Inverell’s RSM Hawks celebrated their annual Old Boys Day on Saturday with wins in three of four games against the Moree Boars.
Hosted at Varley Oval, the Hawks A-grade side moved within one point of second position on the Group 19 premiership table, with a gutsy 32-20 win over the second placed Boars in front of a very well attended and vocal Old Boys crowd.
Down 12-0 after 15 minutes and reduced to 11 men midway through the second half, the Hawks displayed considerable composure to prove they are now genuine premiership contenders.
The Boars crossed for converted tries in the third and 15th minute, before Hawks winger Brennan Cosgrove crossed in the 22nd minute after a well worked backline movement. Michael Watton converted and the Hawks now trailed 12-6.
Nine minutes later, and ‘Man Of The Match’ Justin Caine crossed and with the Watton conversion, scores were locked at 12-all.
With only a minute remaining before half time, Josh Boyd put the Hawks in front, when he brushed three Moree defenders aside to score under the posts. Michael Watton again converted and put Inverell in front 18-12 at half time.
The first 20 minutes of the second half saw play flow from end to end with neither side giving an inch.
A grubber kick through on the fifth tackle, saw Hawks captain coach Corey Garrett take advantage of a fortunate bounce to score beside the posts. With the successful conversion the Hawks had forged to a 24-12 lead.
Just after, Inverell lost Bailey Cosgrove to the sin bin through a professional foul, and Moree took advantage of the one man advantage to race in two tries to get back to 24-20.
As an aftermath of the second Moree try which saw the corner post removed, Inverell half Michael Watton joined Cosgrove in the sin bin, with the linesman apparently not appreciating the advice given by Watton on how to do his job.
Inverell despite being two men down, were able to prevent Moree from adding any further points. With the return to the field of Bailey Cosgrove, his brother Brennan crossed for his second try.
A great conversion from the touch line by Jack Hukins, and the Hawks were out to a 10 point lead.
After a skirmish on the Moree try line with two minutes remaining, Inverell were awarded a penalty after a Moree player was sin binned. Hukins converted the penalty and the Hawks had run out victorious by 32-20.
Best and fairest points were awarded to Justin Caine (3), Jack Hukins (2) and James Ballinger (1).
The Terry Trim Medalist judged by a number of Hawks Old Boys was awarded to Justin Caine.
In a scrappy Presidents Cup match that saw five players sin binned at various stages during the second half, the Inverell Hawks moved into second place on the points table after a 28-18 win over Moree.
The Hawks were reduced to 10 players at one stage, but a tireless tackling performance from Robert Dunn helped prevent the Boars from taking advantage and keep the Hawks major semi final prospects alive.
Best and fairest points went to Robert Dunn (3), Matt Edmonds (2) and Kertley Thomas (1).
A 40-metre field goal from Hawks captain Jack Stafford with 15 seconds remaining, gave the Inverell Juniors a 13-12 victory over Moree.
The Boars had scored first in the sixth minute and these were the only points scored during a dour first half.
Stafford scored after two minutes of play in the second half, the scores were locked at 12 all after a Lachlan Turner try in the 21st minute, and this appeared to be the full time score until Stafford’s field goal on the last play of the match.
Best and fairest points were awarded to Jack Stafford (3), Lachlan Turner (2) and Ethan Campbell (1).
Inverell’s RSM Hawkettes gave competition leaders a huge scare by only going down 16-14 in league tag.
It was only goal kicking that prevented the Hawkettes from at least drawing the match, after fighting their way back from trailing 16-6 just two minutes after half time.
Two tries in eight minutes to Kyla Hamilton and Hollie Stafford had the home-side down 16-14 with 12 minutes remaining.
Despite numerous attempts to cross for the match winning try, Moree’s defence remained intact for them to come out victors.
Best and fairest points went to Hollie Stafford (3), Phoebe Koch (2) and Monique McCoy (1).
The Inverell RSM Hawks’ next match is on Saturday in Armidale against the Rams.