Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies play Sawtell Panthers

Kalani Morris and Jack Farrell executing a tackle
Kalani Morris and Jack Farrell executing a tackle

It was a disappointing day for all three Magpie teams in their last home games of the season at the Graveyard with the Sawtell Panthers winning in Reserve Grade and Ladies League Tag in tight encounters and running away with the Under 18’s.

In Reserve Grade the Magpies were down a couple of key players but it was very pleasing to see Sawtell run out their Reserve Grade team. 

In the first half it was a tight encounter with Sawtell going to a 10-0 lead before Louis Taylor went over for a try off a clever Trent Matthews pass.  Josh Shearim converted leaving the half-time score at 10-6.

The Panthers were always on top of the Magpies in the second half the only bright note for the Magpies being a Kalani Morris intercept for a length of the field try. The Magpies going down 28-10.

Max Melville and Jake Suter tackling effectively before Max went off to get his head stitched

Max Melville and Jake Suter tackling effectively before Max went off to get his head stitched

Last week’s results were more uplifting.

In the Under 18’s it was a similar story with the Magpies being down on numbers.  The Magpies scored early from a clever Michael White cross-field kick for Byron Auld to score. 

The Panthers hit back with three tries and two conversions to lead 16-4.  Right on the half-time bell the Magpies received a penalty.  Malek Afaumua took the tap, put in a deft chip kick for Kalani Morris to take on the full and cross the try line leaving the half-time score at 16-8.

Lack of numbers caught up with the Magpies in the second half as their defence fell apart.  Once again the only bright note for the Magpies was a try to Dane Cross converted by Michael White making the final score 50-14.

Tina McRae was unlucky to be tagged in several big runs

Tina McRae was unlucky to be tagged in several big runs

The Ladies League Tag game had everything - tight defence, line breaks, sin bins and a close scoreline.  It was a game where a lot went against the Magpies but to their credit they hung in there and could have won the game. 

In the first half the Panthers scored two tries before Sissiel Keough was able to show off her try-scoring dance. Sarah Beaumont converted leaving the Magpies 8-6 behind at half time.

Not being able to crack the Sawtell defence for a long time led to the Magpies taking a penalty shot to even the scores up at 8-8 early in the second half. 

The Panthers took one of their own late in the half to lead 10-8 before a fumble and a push in the back saw Sawtell race in for the match winner on the final bell making the final score 14-8.

Next Sunday the Magpies play Nambucca Heads at Nambucca on Sunday in two grades.​