WEST Lions almost cracked the ton when they overran Oxley Diggers 96-6 in their Group 4 clash at Scully Park on Saturday.
The Lions crossed for 18 tries in the thrashing, turning a 38-6 half time lead into its 90-point success without captain-coach Chris Hunt, who was tending to his injured daughter.
Lions skipper Phil Beaton was unsure but was hoping his coach and daughter were okay.
“I think she fell off a trampoline and they took her to hospital,” Beaton said.
“We all hope she’s okay.”
Oxley Diggers were missing captain-coach Jamie Trindall, who was also in hospital.
“He’s got a bad virus and was on a drip,” Oxley Diggers club president Mick Schmiedel said after the game.
“Then Damo (Damien Allan) and Mark Alford clashed heads in the first five minutes and Damo went to hospital. It wasn’t a good start for us.
“Liam Wise was just back from a broken arm and injured his knee last week. He strapped it up to help us out today.”
The Diggers had a number of players backing up from a second grade game they led at halftime against Quirindi before going down 52-34.
“It was disappointing to finish like that,” Schmiedel said.
“Disappointing to drop away like this. Ever since the general bye we’ve had players dropping out.
“At the start of the year we were getting some big scores posted against us but we’d brought that back.”
Saturday was a big step backwards for the debutantes and will take some effort to prevent the downward spiral.
For the Diggers, Athol Munro, Will Jerrard, Dustin Munn and Scott Berry shone.
West Lions skipper Phil Beaton was one of his side’s best with centre James Blackburn scoring three tries and 14 of the 17 players scoring tries.
“It’s hard getting up for a game like that,” Beaton said.
“But we can take some positives out of that.
“We stuck to our game plan with some good sets of six.
“We’ve got to work on that for the big games against North and Gunnedah.
“And we kept the intensity as well.
“We had a couple of bad patches for five and 10 minutes but keeping them scoreless for the second half was pretty good.”
Beaton said the side came through injury free with only Ben Jarvis (knee) causing any concern.
“We’ve got a few out and hopefully will have Chris back next week,” Beaton added.
Jake McLoughlin received the NDL Best and Fairest three points for a strong-running game where he made a number of busts.