First-placed Sharks end Jets finals hopes

THE finals chances for the Nowra-Bomaderry Jets are all but over after falling at the hands of the Shellharbour City Sharks 26-20 on Sunday.

Sharks' Jye Brooker. Photo: COURTNEY WARD

Sharks' Jye Brooker. Photo: COURTNEY WARD

At the Bomaderry Sporting Complex, both teams came into the clash on win streaks but it was the hosts who scored first.

Young five-eighth Tyson Simpson put a bomb up which was let to bounce by the Sharks, before ending in Steve Brandon’s hands to score.

Brandon’s brother Mark couldn’t convert, leaving it at 4-nil after as many minutes.

But the league-leaders didn't trail for long.

Halfback Matt Carroll sliced through the line and ran 50 metres, which set up the visitors opener a couple of plays later when the ball was shifted to the right, for centre Jye Brooker to score untouched.

Carroll added the extras and the Sharks led 6-4.

The Sharks stretched their lead minutes later when Jamie Manukonga scored from a contentious pass.

Carroll missed his first kick of the day and the score remained 10-4.

The hosts levelled in the 18th minute when Brandon had his second – catching the markers napping and scooting over from close range – before Mark Brandon converted for 10-all.

But just before the break, the Sharks regained the lead, when Brooker crossed for his second of the afternoon – again being on the end of strong ball movement by his side.

Carroll landed it form the sideline for 16-10 at half-time.

Much to the dismay of the home fans, the Sharks were first to score in the second half, following a Steve Brandon dropped bomb.

Off the ensuing scrum, the Sharks shifted the ball from left to right, for Michael McKinley to score in the right hand corner.

Carroll failed to convert and the lead was 10.

On the back of two suspect penalties, the Jets gained the ascendancy but were denied a third when a pass from Santino Battagliolo was adjudged forward.

On the back a penalty for the Sharks, due to an altercation between Dwyane Connors and Abe Atallah, the Sharks again got on the front foot.

Half Carroll was rewarded fro his strong play, stepping his way for the Sharks fifth.

He converted his own try and the Sharks led 26-10.

The Jets reduced the margin with 17 to go when Zac Kershaw barged his way over but Mark failed to convert.

In the final 10, Carroll missed a field goal to ice the game before Simpson scored off a Shane Dickerson grubber on the stroke of full-time.

Kieran Brandon slotted the kick and score ended 26-20.

In the win, the Sharks were best served by Atallah, McCracken, Carroll and Jason Gray while standouts for the Jets included Ryan James, Connors, Simpson and Kershaw.