Local junior Jack Rowan cut loose with four tries as Isis Devils finally had something to celebrate in 2016, posting their first victory of the year with a 32-14 upset against Easts Magpies at home at Childers Showgrounds on Saturday night.
While already consigned to the wooden spoon, the win was reward for effort and no-one could deny them their moment of glory. However, it was a costly loss for the sixth-placed Magpies whose hopes of climbing one position and into the finals were dealt a massive blow.
At the other end of the table, already confirmed minor premiers Hervey Bay Seagulls notched their 15th win in a row with a 50-0 whitewash of third seed Wests Panthers in the early game at Salter Oval on Sunday.
Waves Tigers moved into third place ahead of Wests with a 60-26 triumph over Wallaroos, whose chances of improving on their fifth position on the table were also shot down.
There was much at stake for Easts, while Isis were playing for pride and they delighted their loyal fans with a gutsy win, set up by their forwards.
Fullback Rowan, who is also a star for the town’s rugby and cricket teams, finished off magnificently on four occasions, and two other young locals, Jack Cole and Royce Blair, also among the tries.
Former Queensland junior representative forward Ross Larsen, playing in the centres, grabbed a double for the Magpies, but their season fate was all but sealed as they remain four points behind Wallaroos.
They will have to win big in each of their last three matches against Waves, Wests and Wallaroos respectively and rely on Roos having a heavy loss to Wests at Eskdale Park (Maryborough) this Saturday night, before Roos have the penultimate round bye.
The other two matches showed who the real contenders are with the Seagulls rolling on relentlessly against the Panthers, who were coming off a third win over reigning champions and second placed Past Brothers this season.
The Tigers regained their mojo with a second win in a row after having lost four straight matches before that.
Polished fullback Alex Braun and centre and player/coach Tye Ingebrigtsen led the charge for the Bay with twin doubles and they are on track to go one better than last year and secure their first Bundaberg A Grade title, with finals preludes against Brothers and Waves remaining before having the last round bye.
Roos threw everything at Waves with gun centre Shaun Collins picking up another double, but the Tigers fielded their strongest team for a few months and a revamped line-up.
They looked good with nine try scorers in their 10-try romp, with winger Ben Garrett their only multiple try getter with two. Five-eighth Zak Bainbridge racked up 24 points with one try and 10 goals in a flawless kicking display.
The sky could be the limit when they do battle with Easts at Salter Oval this Sunday, and unless Past Brothers can somehow halt the Hervey Bay juggernaut in the game which follows, Waves could finish the weekend in second spot.
It was a big day for Waves with their Reserve grade side also defeating Roos 70-16 to virtually seal a finals berth, but Maryborough Brothers moved to the head of a very tight top of the table after pipping Bundaberg Brothers 22-20. Hervey Bay, who went into the weekend as one-point leaders, were joined on points by the Maryborough Brethren after the Seagulls also succumbed to Wests 26-22.
In Under 18, Past Brothers claimed the outright lead at the expense of Hervey Bay by beating them 64-6 with powerhouse five-eighth Wyatt Reynolds racking up three tries and fullback Leyton Chambers, front rower Jesse Richardson and centre Kedron Pointon each snaring doubles.
It was also a good day afternoon for Isis with their women grabbing their first match point of the season by virtue of a 22-all draw with Easts, courtesy of a two-try haul to hooker Sophia Fisher.
Isis 32 (Jack Rowan 4, Jack Cole, Royce Blair tries; Tyrone Ward 2 goals) d Easts 14 (Ross Larsen 2, Nick Tanner tries; Josh Johnson goal).
Hervey Bay 50 (Alex Braun 2, Tye Ingebrigtsen 2, Joel McCrea, Terry Horne, Steven Dwyer, Billy Stefaniuk, Chol Chol tries; Clinton Horne 7 goals) d Wests 0.
Waves Tigers 60 (Ben Garrett 2, 6 Zak Bainbridge, Jake Zaina, Chris Rose, Robert Nona, Brendan Pimm, 9 Daniel McLennan, Liam Saumalu, Peni Tuakalau tries; Bainbridge 10 goals) d Wallaroos 26 (Shaun Collins 2, Luke Waters, Joey Alberts, Roger Rainbow tries; Jack Horder 3 goals).