Lokomotiva Beroun win Czech Grand Final

Lokomotiva Beroun has gone through a second successive CZRLA First Division season undefeated, after a 36-28 win over Zemní Stavby Vrchlabí (formerly the Mad Squirrels) in the Grand Final.
Beroun, playing on home territory, went into the match as hot favourites but unlike last year’s Grand Final – which they won 50-0 against Prague Vikings – they were made to battle all the way for their victory.
Vrchlabi trailed 8-6 at half-time but hit the lead shortly after the resumption, however  the loss of on-field leaders, player-coach David Lahr and Standa Kosar to injury ultimately told.
For Beroun, talismatic Jan Buben dictated much of his sides play, Michal Hora – after missing the final round of the Championship due to an horrific head clash against Teplice with his Czech back-row partner Venca Fischer, which required extensive stitching– turned in a typically barnstorming display, while 2013 national team debutants Jiri Suchopar and Jan Zitek were also standouts.
Zemní Stavby Vrchlabí second rower Marcel Novak was awarded the coveted Milan Mrtynek Medal – named in honour of the founder of Czech Rugby League – as Grand Final Man of the Match, continuing a rich vein of form which Lahr believes has seen him produce the best performances of his rugby league career over the latter third of the season.
Novak continues the tradition of forwards capturing the medal after it was won by Beroun’s Tomas Kristoff – absent from the Grand Final team this year because of study commitments overseas – in 2012 and Padubice Jet Pavel Zemanek the previous season.
CZRLA Secretary Petr Sedina described the Grand Final as, “the best game of domestic rugby league I have ever seen, ” while CZRLA Treasurer Iain Sellers – who was, with Mrtynek, John Anderson and Jan Sluka, one of the guiding lights in the introduction of rugby league into the Czech Republic in 2006 called it, ”the finest match staged in the Republic’s history.”
In the CZRLA Second Division Championship, Chrudim Angels just edged out RLC Slavia Hradec Kralove to secure the 2013 title. Both clubs are expected to move up into an expanded CZRLA First Division in 2014.
The final event of the 2013 Czech rugby league season will be the inaugural CZRLA Awards evening on 2nd November, at which the South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson will present both the 2013 CZRLA Domestic Player of the Year & International Player of the Year trophies and Milan Mrtynek and John Anderson will be awarded the first ever CZRLA Life Memberships.