Cairns Brothers kept up their battle for the minor premiership with a convincing 38-24 win over Mareeba Gladiators in Round 14 of the Cairns District Rugby League A Grade competition on Sunday.
Brothers, who are joint top of the ladder on 24 points with Tully Tigers, raced out to a 28-6 lead at the break to set up the victory before the Sharks dominated possession in the second half.
Joel Riethmuller, Maipele Morseau, Sonny Rea, James Doolah, Matt Bon, Jayden Gil and Ben Fitzpatrick shared the tries, while Doolah also landed five conversions.
Brothers coach Chey Bird said he was thrilled with his side’s first half display.
“I was really happy at half-time and it was just a shame we couldn’t go on the job,” he said.
“In fairness to Mareeba, they never gave up and kept coming at us and got their rewards, but at end of the day, it’s another tick in the win column.
“We’re coming along okay – we’re not setting the world on fire with big scorelines like some of the other teams, but we’re improving in a lot of different areas.
“I still think Tully is the benchmark side in the comp, and that the minor premiership is theirs to lose.
“Our first target is to secure a finals spot, and then our aim is a top three finish so we can have a second bite in the finals.”
Tully secured their own two points with a hard-fought 18-14 triumph over reigning premiers Cairns Kangaroos at Tully Showgrounds.
The Tigers held a 14-4 advantage at half-time and withstood a brave fightback from the visitors. Try-scoring machine Greg Miglio grabbed another brace.
Ivanhoes continued their rollercoaster season with a 40-16 win over Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks at Smithfield Sporting Complex.
The Knights had trailed 16-12 at the break before producing a second-half blitz to remain in fifth spot on the ladder.
Ivanhoes centre Trent Barnard, back to his marauding best with two tries, was named the LD Total Cairns Player of the Round.
Innisfail Leprechauns are in third position and looked primed for a premiership tilt after overcoming a resurgent Yarrabah Seahawks 36-26 at Callendar Park.
Matthew Healey, Dan Sagigi, Adam Fichera, Fred Koraba, Anthony Perkin and Colin Wilkie all crossed the white stripe for the hosts.
Meanwhile, Edmonton Storm ended their run of five straight losses with a 26-12 victory over Atherton Roosters at Petersen Park.
Southern Suburbs had a bye.
2015 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 14 RESULTS:
FRIDAY 26 JUNE
Ivanhoe Knights 40 (Trent Barnard 2, Jared Verney, Ben Reed, Nathan McMullen, Troyson Bassini, Talu Teo tries; Jared Verney 6 goals) def Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 16 (Rex Liddy, Patty Whap, Billy Segeyaro tries; Robbie Amber 2 goals) at Smithfield Sporting Complex.
SATURDAY 27 JUNE
Innisfail Leprechauns 36 (Matthew Healey, Dan Sagigi, Adam Fichera, Fred Koraba, Anthony Perkin, Colin Wilkie tries; Matthew Healey 6 goals) def Yarrabah Seahawks 26 (Jayden Kuyuna, Andrew Garrett, Menmuny Murgha, Milton Mossman, Rodrick Duncan tries; Charles Murgha 2, Martin Dabah goal) at Callendar Park, Innisfail.
Tully Tigers 18 (Greg Miglio 2, Troy Peri, Johnathon Lavell tries; Aaron Jolley goal) def Cairns Kangaroos 14 (Patrick Lewis 2, Tibau Stephen tries; Patrick Lewis goal) at Tully Showgrounds.
SUNDAY 28 JUNE
Edmonton Storm 26 (Wade Smith 2, Travis Harrison, Nathan Wales, Peter Dalle Cort tries; Travis Harrison 3 goals) def Atherton Roosters 12 (Waylon Joseph, Isikeli sitapa tries; Darryl Grant 2 goals) at Petersen Park, Edmonton.
Cairns Brothers 38 (Joel Riethmuller, Maipele Morseau, Sonny Rea, James Doolah, Matt Bon, Jayden Gil, Ben Fitzpatrick tries; James Doolah 5 goals) def Mareeba Gladiators 24 (Pat Tai 2, Robert Pedersen, Ian King, Dwayne Williams tries; Rylan Reys 2 goals) at Stan Williams Park, Cairns.
Southern Suburbs – Bye.