Big performances at pointy end of season

JAKE McLoughlin and DJ Smith shared a common success when their sides won Group 4 first grade clashes on the weekend.

Jake McLoughlin (back left) and Dylan Llake (front) combine with hooker Will Chesterfield to end this Digger run at Scully Park in last Sunday's 96-6 pulveriser. Photo: Barry Smith 090814BSE09

Jake McLoughlin (back left) and Dylan Llake (front) combine with hooker Will Chesterfield to end this Digger run at Scully Park in last Sunday's 96-6 pulveriser. Photo: Barry Smith 090814BSE09

While talented five-eighth DJ Smith crossed for three tries and kicked three goals in a starring effort for his Gunnedah Bulldogs against Narrabri,  Jake also scored for his West Lions in their 96-6 humbling of Oxley Diggers.

Both went to six points on the NDL Group 4 Player of the Year ladder, eight adrift of DJ’s teammate Trent Hilton.

Twenty-year-old McLoughlin, a fourth year apprentice bricklayer with George Webster, was delighted to earn a three-pointer.

“I didn’t do much though,” McLoughlin said of a game where he made a number of charges through the thin Digger defence and handed off a few tries to teammates. “We played well though. The defence in the 

second half was good, we didn’t want to let them score.”

From Manilla, Jake’s been playing for the Lions since he was 15 and came off the bench in last season’s grand final win.

This year he’s hoping for more success although he knows his side has a tough couple of weeks with away matches against Gunnedah and Wee Waa to come before the semi finals.

West are third on the table, four points behind Gunnedah.

 Gunnedah will play unbeaten competition leaders North Tamworth in the final round.

GROUP 4 FIRST GRADE: North Tamworth 26, Gunnedah 20, West Lions 16, Narrabri 12, Wee Waa 4, Oxley 

Diggers 0.

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