Sport

Magpies too good at the graveyard

Jerry Key takes a hit-up for Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies against Orara Valley.
Jerry Key takes a hit-up for Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies against Orara Valley. Nick Houghton

KNOWN as the graveyard, Bellingen Park again proved to be a tough place to play for visiting teams.

Despite being on the back foot for large parts of the match, Bellingen Valley-Dorrigo denied Orara Valley its maiden win of the season claiming a 24-12 victory at home.

With scores locked at 12 all and under ten minutes to play, the Magpies demonstrated its composure to run in two late try's.

Magpies coach Brandon Costin was happy with the win but admitted his side still has a long way to go.

"It is a sign of a good team to win the ugly matches and we managed to do that today," Costin said.

"Orara dominated the first half and the start of the second so we did well to prevent them from taking the lead.

"We lacked a bit of discipline at times and made it difficult for ourselves while Orara showed more desire for most of the match."

Crossing the try line twice in the opening ten minutes, Bellingen appeared to be coasting to an easy win.

However it all turned pear shaped for the home side with Orara simply out playing the Magpies for the rest of the half, the halftime score 12-6.

A try to Orara winger Dillon Moran and Conversion from Nick Lythgo saw the scores leveled only moments after the sides returned for the second stanza.

Both sides looked to threaten however poor handling and execution close to the line saw the scores remain tied up for most of the half.

Desperate for victory the Axemen look to spread the attack with less than ten minutes to go, but prolific Magpies centre Ricky McGrady had other ideas.

McGrady latched onto a flat cut out pass from Lythgo before running his interception 40 metres to score.

Callan Tapine increased the margin to 12 with the last play of the game crashing over under the posts.

Axemen player-coach Chris Shears felt his side was unlucky to come away from the match without a win.

"We were extremely unlucky today," Shears said.

"The boys worked hard to get us back into the game and to lose it at the end is tough.

"Had a few things gone our way we probably would've won."

Costin also felt the final score did not reflect the game.

"At 12 all with ten minutes to go I felt a draw would've been a fair result for both teams," he said.

"They worked harder than us and had more desire in the first half.

"I think our two early tries gave us a bit of false confidence and we let Orara back into the match."

Shears was confident a win is not too far away.

"The improvement from the boys week to week is definitely there and so is the effort," Shears said.

"If we can continue to show this improvement in every game we will be a very tough team to beat."

BELLINGER VALLEY-DORRIGO MAGPIES 24 (C Tapine T Morris R McGrady L Beaumont tries L Beaumont 4 goals) bt ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 12 (D Moran J Few tries N Lythgo 2 goals)

Scrums: Bellingen 7-5

Errors: Bellingen 12-10

Penalties: Orara 6-3

At Bellingen Park, Bellingen

Reserve Grade: Bellingen 24-16

Topics:  bellinger valley dorrigo magpies, group 2, orara valley axemen



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