

The premier team will return to their historic home turf this season, bringing with them hopes of an overdue premiership.

The season looks to be a big one for the club, which had to play away from Leslie Park last season due to ground repair.

Brent Tomlinson, president of Hornby Rugby League, said the club did well to perform the way they did on the field despite the trials of moving grounds and having to relocate.

“It was pretty hard going in that our back-up field doesn’t have a lot of lighting or changing facilities for more than one team. Effectively we were playing on the road for 12 months,” Tomlinson said.

The move came from a council plan to upgrade Leslie Park in time for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Unfortunately for the club, there were delays and things didn’t go to plan, meaning there was a scramble to keep a successful season together.

The club is now benefiting from a pristine playing surface that is ready for the opening day of the 2018 season.

“The guys are killing themselves to get back here. Once the posts are up the prem’s will have had a week to train ready for the first game,” Tomlinson said.

The Panthers will face off against Linwood Keas in a replay of last years’ grand final at Leslie Park on Saturday April at 3pm.