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Valleys minor premiers after beating second-placed Burleigh

The Valleys Diehards continued on their unbeaten run today, winning all seven games of this year's BHP Premiership competition to finish the regular season on top of the ladder.

Valleys took on the only other unbeaten team and last year’s premiers Burleigh Bears at CBUS Stadium and the clash did not disappoint. Unfortunately there could only be one winner today and the home team were outplayed in the second half by the visiting Diehards.

The half-time score of 6-0 to Valleys was the result of a long-range try to winger Emma Sykes down the left side in the 29th minute after a slick back line movement and final pass from centre Toni Hunt. The conversion adjacent to the posts by Ali Brigginshaw added the extras.

The first 35 saw play move from one end of the field to the other with the determined defence by the Valleys girls outstanding, repelling raid after raid by the strong-running Bears players.

The Bears have the best attacking stats of all teams this season, however, as they say “defence wins matches”, and this was certainly the case today.

The half was an extremely physical one with heavy defence dominating play. Both sides were guilty of indiscretions with Valleys conceding six penalties and Burleigh seven prior to half-time. Several tackles above the shoulders resulted in a number of players being placed on report, though more from accidental actions rather that deliberate foul play.

It was a physical encounter. Photo: NRL Imagery
It was a physical encounter. Photo: NRL Imagery

Valleys coach Scott Prince would have been extremely happy with all the girl’s performances today as every player did their bit for the team. The defensive effort in the first half laid the platform for a second half three-try blitz by the Valleys' outside backs.

Valleys captain and the Hastings Deering player of the match, Ali Brigginshaw, urged her team on after the break and at full-time Valleys ran away with a 24-0 win. Tries in the second half were scored by centre Hunt in the 60th minute, Sykes (double) in the 64th minute and right winger Taylor-Adeline Mapusua in the 70th minute.

Brigginshaw kicked three conversions and one penalty goal for the match.

The Burleigh players tried hard, especially in the first half where they continually pressed the Valleys line, however were unable to match it in the second half with the better structured and determined Valleys girls today.

Karina Brown. Photo: NRL Imagery
Karina Brown. Photo: NRL Imagery

This match was a prelude to the upcoming finals series with these sides finishing first and second at the end of the competition rounds. Both of these teams, with the other teams in the finals series, will be trying their best to take out the competition. 

Referee Glen Stewart and his match officials kept the game moving which provided a great viewing spectacle for all involved.