THE Berry Magpies are beginning to shape up as the ‘real deal’ in 2014, following their resounding nine-try 48-30 win over Albion Park-Oak Flats at Centenary Field on Sunday.
Despite an obvious need for better defence against an Eagles side who did manage to score five tries, the way the side responded to trailing 18-6 midway through the first half and their better commitment in defence in the second half, indicated that being behind equal fifth placed Jamberoo and Nowra-Bomadderry, won’t really be a worry in this form.
The sides swapped tries early, but when the Eagles went back-to-back in the opening half to take a 12-point lead, many would think the Park were on top, but instead the young Magpies took flight, running in three impressive tries, including a brilliant solo length-of-the-field effort my five-eighth Josh Ingold, who scooped up a ball in the in-goal and raced away to score, all in the space of 10 minutes to take a 24-18 lead.
Eagles veteran Sean Jenkins levelled thing up at halftime with a typically hard-running try and conversion to Matt Carroll.
But any hope the Eagles had of saying in the game were dealt a blow in the opening five minutes of the second half when the Magpies grabbed tries to half Joe Rogers when he chased a grubber-kick to score and an outstanding solo effort by young speedster Rory McCall, before the home side got back to within four when Derek Gray barged over off a tap-penalty.
But in the end it was the visitors who pout the icing to a convincing win when Ingold grabbed his second, before captain-coach Nathan Benney wrapped up the win with a late double.
The Eagles suffered a late setback when young prop Jack Scurr was dismissed by referee Drury for what appeared to be a dangerous throw.
In a classy Berry effort, Ingold, Benney, Blake Dryden, Bryce Rutherford and Josh Coulter all led the way, while Matt Carroll, Dean Gray, Gary Breakspear and Chris Rowles tried hard to rally the Eagles.