The Pambula-Merimbula Bulldogs under 18s were the big winners against the Bega Roosters on Sunday, knocking off a three-year winning streak.
The Bulldogs had a tough day at the office, going down to the Roosters in league-tag and first grade to comfortable margins, but the 18s managed to upstage the hosts 22-18.
The exuberant young Bulldogs put on a thrilling display to secure the four-point lead.
The headline first grade match went to the hosts 62-12 despite play from the Bulldogs, especially at the back end of the first half.
The hosts shot to an early lead after Jackson Whitby found space on the left flanks and then prop Mitch Carter crashed through the middle to score under the posts.
With another quick try, the Roosters were looking strong with a 22-0 lead, but the Bulldogs hit their straps to return fire quickly.
Two tries deep in the left corner with some accurate kicking by Blake Schafer to add the extras meant the visiting side was back in the hunt at 22-12.
Unfortunately, the Roosters had several players backing up from reserve grade and a swag of fresh legs on the bench quickly overwhelmed the Pambula-Merimbula defence in the second half.
Dane Casey had some strong runs, while Daniel Cronk was great in some tough hit ups, but the team fell a little flat on the Roosters’ home turf.
Todd Ingram had some incisive runs for the hosts, while Jamie Sinclair continued his hard tackling from the previous week.
The reserve grade clash also saw the Candelo-Bemboka Panthers going down 40-6 after a disappointing display from the Panthers marred by handling errors.
Captain-coach Jake McDonald was again one of the best for his side with some solid hit ups, but the Panthers were shown up by the pairing of Dennis Scott and Craig Matthews.
Twice Scott charged through the Panthers line but had plenty of support from the speed-loaded Matthews to outrun the Candelo-Bemboka back line.
Rounding out the rough day was a loss for the Hot Doggies at the hands of the dominant Bega Chicks league-tag combination.
The Chicks were led by representative players Kezie Apps and Joccoaa Rogers, but Taelar Williams and Hayley Jessop proved fleet-footed to wreak havoc for the hosts.
The Hot Doggies were giving up plenty of points in the opening half as the team struggled to make tags stick.
However, the visitors never gave up the fight and were awarded a solitary try in the second half to captain Lauren Kidd off a quick inside burst from the play-the-ball.
This weekend sees the Bulldogs taking on the Moruya Sharks at Ack Weyman Oval.
Under 18s get underway at 10.30am and first grade will kickoff at 2.30pm on the day.
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