Hornets wrap up reserve grade win

CUDGEN five-eighth Jason Baihn showcased his complete kit of tricks as the Hornets wrapped up the reserve grade premiership with a 31-20 win over Northern United in Grafton yesterday.

Baihn scored a try, had a hand in three more, and kicked three goals and a field-goal to lift Cudgen to the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League reserve grade premiership.

“It’s fantastic,” coach Tom Heffernan said.

“Some of our older blokes have played at the club since juniors and never even been in a grand final, let alone won one. We had some straight nails and some crooked nails but in the end they went into the wood together.”

United were in the match up to their ears, trailing 10-6 at half-time, but soft defence around the middle of the ruck allowed the Hornets to launch a second-half blitz and shut them out.

Adding insult to injury, United eventually lost their cool, with Paul King and Gordon Roberts sin-binned for a little bit of extra vigour in the wrestle at the ruck.

Justin Bolt led a late fightback as United ran in two tries to narrow the margin but the game was gone when Baihn slotted a 70th minute field-goal to extend the margin to 11.

“We’ve played sudden-death football for the last four weeks (since trumped 25-24 by United in the final round to slip from second to fourth) and thrived on it,” Heffernan said.

“The boys have really come into their own as a collective unit the last few weeks, and it was another good team effort that got us home.

“But we must also thank our huge supporter base, who have been behind us all year and made the long trek south to cheer us on and get us over the line.”

Despite the heroics of Baihn, it was halfback Dylan Sutton who was named man of the match by the officials.

Cudgen’s crown, together with semi-final appearances in both first grade and under-18s, undoubtedly bodes well for the club’s future.

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