Mustangs charge to the line as Orara hit a bad patch
IT WAS the one that got away.
After leading Macleay Valley by 10 points at the break, the wheels fell off for Orara Valley in the second half and the afternoon ended in a 46-26 defeat.
"We scored two tries first up and gave them a scare alright," Orara co-coach Chris Shears said.
"It's a pity we went back to bad habits after the break with missed tackles, silly penalties and missed opportunities."
Shears is approaching a decade with the Axemen but the old hands who've been around much longer know exactly what he's talking about when he refers to "the bad 10-minute period."
For some reason, the switch goes off and opponents are allowed back into the game.
"First they put two tries on us," Shears said.
"And then I got into trouble and was sin-binned."
A touch judge accused Shears of making a derogatory comment - a claim he strenuously denies - and was sent to the cooler by referee Ray Pettit.
"I don't have any problem with Ray making a decision.
"The problem was Macleay scored three tries while I was in the shed and that was the end of it for us.
Shears was ecstatic with the first half but that infamous 10-minute bad period has got him stumped.
"Somehow we have got to get around it.
"The season is still alive and if we can get that win we need, it'll turn the corner for us."
Centre Richie Dunn was best for the home side while Mustangs prop Steve Walker continued his purple patch of early season form with another big effort up front in the engine room.
MACLEAY VALLEY MUSTANGS 46 (Richard Dungay 3, Paul Richie 2, Jeremy Taylor, Peter Griffen, Steve Walker tries; Anthony Cowan 7 goals) def ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 26 (Richie Dunn 3, Scott Lacey, Paul Tomlinson tries; Josh Few 3 goals)
At Coramba Sportsground, Coramba
Referee: Ray Pettit
Reserve grade: Macleay Valley d Orara Valley 68-24
Under 18s: Macleay Valley d Orara Valley 60-6