BARRABA registered its second loss on the road in as many weeks going down to Dungowan 26-12 on Saturday in a very physical affair.
A fiery match erupted several times in the second half as Barraba suffered from a lopsided penalty count and three send-offs.
Cowboys prop Mitch Brown crashed over for first points only minutes after the whistle.
The two sides then swapped tries and hits as the game became increasingly physical up the middle.
Dungowan lead into half time 18-10 despite the penalty count being hard against them.
Barraba halfback Brad Craddock went over to bring the score back to 18-16, but that would be as close as the premiers got.
The first half had been as niggly as last week’s Origin match, but unlike Origin the fists flew as the game blew up shortly after the try.
Dungowan’s Ben Tongue was sent off, and when no-one from Barraba joined him, and were instead given a penalty, the home crowd went wild.
Shortly after it would be the visitors who would be up in arms.
With 20 minutes to go Tim Coombes’ Bulldogs found themselves defending set after set as the referee pinged them for a series of infringements.
The Bulldogs relentlessly defended their line for 10 minutes before winger Dylan O’Brien finally broke through to cross in the
After missing a few early Beau Ryan sailed it over the black dot from the sideline as the Cowboys got sight of their first victory over Barraba for a long time.
Coombes was sent from the field from the bench after some choice words for the officials.
With the captain gone the niggle picked up.
Barraba found themselves eight points behind and three men short for the remainder of the half as Shaun Spence and Joey Latham joined Coombes at the gate.
Coombes said that the refereeing was a disgrace, while Dungowan captain Luke Taylor said he thought Barraba were making some mistakes and were tired at the back end.
“Our toughness and attitude was really good in a very tough game,” Taylor said.
“We will take the two points but I still think Barraba are the best side in the competition.”
The coach thought the bench players worked really well today and held it together at the end.
“Everyone played well in a game that was very intense.”
Taylor praised winger Dylan O’Brien for his work in attack and defence out wide.
“He was peppered with bombs and hit hard but came up with the ball all day,” Taylor said.
Prop Scott Henry took the points after leading the pack with a powerful performance up front along with hooker Lachie Collins who got the one.