Tully Tigers clinched their second straight minor premiership with a 40-24 win at Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks in the final regular season round of the Cairns District Rugby League A Grade competition.
The return of captain Troy Kapea inspired the Tigers to fight back from 18-10 down in the second half and seal another minor premiership in addition to their inaugural effort last season.
Kapea and Danny Afungia scored two tries each, with Matt Musumeci, Aaron Jolley and John Hughes also crossing for the visitors.
It was an historic weekend for Tully as they clinched minor premierships in A Grade, Reserve Grade and Under 18s
Tully’s A Grade side will now enjoy a week’s break before the finals and play the winner of Cairns Brothers and Innisfail Leprechauns, who played each other on Sunday.
“It was important for us to finish No.1 because it’s been a physical comp and everyone is pretty banged up,” Tigers coach Leon Hallie told The Cairns Post.
“Getting that week off will give us the freshen up we need.”
Innisfail took advantage of their game with Brothers to land an early psychological blow ahead of their finals clash with a 22-12 win over the Brethren at Stan Williams Park.
Player-coach Ty Williams, Rob Haren and Ben Reuter were the Leprechauns try scorers.
Southern Suburbs will face Ivanhoe Knights in their elimination semi-final this Sunday, but did not have ideal preparation with a 36-32 loss at Yarrabah.
The Seahawks finished the year in superb form, and once again showed their attacking class, crossing for six tries with Oswald Fourmile grabbing a double.
Reigning premiers Cairns Kangaroos finished bottom of the ladder to finish off a miserable defence of their premiership, following a 38-22 defeat at Atherton in a wooden spoon decider.
Atherton prop Dean Howard, who will take over as Roosters player-coach in 2016, scored two tries and was named the LD Total Cairns CDRL Player of the Round.
Meanwhile, Edmonton Storm finished a turbulent season in style with a 26-22 victory over Mareeba Gladiators at Davies Park.
Ivanhoe Knights had a bye.
2015 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 22 RESULTS:
SATURDAY 22 AUGUST
Tully Tigers 40 (Afungia 2, Kapea 2, Jolley, Hughes, Musumeci tries; Clifford 6 goals) def Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 24 (Grogan, Oui, Cannon, Lightning tries; Amber 2 goals) at Mossman Showgrounds.
Atherton Roosters 38 (Howard 2, Nawaibalavu 2, Blackman, Grant, Woodleigh tries; Grant 2, Blackman 2, Joseph goals) def Cairns Kangaroos 22 (Stephen, Doi, Savage, Mene tries; Stephen 3 goals) at Roosters Stadium.
Edmonton Storm 26 (Wales, Prior, D. Ambrym, Henley, Smith tries; Harrison, Prior, Murgha goals) def Mareeba Gladiators 22 (King 2, Reys, Grainer tries; Reys goals) at Davies Park, Mareeba.
SUNDAY 23 AUGUST
Innisfail Leprechauns 22 (Williams, Haren, Reuter tries; Healey 3 goals) def Cairns Brothers 12 (Anau, Parmenter tries; Doolah 2 goals) at Stan Williams Park, Manunda.
Yarrabah Seahawks 36 (O. Fourmile 2, Kynuna, Canendo, M. Mossman, M. Murgha tries; Dabah 3, C. Murgha 2, C. Mossman goals) def Southern Suburbs 32 (Joinbee, Saunders, Coutts, Elliot, Burton tries; Hanlon 6 goals) at Jilara Oval, Yarrabah.
Ivanhoe Knights – bye.