LAKE Cathie Raiders are through to the Hastings League grand final, after a 36-24 win over the Comboyne Tigers in the major semi-final on Saturday.
The Raiders were too good for the Tigers at Lank Bain Complex, Wauchope, and now have the week off before a chance to avenge last year’s grand final loss to Comboyne.
Lake Cathie skipper Bo Wilson scored two tries on Saturday, while Matt Hensley, Bo Wilson, Mitch Holterman, Mitchell Jackson, Drew Smith and Matt Irby grabbed tries.
Zac Bruen-Ansell kicked four goals.
Matt Johl, Bevan Castles, Blake Reis, Shannon Lee and Blake Debreceny scored tries for the Tigers.
Shaun Maddley and George Jones kicked a goal each, but it wasn’t enough, and now the Tigers will have to win next weekend’s preliminary final against the Lower Macleay Magpies to have a shot at another grand final.
The Tigers were on their way early.
Matt Johl opened the scoring with a try in the corner, but it wasn’t converted.
Goal-kicking problems plagued the Tigers throughout the afternoon.
Bruen-Ansell faired a bit better, potting a couple from the sideline.
He didn’t have it all his own way though.
Bruen-Ansell spent some time in the sin bin, but the Raiders survived unscathed.
Hensley crossed for the Raiders’ first try in the 19th minute, before Wilson scored in the 24th.
Wilson put a grubber through the Tigers’ attacking zone, and came up trumps when the ball bounced off an upright and back into his arms.
That try was the highlight of the afternoon, before big forward Jackson’s charge in the second half.
Jackson picked the ball up deep in his own half, before taking off down the right-hand touchline.
For a minute he looked like he would go all the way to the line, but Jackson soon ran out of steam and was looking for support.
He was tackled 40 metres out, but Irby scored in the next play to take the score to 36-18.
Earlier, Jackson had picked up a try of his own, midway through the second half.