GUYRA and St Alberts snuck home for wins in their New England clashes on Saturday with the Ghosts stealing it with a penalty on the bell after Robb had almost stolen a draw.
In a pulsating clash at Bellevue Oval, the students scored 19 unanswered points to reel in the Ghosts after they’d led 19-3 at half-time and then 22-3 early into the second half.
But seconds before the final whistle the Ghosts were awarded a penalty just beyond the 22 and about five in from touch.
It was a bit of wobbly kick from fullback Beau Orchard but just curled in and snuck over to give the Ghosts a 25-22 win.
Across town at Alcatraz it was even closer, although a bit less dramatic, with Albies pipping Baa Baas 34-32.
The home side held the advantage at half-time 27-17 but couldn’t hold out the students in the second half.
“Our guys did well. They rallied and came home really strongly,” Albies coach Tom Newsome said.
He said they got out to seven at one stage but Baa Baas scored to cut it back to two.
The first half they were a bit inconsistent.
“We played really well in patches, then we’d let them back in the game,” Newsome said.
It would have been the same from Baa Baas perspective, he thought.
The second half was still a bit up and down but was better.
“We had a good period of about 20 minutes where we scored three tries and just got on a roll,” he said.
The scrum was really good for them, the best it’s been all year in fact. It was a good to dig out the win, Newsome said.
“We’ve been struggling to win those games all year,” he said.
James Reynolds topped the points at five-eighth.
“He had a good game. His decision making was very good,” Newsome said.
Rory Marshman and Ollie Bartlett also had particularly strong games.
Baa Baas coaches Sam Piddington and Brett Monley were understandably disappointed not to come away with the win.
“At the end of the day we had opportunities to win the game, we just couldn’t finish them off,” Monley said.
Albies first try in the second half came from an intercept.
It made it 27-24 and Monley felt it changed the game.
“It was pretty upsetting we couldn’t finish it off,” he said.
“(But) We just made too many mistakes.”
Conditions were trying though. It was very heavy underfoot.
Monley thought the forwards played pretty well.
They were well led by Sam Gates in the second row.
Gates was “outstanding” and got the three points.
Sam Myers and Luke Battenborough also had strong games.