Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies Rugby League

A very happy Magpies League Tag team after winning the elimination semifinal
A very happy Magpies League Tag team after winning the elimination semifinal

Won one, lost one is the story of the two semi-finals played by the Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies on Saturday at Sawtell.  

The Ladies League Tag team had a win over the Coffs Harbour Comets and the Under 18s lost in the dying minutes to the Grafton Ghosts.

In the Ladies League Tag, the Magpies defence led to several Coffs mistakes, but they could not take advantage of this and the scores remained deadlocked until a clever Sarah Beaumont chip kick rebounded of the posts for Tina McRae to touch down.  Sarah converted and the Magpies led 6-0. Almost immediately Coffs replied with a try of their own from a kick through the defence.

At the 20-minute mark Sophie Keough sliced through the Coffs defence at the halfway and beat another three defenders to touch down and the Magpies went to the break leading 10-4.

Early in the second half, both defences held solid; however, the Magpies had one chance when Melissa Spillet split the defence in a long run.  Tina McRae put in a grubber kick that unfortunately she could not regather. Late in the half a dummy from Marion Campbell saw her cross for a try and put the game beyond doubt at 14-4.  Not to be denied, Coffs hit back with a try on the bell for the Magpies to take the game 14-10 and advance to the minor semifinal at Coramba next Saturday against Sawtell.

Jubilation after Marion Campbell scores a try to definitely win the game.

Jubilation after Marion Campbell scores a try to definitely win the game.

The Under 18s game was very close from the opening whistle to the final whistle.  Once again the Magpies had to overcome a very lopsided penalty count to even get near the Ghosts.

The first 20  minutes of the game featured a lot of solid defence resulting in a lot of mistakes.  The Magpies eventually breaking the deadlock when Jay Munday broke through the defence from dummy half adjacent to the posts.  The conversion attempt missed and the Ghosts evened up the scores soon after at 4 all.

A mistake from the kick off to the second half allowed Grafton in again and they took the lead 8-4.  The Magpies then had a player sent off and a player sent to the sin bin for questioning the over rule of a 20/20 kick.  The remaining players really dug deep in this period and Lee Tuhi broke through the Ghosts defence to score two tries and have the Magpies in front 12-8 with five minutes left to go.  Once again a mistake from the kick off put the Magpies under pressure and unfortunately the Ghosts scored a converted try to take the game 14-12.

Malek Afuamua running the ball up strongly

Malek Afuamua running the ball up strongly