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30 July, 2021

Pinkies hit back, Panthers hit hard

Christie and Hood Castlereagh league competition round up for Saturday, July 17.

By Supplied

Photo supplied.

The Panthers had a bleak ending on a bleak day at Coona on Saturday, July 17, when they succumbed to a second half surge from the Unicorns after skipping away to a ten-point lead early in the second half in round 14 of the Christie and Hood Castlereagh league competition.

After going to the break all tied up at 10-10, with tries to George Alchin and Kyzah Louie and one great sideline conversion to Brandon Hammond, the Panthers looked as if they would go on with the job straight after the resumption when Big Q Karatiana came up with a great tackle to force the ball loose from the Coona attacker.

The ball was promptly sent across the field before Luke Ritchie touched down out wide. Hammond again converted and from the restart, Hayden Smith crashed through the Coona defence into open space with an 80-metre run to the line, bumping off several defenders along the way and have the Panthers cruising at 20-10.

Someone forgot to tell the Unicorns that the game was out of their reach however and with fifteen minutes gone in the half they received a penalty and Anthony Harris charged through the panther defence to score next to the sticks for a converted try. Five minutes later it was a carbon copy when Coona received another penalty with Harris again making his way over the line in the same spot.

Jai Cain booted the Unicorns to the lead with his conversion and from that point they were never headed. Coona fullback, Paul Jones, extended the Coona lead when he dived over out wide for a converted try to make it 28-20 before Cameron Bamblett scored for the Panthers through a long, searching run to the line.

Hammond got the Panthers within two points with his conversion and the Panthers were back in the game 28-26 with eight minutes remaining. The Panthers had their chances and looked likely to score late in the game when the ball was spun wide, but the last pass failed to hit the target. From the scrum win Coona worked their way downfield and as the timekeeper went for the hooter, Jack Ramage dived over next to the posts to give Cain an easy attempt to wrap up the game for the unicorns.

Final score, Coona 34-Panthers 26.

It was a disappointing loss for the Panthers who needed to win to keep their hopes of a top two finish alive, but it was as equally important for the Unicorns as they battle to stay in the top five. The Panthers were once again best served by Hayden Smith and Cameron Bamblett, whilst Ashley Hazelton was strong up front with his front row partner Ned Kelly until Ned was forced off with a leg injury late in the game. Coonas’ best were Anthony Harris and Brad Fuller.

The Pinkies flew the flag for Gilgandra however, when they led from start to finish over a gallant Lady Unicorns team. The Pinkies piled on four tries in the first half with Talitha Chatfield, Sheryn Baird, Tori Canham and Shian Chatfield all touching down with Shian converting two of those tries to have the Pinkies up 26-10 at half time.

The girls went on with the job after the break in trying conditions when Shian scored her second try which was converted by Tori to make it 26-10. The Lady Unicorns wouldn’t go away and they scored twice in the second half before the game came to a holt, the Pinkies winning 26-20 and moving into third spot on the ladder.

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