High drama in all-Tweed NRRRL prelim
UPDATE: An incredible second-half comeback from Murwillumbah and the gutsiest of responses from Cudgen saw this afternoon's dramatic NRRRL Reserve Grade preliminary final decided in extra-time, with Murwillumbah triumphing in an all-time classic.
Extra minutes were required after Murwillumbah pulled-off a spectacular fight-back, wrenching victory off Cudgen after going down 14-0 at half time.
The Mustangs looked to have sealed victory with 5-minutes left in the second-half when Ashley Ticker, Murwillumbah's Reserve Grade player of the year, slotted a perfect ball for half-back Aiden Karam to pounce on, putting the Mustangs up 24-20 after tries to Shane Kight, James Purcell and Dylan Brooks earlier in the half.
But, against all the momentum, Cudgen levelled the scores at 24-all with two minutes left in general play, forcing the game into extra-time.
The deciding minutes belonged all to Aiden Karam, who slotted two field-goals, one of them from 40-yards, to complete the Mustangs' phenomenal comeback.
The scores after full time were 26-24 the Mustangs' way.
The Mustangs will now take on Marist Brothers in the Reserve Grade grand final next Saturday at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina at 1pm.
Mur'bah on comeback mission against Cudgen
THE Murwillumbah Mustangs have started to claw their way back in this afternoon's NRRRL Reserve Grade preliminary final at Cabarita against Cudgen.
The Cudgen Hornets shot out to a quick 12-0 lead thanks to tries to number 8 Jack Curtis and number 7 Joel Hare, with Hornet's five-eighth Kaleb Green kicking truly to convert both opportunities.
The rest of the half was all Murwillumbah, who dominated possession but could not convert.
The Mustangs' wastefullness proved costly as a quick counter-punch and ensuing penalty with two minutes left in the half stretched the Hornets' lead to 14-0.
The Mustangs then came out on a mission to start the second half, with Shane Leslie Kite scoring in the second minute after the break on a determined charge through the Hornets' unprepared defences.
Shortly after James Purcell crossed for Murwillumbah to bring the score back to 14-12, the Hornets' way.