The Shoalhaven Ex Servicemen’s Shoals’ 1st grade side played a solid game to win 51-22 over competition cellar dwellers Camden on a pitch not much impacted by overnight rain. Camden gave their home crowd some joy as they raced out to a 17-5 lead after 25 minutes of fast open play. Shoals had not set their defensive line well and Camden’s back line exploited this weakness. However from that point Shoals lifted with their fast men doing loads of damage.
(min cost $8)
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First Mark Brandon scored off the back of brother Steve’s brilliant burst from 50 metres out. Then Steve cavorted through a few off centre tackles to race away for one of his four tries of the match. He followed this up a few moments later by stealing the ball from a ruck, racing to the blind side and roaring away for a try near the posts.
To finish the half the Brandon brothers put on one of their usual tries with Steve ghosting down the sideline and passing to Mark to race away for long range try. Through it all Shoals’ forwards had gained control and a plentiful supply of ball was well used by their back line. Shoals went to the sheds leading 22-17.
The 2nd half was pretty much a repeat of the first with the Brandon brothers getting plenty of ball to strut their paces. Mark scored his 3rd try of the game after just 3 minutes of play. Then it was a flying Matt Spresser’s turn to score when, after a long run by Jimmy Hendrix, he was given a slick pass by Sam Watts, at half, and crashed his way over near the corner posts. Steve Brandon scored a further two tries to finish off Shoals’ try scoring efforts as he used his abundant pace and elusiveness to baffle his opponents.
Keiran Brandon made many telling bursts down the right touch line and also contributed 11 points from his goal kicking. While Angus Clark had another great game tackling the larger Camden forwards and through his steam rolling bursts up the middle.
Shoals finished their season in fine style and ended up in midfield on the competition ladder. They had some memorable wins over University and Vikings but lost some close encounters with other leading teams. Through it all the skills displayed by the Brandon brothers were a highlight of the season as they mesmerised the opposition with their dazzling pace and side stepping. Shoals also gave 1st grade opportunities to a host of new players that should bode well for the future.
The Workforce XS Shoals 2nd grade side scored another fine win against a difficult opponent. Shoals needed to win to have any hope of making it into the finals. They made heavy work of it in the first half to go to the break leading by just 3 points to nil. However they roared into action in the second half scoring four tries to one to take the match 24-10 and gain the bonus point win. This win may however not be enough to see them into the finals as the results from some other games did not go their way.
3rd Grade Shoals had a bye however they remain on top of the table two points clear of Camden. With a six-team final series, they await the elimination rounds next weekend to see who will be their opponent in the first semi-final. A repeat premiership awaits this fine team.
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