THE Newcastle Hunter Rugby League (NHRL) C grade competition rounds have come to an end with the Stroud Raiders finishing in third spot on the ladder.
The team capped off the season with a comprehensive 62-4 victory over last placed Kotara Bears on Saturday afternoon at Stroud Showground.
The Raiders welcomed back a host of players from injury for the match.
It was also a memorable afternoon for two Raiders, Jono Hayward and Travis Tilse, who played their 100th games for Stroud.
The game was only 10 minutes old when Zac Adams squeezed through a hole in the Bears’ defence, taking two players over the line with him, to give the Raiders an early lead.
Roy Watkins was next to score, proving he is one of the better forwards in the NHRL.
Johnny Garnham and Mitch Young both scored first half tries before Kotara secured their only points of the game right on half time.
Stroud held a comfortable 24-4 lead at the break.
At the resumption, Sam Holstein went on a try-scoring spree, scoring three in succession and quickly taking the score out to 42-4 with 25 minutes to go.
Dean Hancock was next to score, with the Raiders intensity building.
With the game completely out of the Bears grasp, Travis Tilse busted through the defence and ran 30m to bring up the half century.
After suffering what looked like a season-ending injury, David Kemp showed great fitness coming from the bench to score with only minutes left on the clock.
Tilse bagged his second right on the buzzer.
Nathan Hudson converted five of his seven shots on goal, Dean Hancock kicked three and Tilse and Hayward were also successful with kicks in their 100th games.
Special thanks to the Raiders management committee who worked tirelessly every home game to keep the players on the paddock.
Thanks also to the fans who filled the ground at home and away games. This weekend the finals start at Lakeside Sporting Complex at Raymond Terrace.