THE Singleton Greyhounds produced another strong performance in round 11 of the BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League competition with all four grades successful in important away games last weekend.
The highlight though was another clinical performance by the Ourcare “firsts” who made it four straight wins and undefeated their past six appearances when they pushed aside the reigning premiers Scone by 34-10.
The Dogs took control from the outset when Chad Solman put a dangerous ball into the in-goal for Dale Watson to pounce virtually uncontested to score. Solman added the extras for a 6-0 lead after just three minutes.
It was Solman again threatening Scone with another kick, this time an across field bomb that landed miraculously into the arms of winger Nathan Sweeney who touched down out wide to make it 10-0.
Singleton enjoyed some good field position but lost front-row workhorse Craig Edwards who sustained a hamstring injury tear.
However the Dogs continue to pour on the pressure and after losing the ball over the line moments earlier Thomas Johnson made no mistake second time around and scored a strong try near the posts.
Solman kicked the conversion and Singleton led 16-0 after 27 minutes.
A penalty goal in the 34th minute gave Singleton an 18-0 advantage, which they managed to take into the break.
The Thoroughbreds got themselves back into the grind and came up with a fortuitous try in the corner after a wicked bounce from a towering bomb to make it 18-4.
The Dogs responded soon after in the 61st minute when Solman got a ball away in traffic for Will Nieuwenhuise to again display his evasive powers and score Singleton’s fourth try of the afternoon.
After a bit of a dust up Singleton lost its focus and allowed Scone a soft try under the posts to reduce the margin to 24 -10.
Any comeback was shortlived however and from the restart an error put Singleton on the attack and junior player James Bradley showed great strength to slam the ball down for a try.
Solman added the extras for an unassailable 30-10 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
The Greyhounds work wasn’t done though and they completed the rout with a sweeping left side play in the 76th minute that saw Luke Gardner score in the corner.
Gardner Transport Players’ Player went to Johnson who created havoc off the interchange bench which has been the X-factor for Singleton in recent weeks.
The Greyhounds have positioned themselves in outright second position with the momentum they have built up in recent weeks which has been unyielding.
The Singleton Tyre Centre under-18s took an understrength side into their game against an improving Scone team.
The Dogs made a better start and led 12-0 mid-way through the first half.
The home side managed to pull one back before scoring again on the stroke of half-time to make it 12-10 at the break.
The team settled into the work better in the second period, scoring some strong tries and extending their lead to 30-10.
On the back of a few penalties and field position Scone scored from a quick tap in the final seconds to bring the final score to 30-16.
The team’s points came from tries to Dylan Grant, Cody Landers, Scott Haynes, Kyle Knight and a double to Hayden Bourke who also kicked three goals.
This team, too, is nursing some injuries and illness and they will enjoy the week’s respite ahead of the run into the finals.
Gardner Transport Players’ Player went to Knight who has been impressive sharing his time in the hooking role.
Last Saturday both the club’s reserve grade and women’s league tag sides travelled to Murrurundi for the popular road trip each year.
Ironically both grades and teams faced off just six days earlier however the outcomes varied this time around.
The Remondis Group reserve grade side had to overcome a sluggish start and trailed the Mavericks 14-8 at half-time.
The second stanza was a much better effort posting 18 unanswered points to win comfortably in the end by 26-14.
The team’s points came via tries to Lachlan Picton (2), Brodie Rinkin, Jay Ferrie and Zac Howlett with Howlett also landing three goals from five attempts.
The Entire Concrete women’s league tag faced an enormous task against the Maverettes having been on the receiving end of a 26-0 drubbing just six days earlier at home.
But in a truly great performance, our girls took the game to the home side from the outset and stunned the locals to lead 12-4 at half time thanks to three unconverted tries from Brodie Sinclair, Tyler Kersley and Maddy Sonter.
Murrurundi came out strong in the second half and threw everything but the kitchen sink at Singleton.
However, the girls’ defence stood strong to concede just one more try and hold on for an important 12-8 victory.
Singleton should take a lot out of that performance in the run into the finals and all but guarantees them a berth.
There are no games for any grade this weekend while reserve grade and women’s league tag will also enjoy another week off with no matches in round 12.
Singleton will host Denman in first grade and under-18s on Saturday, July 22, at Pirtek Park.