ONLY one first grade team remains unbeaten in Carlton Mid Group 2 rugby league and that one is Nambucca Heads.
The Roosters won the annual Steven Sutherland Memorial Shield at Smithtown Oval with a tough 22-10 win over Macleay Valley after holding a narrow two point advantage at the break.
"It was pretty much a stop-start affair with heaps of dropped ball and I think the statistics showed 32 penalties for the afternoon," winning coach Garren Stig remarked.
"The entire first half was a total arm wrestle in the forwards and whatever we tried to do, we couldn't shake them off."
The Roosters scored first coming back from the break and Stig believes that try delivered the vital breathing space his side needed.
"With 20 minutes to go it was still touch and go after they hit back with a try," he said.
"But Chris Carr came up with his second (try) and we dug in right to the last."
Stig paid credit to key forwards Dion Marr and Grant Coleman while the brilliant form of representative centre Mitchl Picker again made him a difficult customer for the Mustangs to contain.
"Don't overlook Macleay again for the big end of season matches as I think they are going to figure in the finish again," Stig added.
"They are still running into some fitness but they are very sharp out wide.
"After another game or two, they should be hitting their best."
NAMBUCCA HEADS ROOSTERS 22 (C Carr 2 M Picker G Coleman tries M Ronan 3 goals) bt MACLEAY VALLEY MUSTANGS 10 (A Cowan S Moran tries A Cowan goal)
At Smithtown Oval, Smithtown
Referee: Jason Townley
Reserve grade: Macleay Valley bt Nambucca Heads 20-0 (last 30 minutes abandoned due to a player injury)
Under 18s: Macleay Valley and Nambucca Heads drew 22-all