After losing games over the last few weeks by large margins, local Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo supporters were surprised to see a revitalised squad take the game right to their opponents the South Grafton Rebels at Bellingen Park on Saturday.
The number of returning players even enabled the club to run out a Reserve Grade team for the first time in several weeks.
In First Grade strong defence early on kept the Rebels scoreless as the game swung from end to end.
A determined run by Dane Cross put the Magpies in front as the Rebels found out they were up against stiffer opposition than they thought they would be. They were quick to respond, however, to score two tries with one successfully converted to lead 10-4. Close to half time Dane crossed for his second try after a clever off-load from his brother. A Larnus Leisha conversion saw the Magpies go to the break 10-10.
The second half was a hard fought affair with the Magpies unable to finish off breaks. The Rebels went on to lead 22-10 and then scored right on the full time bell to win 28-10.
Reserve Grade with very little training behind them put up a determined effort but were beaten by a much stronger Rebels outfit.
In a very entertaining affair the Magpie League Tag team showed a lot of spirit to be beaten 6-0 by the Rebels.
All in all a top effort by the Magpies.