In the last round of the competition games before semi-finals start next week, the Magpies travelled to Nambucca Heads to take on the Roosters I Ladies League Tag and Reserve Grade. Both teams came away with wins in two high-quality games.
For Reserve Grade no matter who won the Roosters were off to the finals and the Magpies were not, however no one would have known. A mistake from the kick-off saw the Roosters cross for a try early on and it looked as though they would have an easy win. Soon after a clever Trent Matthews’ pass put Stuart Kelly over for a Magpies try to have them trailing 6-4.
A little later the Magpies went to the lead as a Stuart Kelly cut out pass put winger William Warner over in the corner (8-6). The Josh Shearim conversion saw the Magpies lead 10-6. Nambucca then hit back with two converted tries to lead 16-10. Constant pressure on the Roosters over the last ten minutes of the half by the Magpies saw John Bond cross on the half-time bell to narrow the gap to 16-14.
The Magpies were very positive at half time and early in the second half Louis Taylor crossed for a try, Josh Shearim converted and the Magpies led 20-16. Solid defence was the story for the next period with five sin bins and any number of penalties. Nambucca evened the scores up in their period and applied a lot of pressure to the Magpies defence but the Magpies held tight and repelled attack after attack.
In the last minutes the Magpies turned the game their way. Jimmy Kelly threw a long cut out pass to his father Stuart who turned back the clock to his glory days with a long run down field and drawing the Roosters full back to put Louis Taylor in the clear to score and to much celebration for the Magpies to take the game 24-20.
It was the same story in Ladies League Tag but in reverse, with the Magpies going on to the finals and the Roosters ending their season. Games between the two teams, however, have always been hotly contested affairs. Nambucca scored early in the first half before Tina McRae put in a clever kick to re-gather and score. Sarah Beaumont successfully converted for the Magpies to take the lead 6-4. Neither team could add to their score for the remainder of the half.
A clever Sissiel Keough cross field kick saw Tina cross for another try early in the second half. Sarah Beaumont converted and the Magpies led 12-4, and this was the final score.