Stangs sweep grades

THE Murwillumbah Mustangs recorded a rare clean sweep in three grades when they hosted Casino at Stan Sercombe Oval in Murwillumbah in round 11 of the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League yesterday.

The A grade capped-off an impressive afternoon for the club with a 40-12 win over the visitors in what was easily their best performance of the season. A relieved captain/coach Brad Purtell, who crossed for a try in his team's second half blitz, said the result was reward for hard work in training resulting from the team finally finding combinations as key players returned to the side.

The Mustangs also won reserve grade 30-10 while the under 18s got the ball rolling with a 44-0 demolition of Casino.

Meanwhile, on Saturday night in Lismore, the Cudgen Hornets came within a whisker of a major upset, going down to Northern United 42-34 in a match which had coach Con Theodossiou shaking his head.

“With 18 minutes left on the clock, we were up 34-18 and looking like we might get away with the match,” Theodossiou said.

“However there some very puzzling refereeing decisions which I couldn't understand which helped the home side and when he had Ben Reed sin binned with 13 minutes left to go, that gave United the chance to score points which they took.

“Considering we had five key players out of our side, I am very proud of how we went.”

In the lower grades, Cudgen won reserve grade 24-22 while Northern United won the under 18s 36-24.

Also on Saturday night, at Les Burger Field, the Tweed Coast Raiders came from behind to almost snatch victory from Marist Brothers but had to settle for a 20-all draw.

There was nothing between the sides in the first half and both sides went to the break locked at 12-all.

However, two quick tries by Marist in the second half had them out to a 20-12 lead.

The home side was forced to dig deep and rallied in the closing minutes of the game to post two tries of their own and with the conversion attempt on the second try to win the match going wide, the full time siren sounded with both teams locked again. In the lower grade the Raiders won reserve grade 28-10 and the under 18s 26-16.

In other matches, Mullum downed Evans Head 32-10, Byron downed Kyogle 40-6, the Rhinos beat Ballina 34-8 and Lower Clarence beat the Ghosts 22-20.

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