Nelson Bay Rugby Union Club’s stellar season ended in heartbreak when Maitland produced a clever blind side play in the dying minutes of Sunday’s semi-final to snatch victory 23-15.
In their first finals campaign since 2002, the Gropers were clearly the better side for most of the contest and held a handy 12-5 lead at half time.
The teams were level 15-15 with minutes to go before the Blacks’ last ditch play.
The Bay’s pivot pair of Charlie Fielder and Michael Wiringi were solid. The hard working forward pack, lead by No. 8 Adam Edwards and Rhys Dombkins, were non-stop in attack and defence.
The club has plenty of things to build on with some exciting talent in the junior ranks emerging.
The future looks bright for the Gropers.
Raymond Terrace Ravens ladies tag team are one win away from a grand-final appearance.
The Ravens won a tight contest against Dora Creek 16-12 in the semi-finals at Lakeside on Saturday.
The win has seen them move into ladies league tag A-grade preliminary final, to be played against Aberglassyn at Lakeside on Saturday.
In the semi, the Ravens trailed 12-10 at the break however coach Paul Marquet kept his charges focused on the job at hand.
The Ravens’ defence was strong in the second half led by Trudie Dixon and Bree Chester.
Lacey Beneke scored two tries while Cythia Wooderson scored the match-winning try late in the game.
The winner of this weekend’s preliminary final, starting at 12.15pm, will meet University in the grand-final.
The Mallabula Panthers ladies tag team are through to the grand-final after a dominant semi-final performance against Stroud at the weekend.
Stroud were unable to gain a single point against the Panthers at Lakeside on Saturday, going down 12-0.
The win has seen the Panthers go straight through to the ladies league tag B-grade final, which will be played on September 15.
The Panthers will now await the result of Saturday’s preliminary final between Stroud and Swansea to see who they will face on September 15.
ALSO READ: Mallabula’s season of growth
Nelson Bay Junior Rugby Union Club have used the timeless words of Meatloaf to describe its teams’ grand-final run: “don’t be sad, cos two out of three ain’t bad”.
The club finished its terrific year with two grand-final wins – for under-12s and 15s.
While under-17s fought the Wanderers valiantly, they went down 17-15.
The nucleus of the under-12 premiership-winning team has remained in tact for the past two seasons.
Coached by Clint Brown, under-12s also won premierships in under-10 and 11s.
The first half of the 12s game was a tight contest with the Bay leading 12-5 at halftime.
The team clicked in the second half to run out victors 26-15.
Centre Xavier Stewart scored two tries while Oscar Affleck was awarded man of the match.
The under-15 team coached by Mitch Fraser continued their grand-final success with a 32-19 win over Wanderers.
Logan Fenwick scored two tries. Hooker Liam Page had his usual busy game while five eight Toby Fraser ignited plenty of attacking raids.
Fraser was named best and fairest.
Under-17s coached by Andrew Evans and Jason Gascoigne were the hard luck of the day.
Leading 15-12 with minutes left on the clock, the Bay lost 17-15 with a late try.
Tackling tyro Josh Evans had a fine game while tough prop Mitch Workman was strong up front.
Thomas McPhee was best and fairest for the 17s.
Two talented Nelson Bay rugby players, Maya Stewart and Bobbi Law, were the stand out players in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union women’s grand-final
The two girls played with the Waratahs, under coach Kaveiloni Vikilani, in the September 1 grand-final in Newcastle.
The Waratahs led 29-0 at half time. The end result was a comprehensive 69-5 demolition of the Wanderers.
Stewart, a classy centre, raced in four tries while Law’s clever play saw her score two tries.
Both girls will continue playing with New England University sevens team, which play in the national series over seven rounds.
The Waratahs were one of the first teams to play in Hunter women’s rugby but only returned to the competition this year after a lengthy absence.