THE Shellharbour Sharks have kept their dream of Group Seven minor premiership alive on Sunday, thanks to a commanding 56-6 win against the Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs.
Playing on their home ground, Ron Costello Oval, the league-leading Sharks took only 10 minutes to open their account.
Quick hands by Matt Carroll and Eze Harper put winger Jayme Mcelhone into space, with the latter doing the rest.
Carroll failed to convert, leaving it at 4-nil.
Six minutes later, five-eighth Sam Clune stepped his way past three Bulldogs defenders to score under the sticks.
Carroll converted for 10-nil.
But the Sharks didn’t have it all their own way in the opening part of the game, with the Bulldogs scoring their first try in the 22nd minute.
Half Cale Symons used a slight of hands to hit a charging Hayden Naylor, who broke to line and scored untouched.
Lachlan Moore converted and it was 10-6.
This was as close as the visitors got, as Clune turned provider in the 30th minute, putting Jason Gray into space, before the fullback got outside the defenders and scored.
Carroll converted and the lead was 10.
In the 36th minute, the slick hands of Carroll and Harper again saw Mcelhone score in the left corner.
Carroll again failed to convert from the sideline, as the score remained 20-6 – which is how it remained until half-time.
Eleven minutes after the resumption, Mcelhone had his hat-trick, after Clune and Abe Atallah’s strong lead up play.
Carroll couldn’t add the extras, and the lead remained at 18.
Two minutes later, Mcelhone had his fourth, again scoring untouched down the left edge, after Harper put him into space.
Carroll again failed to add the extras, as the score was 28-6.
The Sharks had their tails up now and in the 60th minute, they had their seventh try.
A set wrap around play involving Carroll, Clune and Atallah put speedstar Gray into a gap and the fullback beat the Dogs defenders to the line, to score his second of the afternoon.
Carroll must have left his kicking boots at home, with him again missing from the sideline, leaving the score at 32-6.
In the 63rd minute, hard-working back rower Ryan McCracken powered his way across for the Sharks, before Jack Kavangah did the same three minutes later.
Carroll converted both tries for 44-6.
Hooker Kiran Tranter then did it all on his own in the 74th minute, scooting out of dummy-half and running 70 metres to score.
Carroll converted for to bring up the half century.
The day’s final try came in the 78th minute when prop Matt Coltman run off Tranter to score next to the posts.
Carroll converted to make it 56-6 at full-time.