Hounds prevail amid spirited defence
The fans may not have rolled up in their droves, but Normanby Hounds secured a priceless win against first-placed Dayboro Cowboys in the Open 1 Northside Ted Beaumont Trophy match on Saturday.
As far as defence was concerned, the Hounds ticked every box at Les Hughes Sporting Complex.
In fact they were flawless.
This was an entertaining match, if a little low key owing in part to a disappointing crowd.
The supporters who did turn up, however, were treated to a good old-fashioned game of rugby league.
Superbly led by Normanby halfback Zac Cundell, the diminutive halfback was everywhere for the Hounds steering his pack around the park in what was a first-class display.
It took an eternity for points to be scored and finally, in the 27th minute, the first one came courtesy of Normanby winger Callum Enoch-Barlow, who used his speed to burst down the sideline after an impressive backline movement from the scrum base.
Relishing a dropped ball by the Hounds from the restart, the Cowboys were quick to reply, with powerful centre Turlmanu Pearce lunging over from dummy half to plant the ball right on the Hounds' tryline.
But this match was not about attack. Defensively it was arguably one of the most brutal games of the season.
Hounds trio of Michael Crosby, Luke Chaplin and Daniel Selff were simply outstanding.
With a lot riding on this game and with points evidently hard to come by, the Hounds nearly scored another beauty right before the break to winger Aaron Witt, but he was spectacularly bundled into touch by Cowboy Pearce and fellow centre Blain Cleghorn to cap off a remarkable first half.
With the second half just as brutal as the first defensively, the Hounds came out even more energised and determined to win.
Dayboro, struggling to hold the ball, blew a few chances to score, and a mistake in their red zone saw Normanby second rower Eliesa Kailahi lurking to swoop on the loose carry and burst clear to score under the sticks.
At this stage Dayboro were still hanging on and full credit to workhorse Daniel Harris, Ruben Sullivan and the tenacious Dan Prentice-McLeod who worked tirelessly throughout the game.
The Hounds would seal victory with a neat shimmy by second rower Michael Crosby who crossed out wide, however not before Dayboro went down fighting to the death with a consolation try to Ruben Sullivan who was well deserving of one on a losing side.
Normandy 16 def Dayboro 8
Mike Simpson is the Rugby League Brisbane correspondent for the QRL