THE Nowra-Bomaderry Jets have kept their mathematical chance of playing finals football alive on Sunday, by edging out local rivals, the Berry-Shoalhaven Heads Magpies, 25-24.
Just as both teams were working their way into the match, play was stopped after three minutes, for a suspected neck injury to Jets half Shane Dickinson.
Once play resumed more than 20 minutes later, it was the visitors at the Bomaderry Sporting Complex who scored the match’s first two tries.
On the back of two Jets errors, a set play by the Magpies saw halfback Joe Rogers slide through to score – a try which was converted by his halves partner Josh Ingold.
The lead was doubled in the 16th minute when classy hooker Blake Dryden scooted out of dummy-half and reached out with his right arm to score.
Ingold again converted for 12-nil.
The hosts finally got on the board in the 23rd minute, when, after three straight sets on the opposition’s line, fullback Jake Gould grubbered through for Tyson Simpson to score in the corner.
Dylan Farrell converted from the sideline, despite the windy conditions, for 12-6.
Although Berry looked most likely to score next, with a try being called back for a forward pass, the Jets levelled the scores when Ryan James powered over just before half-time.
Farrell converted and it appeared the game would go into the break even – but Jets five-eighth had the final say, kicking a field goal in the last play of the half, making it 13-12 to the hosts.
Scoring dried up in the second half, due to errors from both sides but the hosts lead was extended in the 62nd minute when Simpson stepped his way to the line.
Farrell again converted, giving the Jets a seven-point lead.
The result appeared put to bed four minutes later when Isaac Mumberson ran 70 metres, following a Nathan Falzon offload, to score.
Farrell’s conversion gave the hosts a 13-point lead with just over 10 minutes to play.
But the Magpies didn’t give up, scoring two tries in five minutes – the first through prop Bill Ryder after an inside pass from Dryden and the second to Blygh Herron who backed up on the inside of a break by Luke Ryder – to set up a grandstand finish.
Despite their best efforts, the Magpies couldn’t find anymore points in the final minutes, giving the Jets their fifth win of the season.
In the win, the Jets were best served by James, Gould, Simpson and Farrell, while Dryden, Bill Ryder, Blygh Herron and Rogers never gave up for the Magpies.