Marlins dream over - Australian Rugby league News
Backglobalrugbyleague - Sat, 13 Sep 2008 16:51:00 GMT
The Shellharbour Marlins dream run in the Jim Beam Cup finals series is over after Mounties restored their campaign with an emphatic 45-28 win at Ringrose Park on Saturday.
Touted as favourites to win the title midway through season 2008, the men from Mount Pritchard faced the all-too real prospect of an early exit after trailing the Marlins 22-18 at half-time in the wake of last week’s 34-14 loss to the Sydney Bulls.
Down 6-nil early in the game and minus the useful services of Wendell Sailor – who is of course back in the NRL - the Marlins quickly hit back via a touchdown to Brad Soper and went onto score another three tries.
Mounties – down 16-6 at one stage - mounted [apologies on the pun] a revival halfway into the first term to reduce the deficit to four to avoid the possibility of a second-half blow-out.
Shellharbour renovated their lead to 10-points in the 50th minute when Jace Brown crossed over, evidence of the easy metres David Walsh’s men were gaining in their sets.
Conceding the first penalty of the second-half, Mounties made the Marlins pay.
In a true see-saw affair, Steve Ghosn’s men threw the ball wide both sides of the field until winger Wayne Dargan found a hole to bust through into the left corner.
A quick short pass from Patrick Galea to Justin Coveney soon locked the scores at 28-a-piece to set up a dramatic final 20 minutes of elimination footy.
The stalemate was officially broken in the 63rd minute when talented winger Michael Fulalo stepped inside and ran around four defenders to help Mounties regain the lead for only the second time.
A late scare in the game saw Mounties halfback Drew Dalton suffer a nasty knock, sending short-term heart palpations amongst most of the three-hundred fans in attendance.
Another try to Fulalo was followed up by a Damien Mostyn knock-out four-pointer inside the final ten minutes of play.
For good measure and capping off a productive afternoon, Dalton scored the final point of the game care of an unnecessary but helpful field-goal.
Windsor Wolves fans who travelled to Wentworthville to witness history in the making wasted their time in doing so after the Sydney Bulls took a sledgehammer to the minor premiers and buried them 62-12 in the main game.
While losing in the semi-finals after a week off is not unique for the minor premiers – the Bulls did it in 2005 as did Cabramatta last season - the 50-point loss suggests Mounties are the only team remaining that can pose a serious threat to the Bulls in two weeks time.
The Wolves face-off against Mounties next weekend for the right to play the Sydney Bulls in the 2008 Jim Beam Cup Grand Final.
Jim Beam Cup Finals – Week 2:
Mounties 45 def Shellharbour 28
Sydney Bulls 62 def Windsor 12
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