There was to be no fairy-tale finish for milestone man Phil Dennis today as the Townsville Blackhawks ground out a 16-6 win over the Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park.
Dennis – who ran out for a Queensland Intrust Super Cup record of 271 games today – did his best to lift his side to an upset win and was highly involved in the game, especially in defence; but Townsville were able to shake them off in the second half to finish in top spot on the ladder at the conclusion of Round 20.
It was a close-fought match early in front of a large crowd for Old Boys Day; but both sides were guilty of pushing passes and conceding errors.
It took until 30 minutes into the game before a try was scored; with Carlin Anderson stepping his way over after some good footwork at the line from Zac Santo set up the scoring play.
They thought they were over again through forward Brenden Santi soon after; but the Magpies held him up.
With only seconds left on the clock; the Magpies were finally able to see some reward for putting continued pressure on their opposition line; with Paul Rokolati diving through to touch down on an attacking kick behind the line.
The conversion attempt at the far left of the field was waved away and the visitor went into the sheds with a 6-4 lead.
After receiving a penalty early in second half, Souths went on the attack and Rokolati was almost in again; but desperate Townsville defence was able to defuse that chance.
However, the visitors then gave up a penalty in the resulting plays and Guy Hamilton kicked successfully to lock the scores at 6-6 with 33 minutes left to go in a tense game.
After a number of false starts and missed chances; Townsville were able to put themselves in front when some hard running from forward Temone Power saw him charge over to score.
They pushed further in front in the 74th minute when Krys Freeman darted his way over under the posts to put the result beyond doubt.
The Magpies – who lost young forward Thomas Flegler early in the first half with a leg injury – had their opportunities to win; but will now have to fight to make the top six the hard way with some tough games to come against the likes of Burleigh and Easts Tigers.
Next week, the Blackhawks are on the road again and will take on Norths Devils at Bishop Park in the Channel 9 TV game on Saturday, August 4 at 1.10pm.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 16 (Carlin Anderson, Temone Power, Krys Freeman tries; Kalifa Faifai-Loa 2 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 6 (Paul Rokolati try; Guy Hamilton goal) at Davies Park.