In the last round before the semi-finals, the 2014 NDRL BLM Minor Premiers Trophy was up for grabs as Gin Gin and Miriam Vale went head to head with the Hawks going in underdogs.
Gin Gin secured the first two wins against Miriam Vale earlier in the season but the Pies embarrassed the Hawks in round three winning 40-20 with the Hawks defensive line broken repeatedly.
In the first half the Hawks ran away with the game early racing to a 22-nil score line before the Pies crossed the line for their first try of the match. Young fullback Brandon Galea in only his second year of league bagged a double and was Players Player again for his club finding a new level of confidence that will hold him in good stead running into the finals. Miriam Vale hit back in the second half with the Hawks tiring, allowing the Pies to run in quick tries by Gardner, Gower and Grainger but the Hawks held on securing a home win 44-24.
In the earlier game Agnes and Kolan both only had 11 players a side but it was the Marlins who were off to a flying start only for inexperience and handling errors to allow Kolan back into the game with the Sharks getting the two competition points winning 54-44. It was a good effort from Agnes to show some fight spirit considering the huge scores that have been scored against them late into the season due to lack of player numbers.
The previous week’s fixtures brought surprise results in both matches. South Kolan took to the field with only 11 men and was no match for Gin Gin who is slowly piecing together a side after so many players out injured. The game was called off in the second half with the Hawks leading 30-8.
In the main game Miriam Vale took on a rampaging Avondale Tigers who are heading home into the finals very strong and on track to try and win back to back premierships. Miriam Vale stuck to their game plan and played well across the park with centre Dale Fischer and lock Ricky Noy bagging doubles to topple the Tigers 40-20 at Gary Larsen Oval.
Since the Magpies have signed Noy mid season the Pies have lost few games and he has added another dimension to the side. Miriam Vale will be the dark horse in the finals this year.
First round of the 2014 Wide Bay Australia NDRL Finals will be at Avondale this Sunday, August 17.
Gin Gin take on second place Avondale in the main game with the loser getting another bite at the cherry next week. South Kolan will play Miriam Vale with the loser out for the season.