Jets take last-minute win
A CONVERTED try in the dying seconds earned Bycroft Cup premiers Bilambil Jets a 20-16 win over Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League 2012 runners-up, Murwillumbah Mustangs, in a high-class game of rugby league at Stan Sercombe Oval on Saturday night.
Both teams went into the trial match keen to do well in the arm-wrestle against a powerful opponent.
The match was played at break-neck speed and despite most of the players still being on the rusty side, the crowd was treated to some entertaining football.
Jets coach, Jim Lenihan, reported all his troops came through the match unscathed.
Lenihan was reluctant to single out any of his players for special mention but did remark that Cory Blair, who played in the centres and second-row at various stages, "led by example".
Worse news though out of the Mustangs camp with a number of injuries marring an otherwise pleasing trial for the hosts.
Michael Ashburn, having his first run back since breaking his jaw midway through last season, has broken a bone in his foot, Lionel Foster has a dislocated wrist and slick centre, Dmitri Kelayias, injured knee ligaments.
Mustangs president, Nigel Lofts, said coach, Troy McLean, was delighted with the performances handed in by Kelayias and Taylor Howell who look to have smoothly made the transition from under 18s to senior football.
Tweed Coast Raiders also trialled on Saturday at Currumbin where the hosts posted a hard-fought 26-16 victory.
Raiders coach, Arwin Marcus, was in no way displeased by the performance as the bulk of his senior players were absent at a wedding.
"I gave the young blokes a start and they did themselves proud and proved they can handle the rise in class to senior football," Marcus said.
Marcus was specially impressed by the efforts handed in by Kori Cavanaugh, Joe Creighton and Dean Jones.
Cavanaugh handled the pivot role with aplomb, providing good direction and displaying a solid kicking game and Jones showed a tremendous work-rate throughout.
Creighton played in the second-row and impressed everyone at the ground with his damaging runs and full-blooded tackles.
In the other trial involving a local side, Cudgen Hornets were beaten 28-0 by a fit and well-drilled Burleigh Heads at Ned Byrne Field.
But don't let the scoreline lull you into believing the Hornets weren't competitive.
The Bears raced in three converted tries in an eight minute period just before half-time following some slipshod defence out wide.
The visitors led 22-0 at the break but could manage just the one try after the resumption.
The Hornets went into the match missing a handful of key personnel but the young blokes given a hit-out by coach, Craig Field, acquitted themselves well.
In the earlier games on the program, the under 19s drew 24-24 and the seconds were beaten 16-10.