WERRIS Creek won but almost threw it away and Bendemeer lost after being unable to ignite its attacking flare.
That was the assessment of a scrappy Group 4 Second Division clash between Werris Creek Magpies and Bendemeer Mountain Men at David Taylor Park, Werris Creek on Sunday.
The Magpies won 34-26 on their home ground but gave their supporters plenty of heartache in a second half where they dropped the ball on half a dozen occasions, one mishap occurring a couple of metres out from their line to hand Michael Sampson the easiest of tries, his second for Bendy.
It was a gift the visitors finally accepted after numerous other turnovers from a team that led 24-10 at half-time and then 28-10 after Rob Symington’s second-half try.
Sampson’s second try was converted by Jai Cain and, with 14 minutes left, Bendy trailed 28-16.
Four minutes later and Bruce Murray crashed over wide out for his second try for Bendy.
Cain converted again from the sideline and it was 28-22.
A couple of minutes later and Cain fished off a move by diving over wide out.
He missed the conversion but there was just two points in it and half a dozen minutes left.
Unfortunately for Bendy, that was as close as they got.
The Creek, with Stewie Porter leading the way, regrouped and held Bendy out.
Cody Tickle finished off a Porter run and looped pass to score beside the posts and convert a few minutes from fulltime.
It was a half of football stalwart coach Ron Dellar would like to forget.
It was also similar to the previous week where his side had given up a 22-10 halftime lead against Walcha at Walcha in similar error-stricken mode.
“We did the damage in the first half,” Dellar said.
“Full credit to Bendy too, they did well to come back.”
Magpie prop Thomas Brown was once again enormous and made some big, jolting runs through the middle of the Bendy ruck.
Jessie Porter also bulldozed his way for good yards and Bryce Parsons also strode forward, with Rob Symington and Tim Fenwicke completing plenty of work.
The addition of Porter was a major addition for the side.
He gave them direction and also some much-needed tackling decisiveness late in the second half.
Halfback Tickle also tackled strongly and mowed down some of the Bendy forwards with gusto.
That Bendy gave the Creek too much start was obvious.
They have the artillery but couldn’t ignite it.
It was an analogy coach Jake Reid agreed with in a sombre dressing room where the players exhorted each other to turn up for training and make a gallant, mad dash at the premiership.
“Yeah, we do have the artillery but we’re firing blanks,” Reid said.
“It took us a fortnight to get started.
“Once we get going we’re right.
“Ball control killed us though.
“We didn’t control the ball, didn’t do what I’d asked.
“It’s a talented side.”
In centre Bruce Murray they have a lethal strike weapon.
His two tries confirm that.
Hooker Chris Leslie was impressive until forced off with a leg injury midway through the second half and half Jai Cain, lock Harlee Milgate and fullback Cameron McDonald all had their moments.
Adam Ruttley was perhaps their best and always a danger at five-eighth.