In the match of the season, the undefeated Dalby held off a determined Highfields whilst Warwick pipped a Matt Duggan-led Wattles.
In other matches, Goondiwindi scored its first win of the season and Valleys secured their place in next week’s Madsen Rasmussen final.
Dalby Diehards v Highfields Eagles
In front of one of the largest crowds seen in a few seasons, the Dalby Diehards did not disappoint their supporters with a gutsy win over a determined Highfields Eagles at Dalby on Saturday night.
The Eagles came to play and surprised Dalby early when centre Sean Hamel broke Dalby’s line to put Zack Loxley in under the posts but as the Diehards had shown all season, they returned fire with tries to Eli Wickham, Mitchell Taylor and Brent Hunt to take control of the game quickly.
They again scored right on halftime when Zack Morris scored out wide.
He converted his own try from the sideline to make it a 22-6 halftime lead.
It was not as though Dalby were that better a side.
They just took their opportunities.
The first half was played at a lightning pace with crunching defence from both teams.
The second half was in complete contrast to the first.
Highfields had much more possession than Dalby and tries to Zack Loxley and Josh Birch got the Eagles within a try with 20 minutes remaining.
Highfields threw everything except the kitchen sink but Dalby’s tireless defence won the day.
Zac Morris had his best game of the season for the Diehards.
His late first half try was the turning point and he backed this effort up with some ferocious defence.
Jason Wardrop tackled his heart out and Colin Green put in a good old-fashioned captain’s knock for Dalby.
Josh Birch had a wonderful game for Highfields with Jayden Motley and Josh Everett also put in sound efforts.
A GRADE: Dalby 24 (Eli Wickham, Mitchell Taylor, Zac Morris, Brent Hunt tries; Zac Morris 3 goals) defeated Highfields 18 (Zack Loxley 2, Josh Birch tries; Jarred Lee 3 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Dalby 30 defeated Highfields 10
UNDER 18: Dalby 20 defeated Highfields 4
Warwick Cowboys v Wattles Warriors
In an important match for both sides, Warwick took home the cookies at Father Ranger Oval on Saturday night.
The Cowboys led at halftime 18-6 against the Matt Duggan-led Wattles.
The Warriors had the better of the second half and clawed their way back into the match to level the scores but even a three-try effort from Ty Gardner couldn’t clinch the two premiership points for Wattles.
Josh Cruice scored a great individual try late in the second half which turned out to be the clincher for Warwick.
Wattles had the opportunity to draw the match when Duggan missed a sideline conversion late in the game but missed, gifting the two competition points to the Cowboys to help them remain in touch with the TRL ladder leaders.
A GRADE: Warwick 24 (Craig Donn, Morgan Taylor, Abraham Vakai, Josh Cruice tries; Dan Watson 4 goals) defeated Wattles 22 (Ty Gardner 3, Matthew McCarthy tries; Matt Duggan 3 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Warwick 32 defeated Wattles 16
UNDER 18: Warwick 84 defeated Wattles 0
Goondiwindi Boars v Brothers Leprechauns
The Goondiwindi Boars scored their first win of the season with a hard-fought match against Brothers at Goondiwindi.
In a high-scoring affair; Jake Thomas, Stewart Lowe, Adam Tribe and Matt Beare were Gundy’s best.
The Boars led 22-16 at halftime and kept Brothers at bay to hang on for their initial win of the season.
Brothers played well and never gave up trying.
The Brethren, whilst never in the lead, were never far away.
Mitch Betros and Sam Davis were their best.
A GRADE: Goondiwindi 40 (Daniel Bosnjak 2, Stewart Lowe 2, Carl Clement, Matt Galvin, Jacob Thomas tries; Adam Tribe 6 goals) defeated Brothers 32 (William Stenner 2, Aiden Watterson 2, Mitch Betros, Ricky Davies, Andrew Stewart tries; Sam Betros 4 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Brothers 26 defeated Goondiwindi 8
UNDER 18: Goondiwindi 28 defeated Brothers 22
Valleys Roosters v Oakey Bears
Valleys warmed up for next week’s Madsen Rasmussen final with a classy win over an ever-improving Oakey.
In only his second A Grade match, young Travis Turnbull continued to impress whilst winger Aaron Sillitoe scored five tries.
Valleys led 34-16 at halftime.
Oakey fought back in the second half and continued to get over the tryline to score 28 points and were not far from the lead until the 60th minute when Valleys just put on a masterclass.
The Bears’ Damon Anderson scored a hat-trick of tries and was best on ground for Oakey.
A GRADE: Valleys 54 (Aaron Sillitoe 5, Halona Budden 2, Emmanuel Cerei 2, Travis Turnbull 2 tries; Emmanuel Cerei 5 goals) defeated Oakey 28 (Damon Anderson 3, Aaron Cherry, Josh Robinson, Shane Turl tries; Josh Robinson 2 Goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Valleys 58 defeated Oakey 10
UNDER 18: Valleys 26 defeated Oakey 4
Pittsworth Danes V Southern Suburbs Tigers
Defending premiers Pittsworth threw a spanner into Souths’ season with an excellent second-half performance at Club Pittsworth on Sunday.
Both teams were just about at full strength and Souths had the better of the first half except when Pittsworth’s James Dempsey scored an intercept try just minutes before the break to make the scores 12-12.
Both sides’ completion rates in the first half were excellent.
The second half was a real grind with both teams having plenty of opportunity but ball control was the key and the Danes were better with the ball in hand.
The turning point was Pittsworth captain Daniel York’s amazing individual try seven minutes from the end which put the match out of reach for the Tigers.
This effort earnt York the Toowoomba Sports Club play of the day award.
Souths toiled hard but were their own worst enemies.
Tigers’ Sam Cocker played very well as did Dwayne Duncan whilst Brayden Gibbs, Nick Schnitzerling and Kabu Kofe were the pick for the Danes.
A GRADE: Pittsworth 34 (James Dempsey, Braydon Gibbs, Patrick McDonald, Daniel Pirie-Thomas, Nick Schnitzerling, Daniel York, Brad Brosnan tries; Jordan O’Shea 4, Brad Brosnan goals) defeated Souths 24 (Sam Cocker 2, Tom Landers, Luke Nolan, Jacob Whittaker tries; Luke Nolan 2 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Pittsworth 28 defeated Souths 22
UNDER 18: Souths 42 defeated Pittsworth 10
In the other TRL Under 18 match, after last week’s draw against Warwick, the South Burnett Eagles are back in the winner’s circle, defeating Gatton 44-10 on Sunday.
After 11 rounds of competition, these are how the competition ladders stand:
A GRADE: Dalby 20, Valleys 16, Pittsworth 14, Highfields 14, Warwick 12, Wattles 10, Gatton 10, Souths 6, Brothers 4, Oakey 2, Goondiwindi 2
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 18, Dalby 16, Valleys 13, Highfields 13, Wattles 10, Brothers 10, Souths 10, Warwick 10, Pittsworth 6 Goondiwindi 2, Oakey 2
UNDER 18: Dalby 20, Souths 18, Warwick 17, Valleys 16, South Burnett 15, Highfields 12, Goondiwindi 12, Gatton 10, Brothers 5, Pittsworth 5, Wattles 2, Oakey 0
SECOND DIVISION: Gatton 10, Warwick 8, Pittsworth 6, Dalby 4, Brothers 2, Valleys 0
The TRL competition takes a break this weekend for the Madsen Rasmussen finals to be played between the top two sides on the ladder.
This year’s finals are:
A GRADE: Dalby Diehards v Valleys Roosters
RESERVE GRADE: Gatton Hawks v Dalby Diehards
UNDER 18: Dalby Diehards v Southern Suburbs Tigers
SECOND DIVISION: Gatton Hawks v Warwick Cowboys
For full results, ladders and upcoming fixtures of the Toowoomba Rugby League, visit the TRL website.