DENMAN hung on like the Devils they are to beat Scone Thoroughbreds 24-16 in yesterday’s A Plus Contracting Group 21 Preliminary Final and earn a chance of skewering back-to-back first grade premierships against Greta Branxton Colts at Greta Oval this Sunday.
With Blake Dureau launching some towering bombs at Denman Oval last year, the Devils won a 10th Group 21 first grade title against Greta Branxton .
This Sunday they will have to beat the Colts on their own turf but with Dureau in tantalising form with the boot.
The Denman halfback set up the first two tries with grubber kicks into the Scone in-goal for Garry McKeon and Joel Pyne to pounce for a 12-6 halftime lead and then a wobbling midfield bomb that exploded midfield back into the waiting hands of winger Tyler Wolfgang set up their third just a few minutes into the second half.
Andrew Nicholls scored from that bomb and then just a few minutes later Wolfgang was over in the south western corner to blow the final out to 24-6 after a well executed backline raid. Scone did come back to snare two tries through fullback Tim Smith and prop Tom Hagan but couldn’t find that extra try to tie up the game and send it into extra time as they had against Greta in last week’s major semi.
Dureau was an elated skipper.
“We dug deep, outstanding, just hung on and hung on.
“The boys kept showing up for each other.”
He thought the two tries, scored in the fourth and seventh minutes of the second half, were the telling blows.
“They set it up for us.
“I’m just so proud of the boys after the year we’ve had.”
A month ago Scone ripped Denman apart at Scone Park, winning 48-12 on July 27.
“We only started getting everyone to training three weeks ago,” Dureau said.
“But everyone was committed, they all put their hands up.”
Backrowers Darren Richards, Joel Pyne and Trent Walker all worked tirelessly, prop Ben Hagan was the best forward on the ground with a full 80 minute effort.
Hooker Adam Grech was smart and fullback Jake Green had a big game including one brilliant try-saving tackle on Scone opposite Tim Smith. Scone lock and captain-coach Daniel Ritter, was fierce and uncompromising as usual and disappointed with a result.
“We were flat early, don’t know why, and we took some wrong options again today.
“Those two tries they scored just after half time killed us but the boys bounced back. Can’t fault their effort. Denman did play well.”
He was among his side’s best along with hooker Jake Bailey, fullback Tim Smith and backrowers Peter Ford and Will Carrigan.