A POWERFUL performance by The Armidale School First XV over competition leaders The Scots College has propelled the northern school to equal first place on the GPS Third Grade competition ladder.
TAS came away victors 32-22 after a grueling encounter against the Scots’ Thirds, who suffered their first defeat of the season.
Flanker Pierce Hayden put the first points on the board in the eleventh minute of the game, after sustained pressure from TAS.
Several scything runs from the forwards set the play inside the Scots 22, before a smart ball from halfback Thomas Lane put Hayden across the line.
Scots controlled the ball from the ensuing kick-off and forced a penalty against TAS that was quickly converted into three points.
A Ben Caskey penalty added another three points before Scots leveled the score with a try out wide, that remained unconverted.
TAS then backed up with two tries in quick succession. Both were the result of strong ball control, with some intuitive line running from Harry Lloyd finding the space.
A second try to Hayden following consecutive bursts in midfield from Wayne Mumbulla and Joel Blackwell, helped increase the margin, however Caskey was unable to add two points to either.
Just before half time Nick Finney scooped on a Scots dropped pass and made a spectacular 70m run, outpacing the opposition from the 22m to score under the posts. A simple Caskey kick made it 25-8 to TAS at half time.
Scots quickly opened the scoring in the second stanza with a powerful try, which was also converted, closing the gap to just eight points.
TAS attacked sharply throughout the next few minutes and set-up a lineout, 15m from the Scots line. A great take from Hayden Shepherd and clever interplay by the forwards put Clay Lillyman away down the blindside to score untouched. Ben Caskey then stepped up and calmly slotted the kick, providing TAS with some breathing space on the scoreboard. After some scrappy play, Scots secured a converted try in the final minute of the game.
The result put TAS into equal first place on the GPS Third Grade table alongside Scots and Sydney Grammar, with all having lost one game apiece.