Stayin? alive

By ADAM WRATTEN

NATHAN Small's last-gasp try ensured Tweed Heads stays alive for another week, at least, in this year's Queensland Cup competition.

The elusive winger dived over in the corner in the 78th minute to give Tweed a 22-20 come-from-behind win against Ipswich in an entertaining game at Piggabeen Sports Complex yesterday.

With two rounds remaining in this year's competition it means Tweed, who are four points behind Toowoomba on the competition ladder, mathematically still have a chance of making this year's finals. However, realistically Toowoomba would need to lose its next two games, while Tweed would have to record big wins to draw level on points and improve its inferior for-and-against difference.

Wynnum, who are one point ahead of Tweed, would also have to lose.

At Piggabeen yesterday, Tweed coach Steve Murphy said the players did well to "tough it out".

After a number of close losses this year which include going down by four points to competition leaders North Queensland in heartbreaking fashion last week, it was Tweed's turn to come up trumps yesterday.

"It's good to win one of those games," Murphy said. "I think the boys were a bit flat at the start after last week's game against North Queensland and we obviously were not playing our best football.

"We also knew Ipswich are one of those sides that go for the full 80 minutes.

"The players did well to get the win."

Small's try was his second of the day and it put Tweed ahead for the first time in the game.

Ipswich built up a handy 10-point lead in the first half. The Jets flew out of the blocks to score in the first 90 seconds through halfback Ricky Bird who crossed out wide.

Winger Luke Walker extended that lead in the 15th minute after a good 15m run, where he held off a couple of attempted tackles by Tweed players.

Trailing 10-0 centre Josh Vaughan, who scored two tries and had a strong game, went in five minutes before the break with a good run into the hole after a good pass by halfback Tim Maccan.

In the second half, centre Geoff Chalk gave Ipswich a buffer when he went in out wide after the Jets were able to build up pressure on the Tweed line following a penalty.

Vaughan brought Tweed back into the game for the second time 15 minutes into the half with another strong run.However, a clever kick into the ingoal are from Bird a few minutes later put winger Stephen West in and it looked like Tweed's season was over.

But, the Jets knocked on from the kick off and Small was able to cross a couple of plays later out wide.

Then David Strachan put Tweed within two points when he brilliantly regathered his own charge down of a Bird kick to score.

In a thrilling finish, Small crossed out wide to give Tweed the win.

TWEED HEADS 22 (Tries, N Small 2, J Vaughan 2, D Strachan: Goals, B Davis) d IPSWICH 20 (Tries, S West, G Chalk, L Walker, R Bird; Goals, S West 2).



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