Mareeba Gladiators handed Atherton Roosters their first loss of the season with a thrilling 30-26 derby win at Roosters Stadium in Round 6 of the 2016 David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate Cairns District Rugby League A Grade season on Saturday.
The visitors raced out to a 30-4 lead against their previously unbeaten Tablelands rivals, before Atherton launched a late fightback, which proved all too late.
Veteran half-back Josh Stowers was a standout for Mareeba, scoring a try and leading his impressive pack around the paddock.
“We got a bit nervous at the end there,” Stowers told The Cairns Post.
“We held them out for the first 10 or 15 minutes and that gave us belief.
“I’m really happy with how the boys are going and hopefully this win gives us a bit more belief.”
The other local derby of the day saw Cassowary Coast rivals Innisfail and Tully go head to head, with Innisfail winning 20-4 at Tully Showgrounds.
Eddie Morrison-Sailor, Anthony Perkins, Dan Sagigi and Brett Anderson all crossed for unbeaten leaders Leprechauns, while Tim Savage scored Tully’s only points.
Mossman-Port Douglas’ Eddie Daniel was named the LD Total Cairns Player of the Round for his superb individual display in the Sharks’ impressive 36-14 victory over Yarrabah.
Daniel scored a hat-trick of tries and landed six goals for a personal haul of 24 points, while Darryl Lightning also crossed for a double for the hosts.
Cairns Kangaroos inflicted another defeat on winless Southern Suburbs after securing a 28-18 triumph at Vico Oval.
Northern Pride back Luke George was impressive and scored a four-pointer, while Patrick Lewis, Mitchell Bandicootcha, Harry Ambrym and Ned Anno were also try scorers for Kangaroos.
Meanwhile, Cairns Brothers moved back into second on the ladder after an impressive 38-12 win at Ivanhoe Knights.
Edmonton Storm had a bye.
2016 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 6 RESULTS:
SATURDAY 7 MAY
TULLY TIGERS v INNISFAIL LEPRECHAUNS (Tully Showgrounds)
Under 18s - Tully 10-28 Innisfail
Reserve Grade - Tully 16-0 Innisfail
A Grade – Innisfail 20 (Morrison-Sailor, Perkins, Anderson, Sagigi tries; Healey 2 goals) def Tully 4 (Savage try).
ATHERTON ROOSTERS v MAREEBA GLADIATORS (Roosters Stadium, Atherton)
Under 18s - Atherton 36-22 Mareeba
Reserve Grade - Atherton 34-20 Mareeba
A Grade – Mareeba 30 (Rai 2, Gutchen, Aue, Stowers tries; Bail 4 goals) def Atherton 26 (Rivett, Hauraki, Nawaibalavu, Lealaitafea tries; Grant 3 goals).
MOSSMAN-PORT DOUGLAS SHARKS v YARRABAH SEAHAWKS (Mossman Showgrounds)
Second Division - Mossman-Port Douglas 18-36 Yarrabah
Reserve Grade - Mossman-Port Douglas 16-36 Yarrabah
A Grade - Mossman-Port Douglas 36 (Daniel 3, Lightning 2, Amber tries; Daniel 6 goals) def Yarrabah 14 (Duncan, Stanley, C. Murgha tries; Ambrym goal).
IVANHOE KNIGHTS v CAIRNS BROTHERS (Smithfield Sporting Complex)
Second Division - Ivanhoes 26-40 Brothers
Under 18s - Ivanhoes 8-64 Brothers
Reserve Grade - Ivanhoes 12-32 Brothers
A Grade – Brothers 38 (Schell 2, Kepa, Childs, Wehi, La Rosa tries; Reisen 5 goals) def Ivanhoes 12 (Quadling, Barnes tries; Verney 2 goals).
SUNDAY 8 MAY
CAIRNS KANGAROOS v SOUTHERN SUBURBS (Vico Oval, Mooroobool)
Second Division - Kangaroos 20-16 Babinda
Under 18s - Kangaroos 54-0 Suburbs
Reserve Grade - Kangaroos 24-16 Suburbs
A Grade - Kangaroos 28 (Lewis, Bandicootcha, George, Ambrym, Anno tries; Cook 4 goals) def Suburbs 18 (Chinfat, Hanlon, McCosker tries; Hanlon 3 goals).
EDMONTON STORM - BYE