The Boorowa Rovers suffered their second straight finals defeat last Saturday going down by 28-16 against the North Canberra Bears in the elimination semi final. It was an improved performance on the previous week against Harden but unfortunately the gallant Rovers fell short after trailing the Bears by 12-4 at halftime. In front of a parochial home ground, the Rovers threw everything they had at the defending premiers who now progress along the sudden death tightrope.
Boorowa started well and had to wait just five minutes before posting their first points through a Steven Death try for a 4-0 lead. The first half then developed into an arm wrestle with both sides having attacking opportunities but both defensive lines held firm. It was the Bears who broke the stalemate with centre Jeffrey Laundess crossing for the Bears which Jake Priestley converted for a 6-4 lead.
With just five minutes to go until halftime it looked as though their would be just two points in it at the break before Bears fullback Kirk Patton broke through some flimsy Boorowa defence to run 70 metres to score. Priestley converted and the Bears went into the break with an eight point buffer at 12-4.
After the break, Boorowa began well and appeared to be the dominant team early on. The Bears held firm but through persistence, Boorowa scored first through second rower Andrew Burns who converted his own try to make the score just 12-10 with 18 minutes left. The game began to open up and whilst Boorowa valiantly tried to take the lead it was North Canberra who again stretched the lead out to 18-10 when lock Bradley Cappello scored a converted try. The Bears crossed again shortly after through Priestley and with eight minutes left it was becoming desperate for the Rovers.
However the lads have shown all year they never give up and when Daniel Roberts scored a try it got back to 22-14. Andrew Burns landed a pressure kick from wide out to bring the margin back to six points. From the kick off, the Bears were penalised for off side allowing the Rovers the chance to level the scores through another attacking raid. They almost did just that when Boorowa hooker Trent Garrett was held up just inches from the try line. The Bears defensive line held firm and sealed the game with just three minutes left when Jake Priestley crossed for a converted try. It was a devastated Boorowa side when the siren sounded but the lads lost no supporters with a whole hearted effort.
In the George Tooke qualifying final, Crookwell 25 beat Harden 24 in a thriller played in driving snow. The atrocious weather didn’t hamper a good game of football that could have gone either way.
So this week the North Canberra Bears continue on their finals quest, this time taking on Harden at McLean oval in Harden at 2.45pm. This game could go either way with the defending Premiers, North Canberra appearing to be peaking at the right time. The question for Harden will be their ability to rebound after a gut wrenching loss by a field goal to Crookwell. With the home ground advantage, Harden should do enough to get the win but a Bears win would not surprise.
In the league tag results:
Crookwell 4 beat Boomanulla 0 in the elimination semi-final
Bungendore 26 beat Harden 12 in the qualifying semi-final
Harden will take on Crookwell at Harden on Saturday at 1.30pm for the right to play Bungendore in the grand final on September 9.
In other local league news, the Rovers and Roverettes will gather at the Boorowa Ex-Services on September 16 at 6.30pm for the annual presentation night. Anyone is welcome and the cost for the night is just $30. With two teams this season, the evening promises to be twice the fun so why not get a ticket to one of the hottest events in town this year.
Another hot ticket is to the Rovers reunion on the evening of September 30, also at the Ex-services Club. For details of the event contact the Rovers Committee via the Ex-Services Club.
The playing season may be over but there’s still plenty going on for you to continue to support your local rugby league teams.