Tigani's Top Ten: Thrilling finishes in Singleton footy (2019 edition)

THE THRILLERS: The Singleton Argus has released its top ten thrilling football matches in Singleton at the close of the winter season.
THE THRILLERS: The Singleton Argus has released its top ten thrilling football matches in Singleton at the close of the winter season.

As the winter season comes to an end we look back on the thrilling finishes of Singleton's top football teams across the four codes.

After hours of consultation with players and officials at the Singleton Greyhounds (rugby league), Roosters (AFL), Strikers (soccer) and Bulls (rugby union) sports writer Alex Tigani has compiled his top ten for the season that was 2019.

Here are his findings in the form of yet another top ten list:

10. Matching the powerhouse (Cooks Hill vs Singleton Strikers, Round 3)

TOP OF THE HILL: New FM Northern League One powerhouse were dealt with an early scare when trailing Singleton 0-1 in their Round 3 clash this year.

TOP OF THE HILL: New FM Northern League One powerhouse were dealt with an early scare when trailing Singleton 0-1 in their Round 3 clash this year.

Injuries and vulnerabilities would see the Singleton Strikers finish ninth in season 2019. But if there was ever a period to be excited then it was time to turn the clock back to Round 3.

The Strikers' best three players in Jordan Phelan, Joe Civello and skipper Hayden Nichols would all be sidelined while eventual 2019 players' player recipient Jackson Cox remained in Singleton to captain PCH to a drought ending SDCA premiership title.

Yet the Strikers would still enter the visiting rooms at Fearnley Dawes with a 1-0 lead at the main break.

THE RECRUIT: Striker quarter Jordan Phelan, Joe Civello, Hayden Nichols and Jackson Cox may have been absent yet new recruit Jake Barner was able to register the game's opening goal.

THE RECRUIT: Striker quarter Jordan Phelan, Joe Civello, Hayden Nichols and Jackson Cox may have been absent yet new recruit Jake Barner was able to register the game's opening goal.

Sadly, they would be unable to hold on as Cooks Hill prevailed before their adoring home fans in the end.

Expert says: "Some boys played a couple games that day and we also had under 19's playing for us so it was a great effort," Joe Civello (Singleton Strikers).

Final scores: Cooks Hill 2 defeated Singleton Strikers 1

9. Another chapter to the Group 21 rivalry (Singleton Greyhounds vs Aberdeen Tigers, Round 3)

ONE TO WATCH: Singleton Greyhound James Bradley pictured mid-flight against Aberdeen in Round 3.

ONE TO WATCH: Singleton Greyhound James Bradley pictured mid-flight against Aberdeen in Round 3.

Another chapter was added to the Group 21 rivalry between the Singleton Greyhounds and the Aberdeen Tigers at Pirtek Park in Round 3.

All eyes were cast toward the dugout in the final seconds of the heated encounter as (then) Singleton head coach Jye Bayley stormed toward the opposition's bench.

Onlookers gathered as Bayley, who is also the Greyhounds' club president, voiced his disappointment after reports Aberdeen players and officials vandalised their provided bench.

POST-MATCH: Jye Bayley (Singleton Greyhounds first grade coach) pictured with Aberdeen officials.

POST-MATCH: Jye Bayley (Singleton Greyhounds first grade coach) pictured with Aberdeen officials.

Yet the awkward incident overshadowed the final result which saw the Greyhounds fall short of securing a 2-1 start to the season after suffering a nail-biting 32-30 defeat.

Former NRL star and first year Greyhound Frank Paul Nu'uausala did not play that afternoon, perhaps the result would have differed if he was available?

Final scores: Singleton Greyhounds 30 defeated by Aberdeen Tigers 32

8. The Wednesday night warriors make a comeback (Singleton Strikers vs Thorton Redbacks, Round 10)

STRIKERS: The Singleton Strikers' senior side celebrate a come-from-behind win.

STRIKERS: The Singleton Strikers' senior side celebrate a come-from-behind win.

Singleton was meant to travel to Thorton in Round 10.

This match was delayed rescheduled due to wet weather but, when it came to the Wednesday catch-up match, visiting fans were in for a treat.

After trailing 0-1 at the main break Dylan Bentley and Ryan Dean both found the back of the net to capture a memorable 2-1 win under lights.

Expert says: "I missed a few chances as well," Joe Civello (Singleton Strikers).

Final scores: Thorton Redbacks 1 defeated by Singleton Strikers 2

7. Roosters WARNing at the Bay (Warners Bay vs Singleton Roosters, Round 15)

ON THE RUN: Singleton Rooster Dylan Hixon pictured against the Bulldogs.

ON THE RUN: Singleton Rooster Dylan Hixon pictured against the Bulldogs.

When a side kicks three more goals than their opponents in most sports then the side often wins the game.

The same couldn't be said for the Singleton Roosters against Warners Bay in Round 15 this year.

Singleton resurrected its 3-7 start to the season with wins against Wyong Lakes, Maitland, Gosford and Cardiff however could not string together the fifth in a controversial away fixture.

Expert says: "Warners Bay was a tough loss. To be so far ahead after the first quarter playing our brand of footy then to barely score in the second or fourth quarter and lose by less than a goal was tough. But after a long winning streak it was possibly the wake up call we needed to stay focused heading into the rest of the year and finals," Sam Howard (Singleton Roosters)

Final scores: Warners Bay 7.23 (65) defeated Singleton Roosters 10.2 (62)

6. The mouthwatering grand final preview (Aberdeen Tigers vs Singleton Greyhounds, Round 8)

THE DRAW: After a 7-0 start to the season the Singleton Greyhounds under-18 side suffered a 18-18 draw to the Aberdeen Tigers. The two sides would meet again in the Bengalla Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League grand final.

THE DRAW: After a 7-0 start to the season the Singleton Greyhounds under-18 side suffered a 18-18 draw to the Aberdeen Tigers. The two sides would meet again in the Bengalla Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League grand final.

We may be a bit generous in adding an under-18 match to this list.

But such was the significance of the Greyhounds 18-18 draw against Aberdeen Tigers in the lead up to their grand final we had to cast the spotlight on the affair.

The undefeated Greyhounds would be an unbeatable force in season 2019 but accurate kicking from Tiger Jayke Claydon in Round 8 would launch his side as the team to beat.

POST MATCH: Singleton Greyhounds under-18 coach Dan Higgins addresses his troops.

POST MATCH: Singleton Greyhounds under-18 coach Dan Higgins addresses his troops.

Expert says: "They (Aberdeen) played well and we probably went away from what had been working for us a little bit....but in saying that we were probably lucky to get away with a draw that day," Dan Higgins (Singleton Greyhounds under-18 coach)

Final scores: Singleton Greyhounds 26 drew level with Aberdeen Tigers 26

5. Heartache at God's Acre (Singleton Bulls vs Nelson Bay, Round 17)

THE DYING STAGES: Singleton Bulls and Nelson Bay were locked at 15-15 in the dying stages of their Round 17 thriller.

THE DYING STAGES: Singleton Bulls and Nelson Bay were locked at 15-15 in the dying stages of their Round 17 thriller.

Its been 125 days since the Singleton Bulls' first grade side last won a game for NHRU Premier 1 premiership points.

But Singleton's heroes were within a striking distance of causing the upset of the 2019 season in Round 17 when hosting Nelson Bay at Rugby Park.

The Bulls ignited the Rugby Park crowd by taking a 3-0 lead before storming to a 10-5 lead ahead of the main break. However a late try to the visitors in the final play of the game would see Bulls players, coaches and supporters left in despair.

THE SCOREBOARD: The Bulls went into the main break with a narrow lead.

THE SCOREBOARD: The Bulls went into the main break with a narrow lead.

Expert says: "They worked hard and they really needed a result," Chris Coleman (Singleton Bulls' coaching coordinator).

Final scores: Singleton Bulls 15 defeated by Nelson Bay 22

4. When there's a Will, there's a win over Gosford (Singleton Roosters vs Gosford Tigers, Round 8)

THE HERO: First year Singleton Rooster Will Brayshaw found two late goals to inspire his side to a memorable one-point win.

THE HERO: First year Singleton Rooster Will Brayshaw found two late goals to inspire his side to a memorable one-point win.

The Singleton Roosters kept their senior finals hopes alive thanks to a narrow 12.8 (80) to 12.7 (79) win over Gosford in Round 8.

The home side's stars Daine Cowburn, Zach Bray and Chris Faulder registered the game's opening goals before playing coach Andrew Scott added two in the third term to grant his men a 28-point lead.

However Gosford fired back through the agency of former NSW/ACT Academy junior Alistaire Duell-Ferguson who landed his fifth goal to hand his side the lead in the game's dying stages.

RUNNING INTO THE PACK: Sam Howard and Will Brayshaw.

RUNNING INTO THE PACK: Sam Howard and Will Brayshaw.

Three minutes remained and it was clear the Roosters needed a hero to keep their vision of playing finals intact.

Enter Will Brayshaw.

The first year Rooster, and brother of AFL trio Andrew, Hamish and Angus, did not waste time with the ball when spotted up by teammate Andrew Macpherson in the game's final seconds.

"I knew the siren was about to go, so didn't want to muck about with it," the 24-year-old Brayshaw told the Singleton Argus.

OUT OF TROUBLE: Sam Howard pictured in the opening term.

OUT OF TROUBLE: Sam Howard pictured in the opening term.

Expert says: "The Gosford game felt as though our season was on the line and it was do or die... in the end came down to a Will Brayshaw goal in the final minute to give us a huge win in the context of our season," Sam Howard (Singleton Roosters).

Final scores: Singleton Roosters 12.8 (80) defeated Gosford Tigers 12.7 (79)

3. Joey's jumping for joy (Singleton Strikers vs Kahibah, Round 19)

THRILLING WIN: Singleton Striker Tristan Muir pictured in Round 19.

THRILLING WIN: Singleton Striker Tristan Muir pictured in Round 19.

Singleton Strikers first grade coach Dave Willoughby paid tribute to his available line-up just moments after they pulled off an upset 2-0 win over Kahibah in Round 19 this year.

"We had eight first choice first grade players unavailable today which puts it into perspective," Willoughby told the Singleton Argus.

THE COACH: Dave Willoughby pictured in the game's opening half.

THE COACH: Dave Willoughby pictured in the game's opening half.

"Mitchell Bradley has only played for two weeks, Jake Ball has hardly played at all due to work commitments and during the week we had Tomas Hume play but he can't play on the weekend due to work commitments.

The Strikers held a modest 1-0 lead at the main break after striker Joe Civello cast an end to his six week drought in front of goal.

CIVELLO DOUBLE: Joseph Civello celebrates a double on Sunday to bring his season tally to eight goals.

CIVELLO DOUBLE: Joseph Civello celebrates a double on Sunday to bring his season tally to eight goals.

He then amplified his celebrations when scoring his side's following goal on the Southern end.

Expert says: "I can't remember if we started with an under-17 player but we had two on the pitch by the end of the game and one included goal keeper Tyler Morris," Joe Civello (Singleton Strikers)

Final scores: Singleton Strikers 2 defeated Kahibah 0

2. Roosters make history (Singleton Roosters vs Killarney Vale Bombers, Semi-final)

HAPPY DAYS: Cameron White and Sam Brasington celebrate the Roosters' 16-point semi-final win last month.

HAPPY DAYS: Cameron White and Sam Brasington celebrate the Roosters' 16-point semi-final win last month.

The Singleton Roosters' AFL Hunter Central Coast senior side made history last month when recording a 16-point semi-final victory over Killarney Vale in Muswellbrook.

The Roosters' final 10.6 (66) to 7.8 (50) scoreline cemented the club's first finals victory in the region's top tier competition in over 20 years thanks to final quarter goals from Daine Cowburn, Alex Mitchell and Jackson Kolatchew.

"Its history making for our club from just all of the work we've put in," Cowburn told the Singleton Argus moments after the final siren.

"Just nine weeks ago we only had 16 blokes on the park when we were getting pumped by Terrigal and that was clearly the turning point of our season because we've only lost one game since."

Singleton held a nine-point lead in the opening term thanks to the dominance of Will Brayshaw, son of former Claremont and North Melbourne star Mark, who led the charge off of half back.

SON OF A GUN: First year Rooster Will Brayshaw.

SON OF A GUN: First year Rooster Will Brayshaw.

The Roosters held a narrow three-point lead at the main break.

That margin was then trimmed to a single point when reigning Davey medallist Tim Oosterhoff kicked truly in the dying stages of the third term.

However he would be denied a third after the final break when thwarted by fellow AFL Hunter Central Coast team of the year hopeful Sam Howard.

At 4:20pm on Saturday, August 24 the siren would sound on arguably the greatest Rooster victory to date.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Singleton captain Alex Mitchell pictured moments after his side's victory.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Singleton captain Alex Mitchell pictured moments after his side's victory.

Expert says: "Well it was a tussle all day on the field and we went into three-quarter time only five points up...with only a quarter to go and the loser facing elimination, the whole team stepped up (especially our skipper Pup who took some tough contested grabs when we needed it and even hit the scoreboard with a goal)," Sam Howard (Singleton Roosters)

Final scores: Killarney Vale 7.8 (50) defeated by Singleton Roosters 10.6 (66)

1. Bulls unable to pull off the miracle (Singleton Bulls vs Hamilton Hawks, Round 2)

THE BULLS: Steve Merrick and Chris Coleman pictured in the first half.

THE BULLS: Steve Merrick and Chris Coleman pictured in the first half.

The Singleton Bulls may not have been able to match Lake Macquarie in their season opener.

Yet they were able to put on a show in Round 2 against the Hamilton Hawks.

The absence of Cooper Harris was made up for buy the addition of Kemble Frost, Shade Tuiane-Whanau, Onewa Tai, Lachlan Charnock, Keanu Kaa, Jayden Duff and Paora Kemp in the opening fortnight and these new faces helped reignited the Bulls.

But it wasn't to be.

The Hawks would pip the Bulls by the narrowest of margins.

The powerhouse will now play off for a fifth successive premiership when they face off against the Wanderers in the 2019 NHRU Premier 1 grand final this Saturday.

Expert says: "We were so close that day, we were just so close," Steve Merrick (Singleton Bulls first grade coach)

Final Scores: Singleton Bulls 26 defeated by Hamilton Hawks 27

UNAVAILABLE: Cooper Harris would be unable to make his return until Round 3 this year.

UNAVAILABLE: Cooper Harris would be unable to make his return until Round 3 this year.

Previous 2019 top ten lists by Alex Tigani (Singleton Argus) include: