Vikings Snatch Late Victory Over Bowral

MatchReportVikings have maintained their run toward this year’s Semi- Finals in the IDRU Builders Club Premiership with a last minute   22 – 16 home victory over Bowral. The win, which enables the Blueys to retain fourth spot, came in the last minute of the match when little men Tom Sawden and Jason Reid combined to put on a fifty five meter match winning try.

Bowral enjoyed a 13 – 3 half time lead with a strong defensive effort in what was a semi-final style intense encounter.  Despite losing Hooker Joshua Dick to the bin for ten minutes late in the half, the Blacks strongly closed down the Vikings attack whilst putting on their own five pointer through giant center Christian Vainerere. But it was the Blueys who took control of much of the proceedings in the second half running in three tries, the last enabling them to take the lead in the match for the first and only time.

The respective goal kickers Lachlan Huntington for Bowral and Tom Sawden for Vikings exchanged goals early for Bowral to lead 6 – 3 after fifteen minutes. Vainerere’s try came in the twenty second minute with the big center showing all his power and speed bumping off three defenders in a twenty meter run to the line. Huntington’s conversion brought up the half-time lead as Bowral appeared to be heading for another win.

Player of the Match Michael Ashby led the way for the Blueys after the break on the back of a lift in effort from the Blue forwards. Locks Jack Hobbs and Cody Roman along with Joel Diggins took the ball up strongly and with Ashby making space for his outside backs the tries had to come.

Flanker Dane Nethery found some space wide on the right sending Beau Midgley away on a run deep into the Blacks quarter. Midgley positioned his center partner Paul Henshaw who scored out wide to bring the Blueys back into the match at 13 – 8.

With the intensity of the hard fought match showing no signs of waning Huntington added a penalty goal to stretch the lead to eight points at 16 - 8 after sixty minutes. But within minutes Vikings posted their second try. Center Midgley taking advantage of another Ashby charge broke through on halfway taking play once again deep into the Blacks half of the field. After three strong phases of play Midgley popped up again wide on the left to score his side’s second touchdown. Sawden converted from near touch and the Blueys were within one of the lead at 16 – 15 with fifteen still left to play.

As the game went into the final stages of play Vikings were showing stronger resilience and with a string of penalties going the home side’s way the Blacks composure slipped a little with the diminutive Sawden taking full advantage of a tiring Bowral defense. The little half-back ducked under a defender five meters inside his own half and sprinted away up-field. Drawing the last of the Bowral defenders he found the fleet footed Reid in support who showed a clear pair of heels to score under the posts. Sawden converted for the final score and with no time left for a restart, the celebrations began for the home side.   

After a heavy loss to Avondale last week, Vikings needed to find their best form this week to get their finals campaign back on track. Despite Bowral having the better of the first period today, the Blueys showed that they have the potential to once again become a force come finals time. Ashby continued to impress today in both attack and defense off the back of some strong work from his forwards, in particular Josh Wigmore, Jack Hobbs, Cody Roman and the ever busy Dane Nethery. In the end the Blueys backs closed the match out with Sawden, Ashby, Midgley, Henshaw and Reid the busiest.

The Blacks let this one slip today in the closing stages of the match but will need to learn from the experience as we move towards another final series in five weeks’ time. They were well served today up front by Todd Pearce, Clancy Donan, Harry Carlon and hardworking No.8 Tim Lewis. Try scorer Vainerere and his center partner Sebastian Sell were strong with halves Tim Small and Huntington showing their class again throughout.   

Vikings 22 (Paul Henshaw 1 try, Beau Midgley 1 try, Jason Reid 1 try, Tom Sawden 2 goals, 1 penalty goal)

Def Bowral 16 (Christian Vainerere 1 try, Lachlan Huntington 1 goal, 3 penalty goals)

Other Match Results

University 52 Def Camden 22

Shoalhaven 100 Def Kiama 5

Avondale 31 Def Tech Waratahs 8

Shamrocks 87 Def Campbelltown 0

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