Raymond Terrace have claimed a last-minute victory after their match against Cooks Hill went down to the wire, all locked up at 7-7 heading into the final round.
Not only did the season’s current cellar dwellers halt the Cookers’ momentum upwards in the standings, but their win came after the final round whistle had been blown – the 15th and deciding point was played through sudden-death after both teams had two left on field at full time.
A full two minutes in the last round was played out between Cooks Hills’ Benjamin McIntyre and Michael Kolmajer and Raymond Terrace’s David Franklin and Dan Jenkinson, with three late chances coming for Jenkinson against McIntyre, but to no avail.
It was the longest contested sudden-death of the season that claimed points however, with Franklin nicking Lewis Foot to send him – and his team – out 72 seconds into the deciding round.
It was a spirited comeback from the Terrace side as well, with Cooks Hill holding control at the half break 5-2, before the fixture was reversed for the eventual winners with a 2-6(1) run to put them back into the tie.
Earlier, Waratah kept sustained pressure on Hamilton atop the table with an 8-4 win over Rutherford, as deep-lining catchers Georgia Graham and Eva Bailey dictated the pace of the game.
The ‘Tahs struggled to find their groove early on as Rutherford kept them to a 3-all scoreline at the break, but Graham and Bailey’s contributions, as well as two key forward-court plays from Andrew de Souza and Nathaniel King saw them with a more positive second half.
Later, Hamilton remained just two points clear at the top with an 8-4 win over Belmont, keeping the defeated side 6 points behind Waratah and just two in front of Cooks Hill.
Hamilton soared after two rounds back-to-back that first saw Thomas McCallum return the team from a 1-on-4 deficit to score the point, before Lachlan Craig snatched a point-blank catch to swing numbers late in the next round.
Alexander McIntyre shone on the wings for the defending champions in the second half, while a hat-trick of catches from Doug Byrne before half time proved too much for Belmont to overcome as they remain in third for the fifth week in a row.
Table: Hamilton (30), Waratah (28), Belmont (22), Cooks Hill (20), Rutherford (12), Raymond Terrace (8).