FIVE of Group Seven’s lower grade teams kept their season alive in 2018, with crucial victories in their respective semi-finals at Kevin Walsh Oval on Saturday.
Kiama girls get home
Kiama Knights Ladies League Tag Division 2 girls have advanced to face minor premiers Albion Park-Oak Flats in next Saturday’s final after holding out a determined Warilla-Lake South Gorillas 14-6 in Saturday’s minor semi-final.
The first half was tight, with Ella Simon’s try midway through the first half enough to give her side a 6-nil halftime lead, but the Gorillas hit back through Erin Blackwell and Rachel Henry to tie the scores and set the scene for a thrilling finish.
However Kiama settled and Amanda Mellor and Alecia Bell managed to find the line to send their side into the final.
Bears sneak win
Wreck Bay United were forced to pull out all stops before ending Jamberoo Superoos season with a 24-20 thriller.
The Bears were expected to be far too strong, but Jamberoo had other ideas and on the back of two first half tries to John Good, who earlier in the week celebrated his 40th birthday, and two conversions to coach Scott Adams helped his side to a 12-8 lead.
The second half was a real arm-wrestle and when Dom Heffernan crossed in the 61st minute to balance out James Little’s hat-trick and Adams’ conversion gave his side a 20-16 lead and an upset was on the cards.
However a mistake from the kick-off gave the visitors one last chance and a sin-binning followed and Bears hooker Josh Pender was able to slip through from dummy-half and Tyson Alcorn converted then added a penalty goal to wrap up the win.
Magpies edge out Gorillas
Adam Hayburn’s Berry-Shoalhaven Heads Magpies Under-18s have survived a huge scare before downing a plucky Warilla-Lake South Gorillas 16-14.
The Magpies literally flew out of the blocks and tries to Billy Hayburn and Charlie Parrish in the opening 20 minutes gave them a resounding 12-nil lead and they looked well on top, however Duke Grant replied for the Gorillas and at 12-6 the game was anyone’s.
The second half was typically tight and tries to Warilla fullback Isaac Choice closed the gap to four and a penalty goal soon after tied the scores, however a try to the Magpies Luke Fletcher eight minutes from fulltime sealed the game for his side.
Stingrays on fire
Stingrays of Shellharbour stormed into a rematch against Jamberoo in the Ladies League Tag minor semi with a 36-18 win over Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs.
The Stingrays made the most of the Dogs having several players being late after playing in the Illawarra ladies tackle grand-final with Helensburgh as they jumped out to an early 18-nil lead through two runaway tries to Teagan Berry and one to Bronte Girdler and three conversions by Riley Scott as the Rays took advantage of the Dogs shortage of numbers.
The rest of the game was much more even with tries to Ebony Murray and Jaydn Carriage closing the gap for the Bulldogs, but in the end they just could bridge the gap, with Berry finishing with a hat-trick and Scott six goals.
Eagles get the jump on Sharks
Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles have moved into a finals clash with Jamberoo Superoos on Saturday after holding on to down Shellharbour Sharks 22-16 in reserve grade.
The Sharks got a great start when centre Dane Casey scored in the fifth minute, however the rest of the half belonged to the Eagles as Brock Harrison scored twice followed by Scott Austin and Jake Todd to lead 22-6 at the break.
The Sharks however weren’t about to give up without a fight and half Nick Greenhalgh and Adam Miller closed the gap and with ten minutes to play they were right back in the hunt, but it proved too little, too late as the Eagles held on.