Thirlmere Rosters are in the box seat to win this year’s crown after securing the minor premiership on the weekend.
Their reward will be to sit back and watch second placed Camden and Picton and The Oaks and Oakdale face off in the first week of the 2019 finals this Sunday at Dudley Chesham Oval.
Picton finished third on the ladder after an easy 56-4 win over Mittagong.
The last round of the home and away season was also notable for the first win of the season for Campbelltown City, who beat Narellan 32-22 on Saturday night at Crane Oval. The Kangaroos, who finished last, have been slowly improving and can look towards the 2020 season with some optimism.
On Sunday, down south in the Macarthur region, MIKE SHEAN was at Thirlmere Sportsground which hosted a titanic battle for the minor premiership between the Roosters and Camden Rams.
The Rams dominated play and had plenty of opportunities to score early, but it was the home side that converted their chances to race to an 18-0 lead.
Their first try came via young centre Jesse Jackson, who scored a second minutes later to give the Roosters a 12-0 lead.
It was 18-0 after dangerous backrower Jacob Loko added his name to the scoresheet.
Camden finally got on the scoreboard after 28 minutes when Josh Goulton crossed for a try.
But their joy was shortlived because Thirlmere’s flying winger Sami Tawamacala pounced on a loose ball in the Camden ingoal to give the Roosters a 24-6 lead six minutes before halftime.
The scoring wasn’t done yet and Chris Browne, the experienced number 6 for the Rams scored a nice try to reduce the deficit to 12.
Thirlmere’s Justin Smith managed to score in the corner after the halftime siren to extend the Roosters’ lead to 28-12 at the change.
They went further ahead 13 minutes into the second half when Mitch New scored.
But the Rams the Rams weren’t ready to roll over and Cameron Oitmann kept their minor premiership hopes alive with a try as the clock ticked over 20 minutes.
When young Jackson Willis scored minutes later to make it 32-24, Camden were back in the hunt for the minor premniership.
Unfortunately for the Rams, their hopes were extinguished soon after when Adam Campbell scored a well-deserved try for the home side to ice the victory and secure the 2019 minor premiership.
A consolation try to Willis, his second of the day, saw the final score read 38-30 to the Roosters.
RESULTS – ROUND 18 – FIRST GRADE
Narellan Jets 22 Campbelltown City 32;
Mittagong Lions 4 Picton Magpies 56;
Thirlmere Roosters 38 Camden Rams 30.
The Oaks and Oakdale, bye
Narellan 26 Campbelltown City 24;
Mittagong 26 Picton 10;
Thirlmere 0 Camden 68;
Moss Vale Dragons 12 The Oaks Tigers 44
Mittagong 4 Picton 14;
Thirlmere 16 Camden 24;
Moss Vale 10 Mt Annan Oakdale 50
Thirlmere 0 Camden 22;
Moss Vale 6 Picton 4.
City Gold 12 The Oaks 36;
Narellan Blue 20 City Blue 16;
Narellan White 0 Camden 60;
Mittagong 4 Picton 18.
Bowral Blues 6 Picton Magpies 42;
Narellan Jets 22 Campbelltown City 16;
Thirlmere Roosters 21 Oran Park Chargers 0;
Mt Annan Knights 21 Warragamba Wombats 0.
NEXT WEEK – finals week one – Dudley Chesham Oval, The Oaks
City Gold v Narellan White – LLT 2 minor semi final 6pm;
City Blue v Camden – LLT 1 minor semi final 7.15pm
Oran Park v Thirlmere – Shield minor semi final 1.15pm;
Picton v Mt Annan – 2nd Division minor semi final 3pm;
Mittagong v Mt Annan Oakdale – U/18 elimination final 4.45pm;
Narellan v Mittagong – Reserves elimination final 6.30pm
Picton v Moss Vale – Women’s RL minor semi final 8.30am;
Camden v Thirlmere – U/18 qualifying final 9.45am;
Picton v Thirlmere – Reserves qualifying final 11.30am;
Camden v Picton – qualifying final 1.15pm;
The Oaks v Oakdale – elimination final 3pm