Innisfail Leprechauns clinched a memorable 22-19 derby win over leaders Tully Tigers in their Cairns District Rugby League A Grade clash at Callendar Park on Saturday night.
Despite a starring show from young Tully halfback Jake Clifford (two tries, three goals), a late Fred Koraba try sealed a dramatic win for third-placed Innisfail in a classic Cassowary Coast encounter.
Veterans Rod Jensen and Ty Williams also got on the scoresheet for Leprechauns, while Aaron Jolley was another standout for Tully.
Brothers replaced Tully at the top of the ladder with a highly-impressive 46-18 triumph over reigning premiers Cairns Kangaroos at Stan Williams Park.
Maipele Morseu was again in superb form with four tries for the hosts, but the LD Total Cairns Player of the Round went to Brothers prop Matty Bon for a powerful all-round performance.
“Matty was outstanding for us and gave us some great go-forward against his old club, playing strong and whacking a few in defence too,” said Brothers coach Chey Bird.
“This one was a danger game for us, and we knew that Roos’ position on the ladder belied their potential.
“It was also our old boys’ reunion and a healthy crowd, so the team didn’t want to let anyone down.
“We’ve still got lots of areas we can improve on. We’re leaking too many points and although we defend well, we have lapses and let teams in for points.
“Our attack is going well but we won’t get as many opportunities against some of the stronger sides, so we can’t afford lapses in defence.”
Brothers face a huge month of footy as they take on top six sides Suburbs, Tully, Edmonton, and Innisfail in the last four rounds.
“We’ve got a very tough month ahead, and it will say a lot as to where we’re at as a footy side,” added Bird.
Atherton Roosters and Mareeba Gladiators fought out a thrilling 28-28 draw in their Tablelands derby at Roosters Stadium.
Both sides scored four tries apiece, with Timoli Nawaibalavu (Atherton) and Frank Koroi (Mareeba) both scoring braces.
Southern Suburbs overcame the early sending-off of Rikki Sutherland to overpower finals rivals Ivanhoe Knights 30-12 despite playing more than 70 minutes with 12 men.
Meanwhile, Mossman-Port Douglas produced one of their best displays of the season to beat Yarrabah Seahawks 38-14 at Mossman Showgrounds.
The Sharks crossed for seven tries, with Keenan Grogan, Shaun Bowen, David Oui, Quinlyn Cannon, Patty Whap, Rickie Burchill and Lewis Whap all scoring four-pointers.
Edmonton Storm had a bye.
2015 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 17 RESULTS:
FRIDAY 24 JULY
Southern Suburbs 30 def Ivanhoe Knights 12 at Smithfield Sporting Complex.
Mossman-Port Douglas 38 (Grogan, Bowen, Oui, Cannon, P. Whap, Burchill, L. Whap tries; Amber 5 goals) def Yarrabah Seahawks 14 (C. Fourmile, Kuyana, Mudu tries; C. Murgha goal) at Mossman Showgrounds.
SATURDAY 25 JULY
Innisfail Leprechauns 22 (Jensen, Healey, Williams, Koraba tries; Healey 3 goals) def Tully Tigers 19 (Clifford 2, Jolley tries; Clifford 3 goals; Jolley field goal) at Callendar Park, Innisfail.
Cairns Brothers 46 (Morseu 4, Guilgo 3, Tognolini, Fitzpatrick tries; Guilgo 3, Roberts goals) def Cairns Kangaroos 18 (Allen, Mene, T. Stephen tries; B. Stephen 3 goals) at Stan Williams Park, Manunda.
Atherton Roosters 28 (Nawaibalavu 2, Woodleigh, Blackman, Tokahari tries; Grant 4 goals) drew with Mareeba Gladiators 28 (Koroi 2, King, Reys, Williams tries; Reys 4 goals) at Roosters Stadium, Atherton.
Edmonton Storm – bye.