GLOUCESTER Magpies were were brave in defeat when they took on a classy Dungog Warriors side in Newcastle Hunter Northern Conference Rugby League.
The Warriors won 46-20.
Gloucester were depleted with six Travelling Wilburys heading north for the weekend, though the Magpies still had a full bench and a very good starting side.
The Magpies started solidly with some great defence and with ball in hand looked dangerous in the opening minutes.
It was only five minutes in when young bull Darcy Alladice took on the defence and went through for a converted try. As has been the case this season, the Magpies sometimes struggle to complete after scoring and hence a mistake paved the way for Dungog to open their account with a try making it 6-4.
With a huge crowd on hand, both sides were putting on a show. It wasn`t long and Dungog crossed again for a converted try to take a 10-6 lead. Gloucester`s next try was a spectacular effort.
Riley Collins took the line on and was lifted in the air like a ballroom dancer by the Dungog defence but somehow managed to get a pass away to one of our best on the day, the forever young Andrew Middlebrook to score to lock it up at 10-10, 15 minutes in.
Dungog were next to score next to the posts so with the conversion it made it 16-10. This looked to be the halftime score but right on the bell the Warriors were in again to go to the break 22-10.
Gloucester came out of the sheds and were up for the challenge. Unfortunately a things didn`t go our way in the first 12 minutes and a few chances were missed. At the 15 minute mark Dungog found a hole and after some nice hands crossed for a converted try to go to a 28-10 lead.
With a few Gloucester boys blowing pretty hard due to a lack of footy, things could of got a little ugly. But to their credit and the old never say die attitude that coach 'Rambo' Alladice has installed the Magpies kept trying. Dungog were attacking our line again when a cut-out pass found our own greyhound Clancy Johnson, who raced 80 metres to score under the post for Darcy to convert and it was 28-16 to Dungog.
The next 10 minutes was a good battle. Another one of our young guns, Rohan Everett, was next to score, with the conversion missed making the score 28-20. Unfortunately that was our last try.
A couple of missed opportunities and Dungog scoring three tries in the last 10 minutes.
Riley Collins was players' player. Andrew Middlebrook, Darcy Allardice and Bryce Berry were great. Sam Murray once again never stopped in attack and defence.
So that will now give Dungog the minor premiership. No matter what happens, Gloucester we will play Stroud in the first semi on August 20 at a venue to be announced.
With the match against Dungog our last home-game for the season just a few thank yous.
To all our loyal sponsors the club can`t run without you.
To our gate people Oscar Sansom and Danial Gilfillan, Bar Staff Grant "Chooky Wratten, Adam Berry and Nick Nielson, microphone man Brian Clarke and to our little band of young touch judges Sam and Jacob Whittaker, Zac Schafer and Rhys Summerville we the committee thank every single one of you.
And of course all you loyal supporters. There are none better in the comp.
A special mention to the Laurie Family "Knowla" for their bull sale on Friday. James and Ted are one of our sponsors and the Magpies would like to congratulate you on a wonderful sale that you held.
It certainty lifts the little town when something like that happens.
No games as this week is a bye weekend and the following is a spare weekend, but there will be a special Magpie read for you all.
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