The premiership contenders are starting to make their mark on the Central Highlands Rugby League competition after Round 3.
The Clermont Bears Ladies are on the road to redeeming last year’s premiership defeat in the big dance, defeating the Blackwater Crushettes 44-10 to make it three from three.
Elle Waters continues to score tries for the Bears, adding another three to her current total of six to make it nine tries from three games!
The Crushettes were without Olivia Hamilton who hopes to return from a calf injury this week against the Cowgirls at home, with Mariah Storch to return to the back row after filling the vacant spot in the halves over the weekend.
In the other Women’s match, the Emerald Cowgirls recorded their first win of the season, defeating the Dysart Bulls 32-4 in Emerald.
Caitlyn Sheehan scored a hattrick of tries in her return game for the Cowgirls playing in the halves with Tayla Bean excelling in her new dummy-half role.
The Dysart Ladies are in a position that the Cowgirls were in 12 months ago with a lot of new players joining the Bulls. They are a team that will only get better and improve as more and more games are played.
It was a winning double for the Cowboys club on Saturday with the Men’s team defeating the Dysart Bulls 56-24 in front of a modest crowd.
McIver Watene has returned to the Cowboys after last year’s stint with the Tigers and played excellently, earning two tries, three Jim Gallagher points and three CH Referees’ B&F points.
Brenton Mansfield played well up front for Dysart as did Eddie Pearson out-wide. It has been a tough couple of weeks for the Bulls, but there might be light at the end of the tunnel this weekend with a full 19 expected to play at home.
It was a close affair in Clermont as the Men’s team narrowly defeated the Blackwater Crushers 24-18, following in the Women’s footsteps to also be three from three and remain undefeated.
Will Mohr was voted best on ground with a sensational performance in his first full year of A Grade as an 18-year-old with senior players including fullback Ethan Kennedy and captain Tom Murray helping guide Mohr and his other young team mates around the park.
For Blackwater, there were a few key changes to the side that was fielded in Rounds 1 and 2. No Colby Napper, Gavin Duffy or Dean Blackman allowed a few new players to debut and Dwayne Parsons to play his first game of A Grade since training with the Capras Under 20s at the beginning of the year.
To the other side of the Highlands and it was a close affair in Bluff as the home side came oh-so close to defeating their hoodoo team, the Emerald Tigers.
The Tigers shot out to an 18-0 lead before the home side scored just before the break. The home side came back in the second half to be within a converted try of the visitors, but the Tigers hung on 26-20 in a very scrappy game of footy.
With Isaiah Huet ruled out indefinitely due to a hand injury; Steven Hoek excelled as the replacement fullback and was awarded the three Jim Gallagher points.
For the Bluff side, Gus Wogand returned to the dummy-half role and scored two tries as did Chris McKay, but it was the kicking boots that let the Bluff side down, equalling the Tigers for tries, but only converting two of the four goal opportunities.
Finally, in the match of the round, the Middlemount Panthers retained the Allen Johnson Memorial Shield following a 30-14 win over the Springsure Mountain Men.
It was an all-round performance from the home side who were down on troops, with standout performances from Ryan Hansell, Joel Duffy and Jason Randell in the middle and an extra special performance from Jamie Sullivan who held out Springsure’s Charlie Mayne to earn the player of the match.
Springsure really missed Tom Hewitt and Jared Owens in the middle and their hopeful return this week should allow for Springsure to be more competitive on the road.
Only two teams remain undefeated after three rounds with Middlemount travelling to Emerald to take on the Tigers in a grand final replay and the Bears making the trip to Bluff to take on a hungry Rabbitohs side coming off two losses.
Both games are danger games for either team and after this weekend, the competition might be back on level-pegging proving how good of a local competition there is in the Central Highlands.
ROUND 3 RESULTS
EMERALD COWGIRLS 32 (Caitlyn Sheehan 3, Morgan Murphy, Claire Prior, Meagan Latham tries; Denise Chaplin 4 goals) defeated DYSART BULLS LADIES 4 (Juanita McDonald try)
CLERMONT BEARS LADIES 44 (Elle Waters 3, Kailah Rogers 2, Tegan Rolfe 2, Emily Fry tries; Kailah Rogers 3, Ainslee Lawrence 3 goals) defeated BLACKWATER CRUSHETTES 10 (Megan Latchford, Miranda Baker tries; Mariah Storch goal)
EMERALD COWBOYS 56 (McIver Watene 2, Andrew Doyle 2, Sam Clayton, Tom Lewis, Will Pakie, Nathan Horn, Tristan Browne, James Belford tries; Sam Clayton 6, Stuart Falconer 2 goals) defeated DYSART BULLS 24 (Brenton Mansfield 2, Eddie Pearson, Ben Wall tries; Delroy Matthews 4 goals)
CLERMONT BEARS 24 (Tom Murray 2, Will Mohr, Gary Zoutenbier tries; Will Mohr 3, Brodee Barrett goals) defeated BLACKWATER CRUSHERS 18 (Jed Brunner, Kelly Gage, Brad Gorman tries; Shae Cox 2, Ryan Palmer goals)
EMERALD TIGERS 26 (Wainui Matainavora, Sebastian Stiegler, Ryley Parter, Dywayne Rigby tries; Steven Hoek 5 goals) defeated BLUFF RABBITOHS 20 (Chris McKay 2, Gus Wogand 2 tries; Blake Vesey, Reece Williams goals)
MIDDLEMOUNT PANTHERS 30 (Jamie Sullivan 2, Jacob Cobbin, Michael Baker, Jason Randell, Ryan Hansell tries; Matt Heidecker 3 goals) defeated SPRINGSURE MOUNTAIN MEN 14 (Ray Ebsworth, Zane Gallagher, Ash Travers tries; Ray Ebsworth goal)
Men’s Ladder after Round 3: Middlemount 6, Clermont 6, Springsure 4, Blackwater 2, Cowboys 2, Bluff 2, Tigers 2, Dysart 0
Women’s Ladder after Round 3: Clermont 6, Tigers 4, Cowgirls 4, Blackwater 2, Dysart 2
For the full draw, results, ladders and upcoming fixtures of the Central Highlands Rugby League, visit www.chrugbyleague.com.au.