WARILLA-Lake South welcomed Shellharbour City back to the Group 7 Rugby League competition on Sunday by downing their traditional rivals 24-18.
The Gorillas led the first grade encounter 18-12 at the break, in a match played in warm, energy-sapping conditions at Cec Glenholmes Oval.
The home outfit opened its account in just the fifth minute when centre Blake Colgan finished off a slick backline move.
The four-pointer was unconverted and against the momentum, Shellharbour snatched the scoreboard advantage when Ian Catania's elusiveness resulted in a converted try.
The Gorillas seemed to be getting the upper hand when hooker Beau Sewell, Craig Nolan and winger Jarryd Pepper crossed in quick succession, but Shellharbour hit back again when Jacob Condello touched down to cut the deficit to just six.
The Gorillas' Tyson Brown strolled over in the 45th minute and on the hour-mark, former Raiders, Sharks and Dragons NRL player Bronx Goodwin received a fortuitous bounce from an attacking kick. However, despite Shellharbour's glut of field position during the final 10 minutes, it was unable to add to its tally.
Aaron Henry, Mark Walsh and Nolan were Warilla's standouts, while Condello, Harold Snell and Ian Catania were the best for Shellharbour.
On Saturday night, Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles started their 2014 season on a winning note, with an entertaining 38-26 win against Port Kembla at Centenary Field. While it was not the most polished performance, there was always plenty of action, with big hits, freakish tries and a bit of niggle, both sides having a player sent off in the second half.
The game was little more than five minutes old when veteran Eagles centre Sean Jenkins crossed for their first try, which Matt Carroll converted. After the Blacks had a four-pointer disallowed for a forward pass, the Eagles scored two more tries - to Matt Carroll and Blake Jones beforee Nathan Michalowski then replied for the Blacks. The Eagles took advantage of a Port player in the sin-bin, with Simon Harris and Jack Middleton crossing late in the first half, to stretch their lead to 26-6 at the break.
At Kevin Walsh Oval, Kiama opened their season by defeating Jamberoo 24-16 on Saturday. Matches between Gerringong/Berry and Milton-Ulladulla/Nowra-Bomaderry were postponed due to heavy grounds.