NORTHERN Pride sealed their second straight Intrust Super Cup minor premiership, but not without a scare in their 30-8 Get in the Game Country Week win over Souths Logan Magpies in Mareeba last night.
After finishing at the top of the ladder in the 2013 regular season, Jason Demetriou’s men have once again claimed top spot, this time with three rounds to spare.
However, Souths Logan made the Pride work for the two points, leading 8-0 at the half-hour mark, and level 8-8 at the break, before being overwhelmed in the second stanza.
On a cold night at Davies Park in front of an excellent Mareeba crowd, the Magpies started the stronger and opened the scoring on 13 minutes.
Captain Phil Dennis put up a huge bomb which was spilled by Pride fullback Hezron Murgha, resulting in Souths Logan backrower Patrick Mago picking up the crumbs to score.
After a slow start, the Pride gradually started to get back into the game, but dropped ball denied them a series of excellent attacking opportunities.
And sensing their opponents were off their game, the Magpies further extended their lead when Mago popped over a penalty goal to give his side an 8-0 lead.
However, on 31 minutes the Pride finally broke Souths Logan’s resistance as good work by halfback Sam Obst allowed Kyle Feldt to cross in the right corner.
And just five minutes later the Pride drew level as a superb backline move gave young winger Linc Port an easy run-in over the tryline.
The Pride continued their momentum into the start of the second half, although it took a brilliant try-saving tackle by Brett Anderson to deny Mago another try.
And on 54 minutes, Feldt struck again to give his side the lead for the first time, leaping like a salmon to take a high ball and plant the ball down.
The Pride were now starting to flex their muscles and show why they are currently the team to beat, with Anderson rolling back the years by slicing through the Magpies defence from 30 metres out.
Try-scoring machine Davin Crampton again got in on the act, showing searing pace to score after a neat Shaun Nona offload.
And fittingly, it was Obst who finished off the game in style with two minutes left on the clock, picking up a loose ball to score under the posts.
NORTHERN PRIDE 30 (Kyle Feldt 2, Linc Port, Brett Anderson, Sam Obst, Davin Crampton tries; Kyle Feldt 3 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 8 (Patrick Mago try; Patrick Mago 2 goals) at Davies Park, Mareeba.
Souths Logan Magpies
1. Ihaka Watene 2. Luke Archer 3. Dallas Anderson 4. Tim Brooks 5. Ramon Filipine 6. Phil Dennis (c) 7. Rhys Jacks 8. Luke Page 9. Mitch Cronin 10. Andrew Edwards 11. Darcy Wright 12. Patrick Mago 13. Luke Bateman 14. Herschel Gideon 15. Leon Panapa 16. Rez Phillips 20. Simanu Crichton
1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 22. Kyle Feldt 5. Semi Tadulala 6. Shaun Nona 7. Sam Obst 20. Ricky Thorby 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Joel Riethmuller 11. Ethan Lowe 12. Tyrone McCarthy 13. Davin Crampton 14. Ryan Ghietti 15. Jack Svendsen 16. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 17. Tom Hancock