GLEN Innes Magpies returned to the winner’s circle after successive Group 19 first grade defeats with Sunday’s convincing 44-12 win over Tingha Tigers at Kerry Mead Park, Glen Innes.
Prop Mone Loketi opened the scoring after just five minutes with a powerhouse 20 metre surge to the line and was followed minutes later by hooker Jamie Watts for Glen to lead 12 - 0.
Tingha’s livewire centre Cameron Toomey opened their account in the 20th minute. Toomey turned in a fine performance, scoring all Tingha’s points with a hat-trick of tries including a 90 metre intercept late in the game.
On the half hour, second rower Nick Ehsman stormed onto a nice short pass from Sam Key who landed one of six successful conversions for Glen to lead 18 - 4 and three minutes later, half Nick Say backed up to finish off a splendid raid, which saw the ball pass through several sets of hands in a great try to the Magpies.
Under 18 captain Chris Pedlow made his A Grade debut in the centres for Glen in a busy weekend for the youngster. On Saturday he was a member of the winning Northern Tigers team at Tamworth before playing in Glen’s victorious Juniors team against Tingha and backing up in A Grade. Pedlow was hit hard a few times in the first half but showed his mettle to make a try-saving tackle and then score a very determined try early in the second half.
Centre Ewan McGrady scored for Glen before Toomey got two in a row for Tingha to see Glen lead 32 - 12. Watts and second rower Jock Waters finished the scoring with long range tries in the final minutes.
“It was good to get back on the winning trail,” said Magpies coach Key. “We had a solid build-up during the week and scored points right to the end which was pleasing.”
“We were a bit lazy at times and made too many silly errors but that’s our Achilles heel.”
“I was really pleased with Adam (McPhillips) off the bench. Big Mone (Loketi) had a huge game while what ‘Ducky’ (Jamie Watts) did playing with a crook back was fantastic.” Loketi’s contribution to the victory was enormous. Most times he handled the ball he left a trail of would-be defenders in his wake and made 30 or 40 metres time after time. Waters and Watts also had big games for the winners while Guy Mepham at hooker, centre Toomey and prop Siaka Mea were excellent for the Tigers.