Desperate Dolphins keep finals hopes alive
IT was a game that lived up to it's billing in Rivalry Round.
But ultimately, only one side could claim two vital competition points and it was the Redcliffe Dolphins who pumped life into their stuttering season with a dramatic 18-16 win over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in a Sunday afternoon classic.
With the Herald Cup, and their season, on the line the Dolphins put to bed their slow starts of recent times.
It was an even contest in the opening exchanges, with both sides earning plenty of opportunities to post first points.
An early injury to halfback Matt Seamark made the assignment tougher for the Seagulls, the injury telling of the intensity at which the game was played.
But it was Sarafu Fatiaki who created the chance for Redcliffe to post first points, bursting through the Seagulls line to link with Delroy Berryman.
It wasn't long after when Cameron Cullen, who looked right at home in only his second game for the Dolphins, found a gaping hole in the Wynnum line to post a fantastic solo try and stretch Redcliffe's lead to 12-0.
But the reigning Intrust Super Cup champions were not out of the contest by a long shot, striking back within minutes when John TeReo made the Dolphins pay for failing to tidy the crumbs in their own goal.
It was Wynnum who came out firing from the sheds after the break, with Nat Barnes soaring on the wing to ensure the scores were locked at 12-12.
The game had the feel of a heavy-weight bout, with two giants of the league throwing everything they had at one another in a desperate bid to see who would blink first.
A Redcliffe penalty goal to take the score to 14-12 was never going to be enough to seal a win.
Damaging runs from Petero Civonceva were mirrored by lightning fast sprints from dummy half by Jake Granville.
And it was the Dolphins who blinked, allowing Jeriah Goodrich to squeeze over with 14 minutes to go and give the Seagulls a four point lead.
But when the Dolphins earned a drop-out with five minutes to go, Nick Slyney and Civoniceva took charge with two huge runs, before Paul Ivan found an offload to Delroy Berryman to score in front of the can bar and send Dolphin Oval into raptures.
The drama was not finished, when Joe Bond knocked-on with two minutes to spare handing Wynnum a chance to snatch victory.
In the end, the siren sounded as the ball was swatted out of bounds by the Dolphins with Wynnum surging towards the Redcliffe try-line.
In a game that neither side deserved to lose, it was the side that had the most on the line that was able to run out narrow winners.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 18 (Delroy Berryman 2, Cameron Cullen tries; Liam Georgetown 3 goals) def WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 16 (Jeriah Goodrich, Nathanael Barnes, John Te Reo tries; Kurt French 2 goals) at Dolphin Oval.