An injury to Grant Coleman could see Nambucca lose their star hooker for the finals.
An injury to Grant Coleman could see Nambucca lose their star hooker for the finals.

Roosters wrap up minor premiership

NAMBUCCA Heads has made a hasty return to the Winners Circle over powering a courageous Bellinger-Valley Dorrigo 34-22 at Coronation Park.

The win sees the Roosters claim the minor premiership with two rounds still to play.

Displaying no signs of last week's shock loss to Sawtell, Nambucca put points on the board inside the first ten minutes courtesy of Cameron Blair.

Despite conceding early the Magpies, buoyed by a surprise return to the field from coach Brandon Costin, struck back straight away when Callan Tapine crashed over to level the scores.

The try changed the game as the visitors took control of the game and scored twice more through Costin and Ryan O'Connor

"We executed exactly what we had planned and it showed on the score board early," Costin said.

We are only a young side and so it was great to have a bit of extra experience on the field in the shape of Stu Kelly in the centres and myself.

We made the same mistakes once again as the half wore on and to give up the lead before half time was tough."

With 10 minutes remaining in the first half it appeared things finally began to click for the Roosters.

Two quick tries from a Bert Gray and Gary Jarrett saw the home side go into the break with an unexpected 18-14 lead.

"I wasn't too worried in the first half and although it took nearly 35 minutes of footy we finally got ourselves together," Roosters coach Garren Stig said.

"To go into the half with a lead was a nice surprise, weren't playing great footy yet still found a way to score points."

The Magpies began the second half with all guns blazing and it didn't take long to pay off with Darren Byrne scoring in the far eastern corner to tie the game up at 18-18.

Nambucca wasn't going to be beaten on its home ground and increased the pressure on the visitors.

Bellingen attempted to hold out wave after wave of attack from the home side but fatigue took its toll and the Roosters put on three late tries to all but end its opponent's chances.

"As I have said all year there is plenty of depth at the club and our reserves are as strong as our first graders. With a few guys missing today I thought everyone on the field really stood up," Stig said.

"After the loss last week it was good to get back to what we have done well all season."

NAMBUCCA HEADS ROOSTERS 34 (M Picker A Clarke C Blair M Ronan G Jarrett B Gray tries M Ronan 5 goals) bt BELLINGER VALLEY-DORRIGO MAGPIES 22 (B Costin 2 C Tapine R O'Connor D Byrne tries L Beaumont goals)

Referee: Ray Pettit

At Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads.

Reserve Grade: Bellingen bt Nambucca Heads 36-22

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