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Moree Boars clinch last-minute 30-27 win over Gunnedah Bulldogs

MOREE Boars sang their club song, When the Boars go Marching In with gusto and glee after conjuring a brilliant kick-and-chase try to beat Gunnedah Bulldogs 30-27 in the final minute of Sunday’s WEG Group 4 first-grade clash at Kitchener Park, Gunnedah.

The Boars looked down and out when Dylan Lake kicked a 35m field goal with 2mins 22secs left on the clock to snare a 27-26 lead in a topsy-turvy match.

The Bulldogs had led 12-4 early with props Lincoln Smith and KC Edmonds dominant.

When Moree’s Josh Cochrane was sin-binned eight minutes from half time it looked like the Boars were in trouble.

However, Brenton Cochrane took a hand, the brilliant pivot scoring from a little grubber kick off his left foot. Then Cochrane weaved some more magic to slice his way through the Bulldog defences again and throw a low pass inside to supporting winger Silas Haines. Haines caught it on his toes as easy as pie and suddenly the Boars were ahead 14-12.

Cochrane’s third piece of brilliance was to change the attack, heading back to the wide right side of the field, passing to captain-coach Ben Williams and he then put Holt Cubis through a yawning gap. Three tries in five minutes and despite being one short they led 18-12 at the break.

Gunnedah had a brilliant playmaker of their own, too. Aaron Donnelly broke free, was collared, but Moree gave away a penalty in the tackle and Donnelly was quick to tap and run, racing over without a hand placed on him to tie up the score.

The Bulldogs then produced a brilliant scrum play of their own, a double run around that bamboozled the Boars and allowed skipper Reece Jaeger to dive over beside the posts.

Ahead 24-18 they couldn’t stop young forward Mark Pegus from crashing over in the corner to reduce the deficit to two points and then Cochrane took another hand when he double pumped a pass to send Marshall Barker through a big gap out wide. While the Boars couldn’t convert, kicking just one goal in seven attempts the Barker try gave them a 26-24 lead.

And that’s when it got really interesting.

The game also stopped for an injury. Brenton Cochrane copped a foot injury and had to be carried off. Many may have thought Moree’s chances went with him, especially when the Boars were penalised almost in front and Jaeger stepped up to convert and tie the game up again.

A minute later, after the Bulldogs had waltzed up the field, Dylan Lake kicked a boomer of a field goal and a 27-26 lead with 3mins 40secs left.

The Bulldogs were in command but a dropped ball gave Moree a sniff. They had the ball but had to go 80m with just 2mins 22secs on the clock.

Enter halfback Michael Watton.

He had been the main organiser and controller sending the ball hither and thither to ball runners all day but he became the man, bursting onto a pass near halfway and two strides later chipping over the Bulldog defences. It bounced perfectly for Watton too as he regathered.

However, he had it for just a second or so and kicked ahead again, this time a lower trajectory and in a fairy tale finish his cousin, Jarvis Watton, who was on debut for the Boars, reached the ball first to score a memorable try.

The Moree supporters went berserk and the Boars revelled in a wave of euphoria.

Somehow they had won: 30-27.

Gunnedah coach Mick Schmiedel was demoralised, reckoning he must be a bad coach.

“We led 12-4 but they (his players) wanted to do their own things and got away from what had got us in front.

“They had a man in the bin when we led 12-8 but they scored three tries in five minutes.

“It’s frustrating. They don’t want to do what I tell them. Might be no point in me travelling every week. We talk about doing the same things every week (and fixing them) but we keep on making those same mistakes.”

He lamented the fact the last two weeks (losses to Narrabri and Moree) have now changed their season from playing in major semis at home to battling it out for fourth spot with Werris Creek, Boggabri, Dungowan and Moree.

“We had an opportunity to play but now we are in battle with those four sides to make the top four.”

Moree captain-coach Ben Williams was elated and celebrating with his young side ignited by the brilliance of his two 30-plus stars Brenton Cochrane and Michael Watton.

“We wanted it more,” he reckoned.

“We scored seven tries t their four, couldn’t kick a goal but the effort was there. We also built on last week (34-16 loss to North Tamworth). Had a new player in Jarvis (Watton) and he’s going to be good for us too.

“Brenton is a freak. He gets better as he gets older. And Mick is starting to come into his own. He controlled the game well for us and produced what we needed.”

Watton’s piece of magic produced one of the most remarkable finishes to a Group 4 game that could define his side’s season.

At age 36 he was fitter and faster than many of his opponents and teammates.

Hopefully Cochrane’s foot injury isn’t serious and he was confident he’d be right to play in the sheds after the long weekend general bye.

Words and Image: Geoff Newling

MOREE 30 (Ben Williams, Brenton Cochrane, Silas Haines, Holt Cubis Mark Pegus, Marshall Barker, Jarvis Watton tries, Mick Watton gl) d GUNNEDAH 27 (Dylan Lake, Aaron Donnelly, Lincon Smith, Reece Jaeger tries, Dylan O’Brien 4, Reece Jaeger gls, Dylan Lake fld gl) G4 B&F: 3 Hayden Wiblen (M), 2 Michael Watton (M), 1 Zak Turnbull (G).

Second Grade: MOREE 34 (Brian Smith-Saunders 2, Adrian Smith 2, Adrian Hancock, Tyler Daley tries, Adrian Smith 5gls) d GUNNEDAH 30 (Thomas Randall 2, Will Maggs, Farran Lamb, Jared Heinrich, Tony Griffiths tries, Lamb 2, Johnathon Crowe gls) G4 B&F: 3 Alex Baker (M), 2 Dan Russell (G), 1 Brian Smith-Saunders (M).

Under 18: GUNNEDAH 42 (Braydon Talbot-Hatch 2, Matt Ross 2, Charlie Lawrence, Trent White, Hugh McArthur, Archer Harrison tries, Bailey Swain 5gls) d WERRIS CREEK 22 (Malik Hunt, Stevie Smith, Bailey Woolridge, Charlie Parsons tries, Riley Leonard 3gls) G4 B&F: 3 Riley Leonard (WC), 2 Joash Boney (G), 1 Braydon Talbot-Hatch (G). 

Ladies League Tag: GUNNEDAH 32 (Charlotte Eather 4, Piper Rankmore, Zoe Fleming, Jacqui Jones tries, Eather, Fleming gls) d MOREE 6 (Sheldyn Briggs try, Kasinda Porter gl) G4 B&F: 3 Jacqui Jones (G), 2 Sheldyn Briggs (M), 1 Piper Rankmore (G).

WEG GROUP 4 STATISTICS

Compiled by Group 4 Media Manager Geoff Newling

WEG GROUP 4 LADIES LEAGUE TAG BEST & FAIREST AWARD

Round 6

11: Kim Resch (North Tamworth).

7: Cloe Davis (Boggabri).

6: Phoebe Porter (Dungowan), Zoe Fleming (Gunn).

5: Georgia Horniman (Dun), Sheldyn Briggs (Moree).

4: Jess Baker (Werris Creek), Nautica Eather, Piper Rankmore (Gunnedah), Holli Rodstrom (Bogg), Sarah Gill, Rebekah Jenkins (Kootingal), Brittany Hughson (Barraba), Kim Flett (Manilla).

3: Tiarn Bayliss, Abby Schmiedel (Koot), Charlotte Eather, Jacqui Jones (Gunn), Shavanah Boota, Joan O’Leary (Man), Telisha Hilderson, Angie Knox (Narrabri), Tyla Endemi, Kate Ferguson, Leica Le Brocq (North Tamworth), Holli Rodstrom (Boggabri), Dayna Porter, Jorja Tory, Molly Turner (Werris Creek), Emma Carrigan, Jada Taylor (Dungowan), Zoe Darlington (Barr).

2: Tayla King (Koot), Maddy Buhagiar, Daneka Jones (G), Ashley Lowe, Abbey Mallise (Barraba), Ellie Capewell, Shai-Lee Smith, Antoinette Murray (Moree), Jamie Blackler, Chloe Shanley (Dungowan), Courtney Grace-Coggan, Courtney Grosser (Boggabri), Hayley Flemming, Taylah Fogarty, Lidia McCauley (Narrabri), Sheleaka O’Leary-Cloake (Man), Annalise Martin (Bogg), Steph Halpin (NT).

1: Marnie Mitchell (G), Natalie Mason, Becky Thornberry (Narr), Amy Barraclough, Rachel Halpin (NT), Tileah McGrady, Brittany Porter (Moree), Paris Knox, Ellie New (Dun), Ashlyn Summers (Bogg), Sarah Creighton (Koot), Casey Hatch, Anna Smith.

WEG GROUP 4 FIRST GRADE MEN’S BEST & FAIREST AWARD

After Round 6

8: Stan Swan (Moree).

7: Dennis Gordon (Narrabri), Cody Tickle (Werris Creek).

6: Ryley Mackay (Kootingal).

5: Harlee Millgate (WC), Jacob Nichols (Narr), Hayden Wiblen (Mor).

4: Cody Byrne (Dungowan), Daniel Kelly, Bailey Taylor (North Tamworth), Kurt Hartmann (Koot), Nick Millar (Boggabri), Jake Rumsby (Narr), Aiden Davis, Reece Jaeger, Zak Turnbull  (Gunnedah).

3: Sam Taylor, Chris Vidler (Koot), Isaiah Adams, Matt Gillham, Kaylan Murray (Bogg), Daniel Jobson, Toby Howarth (Narr), Brett Jarrett (Dungowan), Livianai Tuicakau (North Tamworth), Marcus Doran (WC), Michael Watton (Mor).

2: Zac Leonard (Werris Creek), Nick White (Gunnedah), Brent McDonald, Ben Williams (Moree), Ryan Ingram, Mitch Sheridan (North Tamworth), Josh Kevill, Ben Williams (Koot), Kieren Croft, Nathan McGuire (Dun).

1: Ben Gardner, Dylan Lake (Gunn), Sam Sadler (Narr), Scott Blanch, James Cooper, Mark Simon (NT), Eden Blewitt, Bailey Lennox (Bogg), Clay Frendin (Dun), Alex Lawrence (Moree), Bryce Daniels (WC).

WEG GROUP 4 LADIES LEAGUE TAG POINTSCORERS

After Round 6

108: Kim Resch (North Tamworth).

68: Zoe Fleming (Gunnedah).

46: Steph Fulwood (Kootingal).

36: Abby Schmiedel (Koot), Jamie Blackler (Dungowan).

34: Piper Rankmore (Gunn).

32: Steph Halpin (NT).

30: Charlotte Eather (Gunn).

28: Jacqui Jones (Gunn).

26: Emma Carrigan (Dun), Jess Baker (Werris Creek).

24: Tayla King (Koot), Chloe Shanley (Dun).

22: Casey Hatch (WC).

20: Sarah Stackman (Dun), Tyla Endemi (NT).

18: Amy Barraclough (NT).

16: Rebekah Jenkins (Koot), Dayna Porter (WC), Paris Knox, Phoebe Porter (Dun), Rhiannon Graham (NT), Sheldyn Briggs (Mor).

14: Alice Murphy, Bromley Nankivell, Carly Redfern (Koot), Holli Rodstrom (Boggabri).

12: Karen Porter, Jada Taylor (Dun), Maddy Buhagiar, Marni Mitchell (Gunn), Dhalara Knox (NT), Tileah McGrady (Moree), Cloe Davis (Bogg), Sarah Gill (Koot).

10: Annalise Martin (Bogg).

8: Courtney Barwick, Stephanie Rogers (Barraba), Abby Bowden, Georgia Holcombe, Samantha Judd, Ellie New (Dun), Jess Pryor, Hannah Tickle, Jorja Tory (Werris Creek), Millie Blanch, Kate Ferguson, Leica Le Brocq, Gabrielle Siddons, Kate Walters (NT), Taylah Fogarty, Telisha Hilderson, Lidia McCauley, Annie Wenner (Narr), Maddison Giffen, Courtney Grosser (Boggabri), Shavanah Boota, Jacinta Jones (Manilla), Daneka Jones (Gunn).

6: Abbey Mallise (Barr), Kim Flett (Manilla), Ellie Capewell, Nekkiiah Murray (Moree), Clare Mead (Bogg), Tiarn Bayliss (Koot).

4: Sarah Creighton, Maddi Roach, Jess Sharpe (Koot), Nautica Eather, Tarryn Heinrich, Tarryn Maher, Billie-Jo Power (Gunn), Courtney Grace-Coggan, Braie Devine, Cailyn Dewar, Sophie Hendrie (Boggabri), Jessica Beale (Manilla), Kimberley Laurie, Mikaela Woodward (Narrabri),  Alyssa McGrady, Stacey McIntosh, Ashlyn Tape, Leila Murray (Moree), Tyler Ambrose, Rachel Cawardine, Holy Coleman, Rachael Halpin (NT), Lisa Jenner, Kim Taggart, Lizzie Thomas (Dungowan), Montanna Allan, Rachel James (Werris Creek), Jess O’Neill (Man), Stacey Duff, Brittany Hughson (Barr).

2: Ashlyn Summers (Boggabri), Shai-Lee Smith, Kasinda Porter (Moree).

WEG GROUP 4 MEN’S POINTSCORERS

After Round 6

54: Dylan O’Brien (Gunnedah).

48: Robert Doolan (Boggabri).

40: Sam Taylor (Kootingal), Tevita Peceli (North Tamworth).

34: Jake McManus (NT).

33: Trent Taylor (Dungowan).

30: Sam Taylor (Kootingal), Jacob Nichols (Narrabri).

26: Harlee Millgate (Werris Creek).

25: Dylan Lake (Gunn).

24: Mitchell Fletcher (Bogg), Liam Ireland (Gunn), Livianai Tuicakau (NT).

22: Aaron Donnelly (Gunn).

20: Dylan Clarke, Liam Hatch, Ryley Mackay (Koot), Todd Nichols (Narr), Silas Haines (Mor).

18: Dylan Porter (WC), Bailey Taylor (North Tamworth), Blake Hilderson (Narrabri), Jordan Sharpe (Koot).

16: Kurt Hartmann (Koot), Kieran Williams (WC), Brock Wadwell (NT), Michael Watton (Mor).

14: Bryce Daniels (WC).

12: Josh Kevill (Koot), Mitch Sheridan (NT), Kieren Croft (Dun), Dennis Gordon, Damon Gleeson, Jake Rumsby (Narr), Kih McDonald (Gunn), Nick Millar (Bogg), Marshall Barker, Brenton Cochrane (Mor).

10: Daniel Jobson (Narr), Kaylan Murray (Bogg).

8: Cain Eather, Lincon Smith, Nick White (Gunn), Ben Jarvis, Dan Kelly (NT), Jake Tighe, Mark Pegus, Brett Wright (Moree), Caleb Binge, Harry Pattison, Lachlan Trindall (Narr), Mitch Bowen, Brodie Heron, Shannon Swan, John Marau (Dungowan), Isaiah Adams, Josh Trindall (Bogg), Tyren Cloake (WC), Ben Williams (Koot), James Bates, Riley Leonard (WC).

6: Kyle Cochrane (K), Reece Jaeger (Gunn).

4: Phil Beaton, Logan Howard, Sam Molyneux, Ethan Parry, Chris Vidler, Nic Zahra (Koot), Tyren Cloake, Brad Flanders, Patrick Hanrahan, Tyrill Knox, Isaah Millgate, Dion Reid, Ian Reid, Cody Tickle (Werris Creek), Aiden Davis, KC Edmonds (Gunn), Hayden Bell, Daniel Howe, Kurt Wallace (Narr), Josh Cochrane, Holt Cubis, Alex Lawrence, Cameron Rodgers, Tom Ryan, Adrian Smith, Stan Swan, Jake Tighe, Joe Wade, Jarvis Watton, Ben Williams (Moree), Liam Ball, Scott Blanch, Tevita Cegunaivalu, Ryan Ingram, Tom Woolaston, Jeremy York (NT) Dan Boland, Brad Brooks, Cody Byrne, Ethan Collins, Shaun Ferguson, Kevin Jones, Liam Mack, Blair Maloney, Zac Parker, Matt Wilson (Dun), Robert Condron, Jack Gillham, Matt Gillham, Bailey Lennox (Bogg).

WEG GROUP 4 LADIES LEAGUE TAG TRYSCORERS

After Round 6

14: Kim Resch (North Tamworth).

9: Abby Schmiedel (Kootingal).

8: Zoe Fleming (Gunnedah).

7: Charlotte Eather (Gunn), Steph Halpin (NT).

6: Jacqui Jones (Gunn), Tayla King (Koot), Jamie Blackler, Chloe Shanley (Dungowan), Piper Rankmore (Gunn).

4: Rebekah Jenkins, Bromley Nankivell, Carly Redfern (Koot), Holli Rodstrom (Boggabri), Dayna Porter (Werris Creek), Paris Knox, Phoebe Porter (Dun), Sheldyn Briggs (Moree).

3: Karen Porter, Jada Taylor (Dungowan), Maddy Buhagiar, Marni Mitchell (Gunn), Tileah McGrady (Moree), Rhiannon Graham, Dhalara Knox (NT), Sarah Gill (Koot), Cloe Davis (Boggabri).

2: Alice Murphy, Steph Fulwood (Koot), Courtney Barwick (Barraba), Abbey Bowden, Georgia Holcombe, Samantha Judd, Ellie New (Dun), Jess Baker, Jess Pryor, Jorja Tory (Werris Creek), Tyla Endemi, Kate Ferguson (NT), Nautica Eather, Daneka Jones (Gunn), Lidia McCauley (Narrabri), Maddison Giffen, Courtney Grosser, Annalise Martin (Bogg), Shavanah Boota, Jacinta Jones (Manilla), Taylah Fogarty, Annie Wenner (Narr), Stephanie Rogers (Barraba), Jess Baker, Casey Hatch, Hannah Tickle (WC).

1: Tiarn Bayliss, Sarah Creighton, Maddi Roach, Jess Sharpe (Koot), Tarryn Heinrich, Jacqui Jones, Tarryn Maher, Billie-Jo Power (Gunn), Stacey Duff, Brittany Hughson, Abbey Mallise (Barraba), Jessica Beale, Kim Flett, Jess O’Neill (Manilla), Kimberley Laurie, Mikaela Woodward (Narrabri), Ellie Capewell, Alyssa McGrady, Stacey McIntosh, Nekkiiah Murray, Leila Murray, Ashlyn Tape (Moree), Rachel Cawardine, Rachael Halpin, Taylor Ambrose, Millie Blanch, Leica Le Brocq, Kate Walters (NT), Emma Carrigan, Lisa Jenner, Kim Taggart, Lizzie Thomas (Dungowan), Cailyn Dewar, Courtney Grace-Coggan, Clare Mead (Boggabri), Montanna Allan, Rachel James (Werris Creek), Sophie Hendrie (Bogg).

WEG GROUP 4 MEN’S TRYSCORERS

After Round 6

10: Tevita Peceli (North Tamworth).

6: Mitchell Fletcher (Boggabri), Jacob Nichols (Narrabri), Livianai Tuicakau (NT), Aaron Donnelly, Liam Ireland, Dylan Lake (Gunnedah).

5: Dylan Clarke, Liam Hatch, Ryley Mackay (Kootingal), Dylan Porter (Werris Creek), Silas Haines (Moree).

4: Kurt Hartmann, Jordan Sharpe (Koot), Kieran Williams (WC), Brock Wadwell (NT).

3: Josh Kevill (Koot), Kieren Croft (Dun), Tyren Cloake (WC), Damon Gleeson, Dennis Gordon, Jake Rumsby (Narr), Kih McDonald (Gunn), Robert Doolan, Nick Millar (Bogg), Marshall Barker (Moree).

2: Cain Eather, Dylan O’Brien, Lincon Smith, Nick White (Gunnedah), Ben Jarvis, Dan Kelly, Mitch Sheridan (North Tamworth), Isaiah Adams, Josh Trindall (Boggabri), Caleb Binge, Daniel Jobson, Harry Pattison, Lachlan Trindall (Narrabri), Mitch Bowen, Brodie Heron, John Marau, Shannon Swan, Trent Taylor (Dungowan), James Bates, Riley Leonard, Harlee Millgate (WC), Brenton Cochrane, Mark Pegus, Jake Tighe (Moree), Ben Williams (Koot).

1: Phil Beaton, Kyle Cochrane, Logan Howard, Sam Molyneux, Ethan Parry, Chris Vidler, Nic Zahra (Koot), Bryce Daniels, Brad Flanders, Patrick Hanrahan, Tyrill Knox, Isaah Millgate, Dion Reid, Ian Reid, Cody Tickle (WC), Aiden Davis, KC Edmonds, Reece Jaeger, Dylan O’Brien (Gunnedah), Jack Gillham, Bailey Lennox, Kaylan Murray (Boggabri), Hayden Bell, Blake Hilderson, Daniel Howe, Todd Nichols, Kurt Wallace (Narrabri), Josh Cochrane, Holt Cubis, Alex Lawrence, Cameron Rodgers, Adrian Smith, Stan Swan, Joe Wade, Jarvis Watton, Ben Williams, Brett Wright (Moree), Dan Boland, Brad Brooks, Cody Byrne, Ethan Collins, Shaun Ferguson, Kevin Jones, Liam Mack, Blair Maloney, Zac Parker, Matt Wilson (Dungowan) Liam Ball, Scott Blanch, Tevita Cegunaivalu, Ryan Ingram, Jake McManus, Tom Woolaston, Jeremy York (North Tamworth).

WEG GROUP 4 TABLES

After Round 6 – Unofficial

FIRST GRADE: (for and against in brackets): Kootingal (184-108) 10, Narrabri (150-102) 10, North Tamworth (186-130) 8, Gunnedah (177-150) 6, Moree (138-140) 6, Boggabri (130-216) 4, Werris Creek (132-188) 4, Dungowan (115-170) 1.

SECOND GRADE: Manilla (346-82) 11, Barraba (218-76) 11, North Tamworth (146-144) 7, Moree (172-148) 7, Kootingal (222-118) 6, Gunnedah (186-138) 6, Dungowan (102-164) 4, Narrabri (118-174) 2, Werris Creek (80-320) 2, Boggabri (94-220) 1.

UNDER 18s: Kootingal (84-44) 6, Dungowan (92-52) 6, Gunnedah (70-70) 4, Narrabri (48-66) 3, Werris Creek (92-154) 1.

LADIES LEAGUE TAG: North Tamworth (262-56) 10, Gunnedah (222-38) 10, Dungowan (206-54) 10, Kootingal (194-28) 8, Werris Creek (96-138) 6, Boggabri (78-138) 6, Moree (64-162) 3, Barraba (30-170) 3, Narrabri (42-188) 3, Manilla (30-246) 1.