THE Nowra-Bomaderry Jets took bragging rights in their local derby with the Berry Magpies, with a 36-14 win at Nowra Showground on Saturday night.
The Jets turned back the clock by wearing a retro jersey to pay respect to former Nowra Warriors and the change of strip certainly seemed to pay dividends.
With the Magpies having won their first battle this season and with the faintest glimmer of hope of making the finals, they still had plenty to play for.
They made the ideal start, with Blake Dryden scooting out of dummy half and making the most of some lazy defence to go in under the posts for the Magpies first try.
The Magpies managed to maintain their level of intensity for the first 20 minutes, with the Jets unable to crack their defensive line.
But the mounting number of defensive sets eventually took its toll on the Magpies, with Zac Kershaw crashing over for the Jets first try in the 21st minute.
Kershaw’s try evened it up at 6-all and it wasn’t long before things started to go pear-shaped for the Magpies.
Two minutes later, a chip from Josh Ingold fell right into the hands of the last Jets player they would have hoped for in Mark Brandon, who was off in a flash, running some 70 metres to add to his growing try tally for the season.
The Jets didn’t even need a full set of six before Nathan Falzon crossed for their third try.
Mark Brandon then nailed a tough conversion to put the Jets in front 18-6.
Berry finally managed to get the ball back, but couldn’t hold it for long and paid the price when Ryan James busted through to add another try for the Jets.
The Magpies promising start was well and truly dashed when Steve Brandon scored went in just before half time, giving the Jets a 26-6 lead at the break.
The Magpies injury-ravaged season continued, with Lloyd Sharpe taken off in an ambulance at half time with a knee injury and it only got worse for the visitors when play resumed.
Barely five minutes into the second half, Magpies fullback Blake Harris-Davis spilled the lollies from a Geoff Johnson bomb, right in front of his in-goal.
The Jets took full advantage, with ex-Magpies Mick Blattner burrowing over for a try, much to the delight of his former team mates.
At 32-6, it looked like the scoreboard attendant might be hard at work, but things soon went quiet for the Jets.
The Magpies were finally given something to smile about in the 55th minute when James Knight went over in the corner, bringing it back to 32-10.
A 40/20 from Josh Ingold on their next set of six almost saw the Magpies go back to back, before the ball was lost over the line.
But they made up for it a few minutes later when Blake Harris-Davis crossed in the corner.
With 10 minutes remaining, the Magpies were within striking distance of another try, but just when it looked like a comeback might be possible, they lost a scrum against the head.
If seeing it happen once wasn’t enough, things got more bizarre when the Jets did the exact same thing, two minutes later at the opposite end of the field.
But they were not made to pay a heavy price for the error and when Nathan Deaves crossed in the corner with five minutes remaining, it was all she wrote for the Magpies season.
Ben Wellington, Zac Kershaw and Ryan James were standouts for the Jets, while Pat Watson, Blake Dryden and Josh Coulter were the Magpies best.