Ladder-leading Innisfail Leprechauns edged a brave Tully side to clinch bragging rights in their top of the table local derby in the David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate Cairns District Rugby League A Grade on Saturday night.
Both sides went into the Kenfrost Homes Game of the Round with 100 per cent records this season, and in the end it came down to the boot of Leprechauns utility Fred Koraba, who landed three conversions to one from Tigers’ Jonathan Hughes.
Kyle Stepanoff, Mick Costa, Rob Haren and Luke Romano grabbed the hosts’ tries, while Jared Verney, Matthew di Mauro, Troy Peri and Hughes replied for Tully at Callendar Park.
Innisfail now lead the competition by two points, with Tully still in second spot.
Now joining the Tigers on 10 points is Southern Suburbs, who beat Edmonton Storm 28-20 in a brutal mudbath of a local derby at Alley Park, and in the process also clinched the Ryan Deemal Memorial Shield.
The biggest cheer of the night came for Suburbs hooker Maddie Oosen, who crossed for a try in his comeback game after surgery on a groin injury which has kept him out since 2013.
Atherton finally secured their first win of the season with a shock 36-22 win at Yarrabah Seahawks on ANZAC Day.
In wet conditions, the Roosters were inspired by English import Jamie Thackray, who crossed for two tries.
The visitors ran in seven tries in total to silence the home crowd, with Rylan Rhys also scoring two tries and landing three shots at goal.
And to continue a round of surprises, Mossman-Port Douglas put another dent in Brothers’ final ambitions with a 34-22 triumph at Mossman Showgrounds.
Karl Zammataro (2), Peter Tuccandigeo, Neals Biehler, Curtis Nehow, Darryl Lightning and Bronson Ryan all crossed for David Grainer’s men, who now move into fourth spot.
The final shock of the round came at Davies Park where Mareeba stunned reigning premiers Kangaroos with a thrilling 18-16 win.
Forward Shana Aue was the hero, scoring all three tries for the hosts and in the process collecting the LD Total Cairns Player of the Round award. Glen Hunter also landed three goals for the Gladiators.
Ivanhoe Knights had a bye.
2014 David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate A Grade – ROUND 7 RESULTS
Friday 25 April
Atherton Roosters 36 (Rhys 2, Thackray 2, Hiraki, Schmidt, Creagh tries; Cuchio 3, Rhys goals) def Yarrabah Seahawks 22 (Mudu, Kuyana, Dubah, Mossman tries; B. Murgha 3 goals) at Jilara Oval.
Southern Suburbs 28 (Henley 2, Sutherland, Hanlon, M. Oosen tries; Riesen 4 goals) def Edmonton Storm 20 (Toby 3, Harrison tries; L. Murgha 2 goals) at Alley Park.
Saturday 26 April
Innisfail Leprechauns 22 (Stepanoff, Costa, Haren, Romano tries; Koraba 3 goals) def Tully Tigers 18 (Verney, Hughes, di Mauro, Peri tries; Hughes goal) at Callendar Park.
Mareeba Gladiators 18 (Aue 3 tries; Hunter 3 goals) def Cairns Kangaroos 16 (Kurl, Stephens, Peeters tries; Amber 2 goals) at Davies Park.
Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 34 (Zammataro 2, Tuccandigeo, Biehler, Nehow, Lightning, Ryan tries; Cobb 3 goals) def Cairns Brothers 22 (Fitzpatrick, Anau, Daniels, Dunbar tries; Castellaro 3 goals) at Mossman Showgrounds.
Ivanhoe Knights – BYE.