TINY Tingha inflicted a devastating blow on the Inverell Hawk premiership aspirations at the Tingha Sports and Recreation Ground on Saturday.
Seemingly out of semi-final contention, someone forgot to tell the Tigers as they handed the Hawks, who had entered the game in third, a 38-14 beating.
Tingha’s win elevated the Guy Mepham-skippered side to 12 points, five behind the fourth-placed Hawks.
Mepham, the Greater Northern hooker, was one of the inspiring Tiger stars.
He and prop Scott Fitzgerald led the way in close while young centre Cameron Toomey profited out wide.
Toomey crossed for three of the six Tiger tries.
“Cameron was outstanding,” Tingha stalwart Ivan Coleman said.
“He got all the points in all the best and fairests.
“Guy had a big game and Scott Fitzgerald was outstanding.
“He played all bar four minutes. He came off in the 70th, had a break for four minutes and went back on.
“That’s unreal for a prop.
“He’s not a real big bloke either, just wants the ball and makes 40 tackles a game with 25 to 30 hit-ups.
“This was one of the best wins I’ve seen here for a long while.
“I don’t think we can make the semi-finals but if we keep playing like that, we’re going to make it hard for a few sides.”
Saturday’s game also raised $10,500 for charity, with the Tingha ladies’ league tag side playing in purple and the first grade in mushroom colours instead of the regular orange, black and white.
The loss was a dagger blow for the Hawks.
“They beat us to the punch in everything,” Hawks coach Peter Stevens said.
“They led 22-4 at half-time and, while we scored two tries straight after halftime to make it 22-14, the scoreboard showed we were in it but we weren’t.
“They might not be in the semi final hunt but that’s what can happen in local derbies – the form goes out the window.”
GROUP 19 FIRST GRADE: Moree Boomerangs 26, Glen Innes Magpies 22, Moree Boars 18, Inverell Hawks 17, Armidale Rams 16, Goondiwindi Boars 14, Tingha Tigers 12, Ashford Roosters 7, Uralla Tigers 6.