Close battle till the end
THE full-time whistle at Gayndah Sports Ground was nearly drowned out by cheering fans and car horns.
Gayndah Gladiators hung on to their lead and defeated Theodore Roosters 30-28 in the weekend game.
It was close from the kickoff and momentum shifted between the two teams.
The Roosters struck first off a slick line break and scored under the posts.
But the Gladiators didn’t take long to answer as fiveeight Jeff Shadford scored on the restart to lock the scores at six all.
Roosters started piling on the pressure, but wasted two overlaps on the try line.
Gayndah’s scrambling defence couldn’t cope with a third overlap and the Roosters crossed for a try.
Another try to the Roosters had the Gladiators in trouble with the score 16-6.
Gayndah was on the ropes again moments later after dropping a high kick in their own half.
Roosters looked certain to score, but awayward pass was fumbled over the line.
With minutes remaining in the first half, Gladiator Jeff Shadford chased down a grubber and scored.
At the break the score was 16-10 to the Roosters.
Gladiators hit the lead 20-16 in the second half, with tries to Jaybin Pearce and Vincent Vignette.
But Roosters answered with a try of their own to edge in front 22-20.
Gayndah kept pushing forward and Alex Matchoss scored in the corner to give the home team the advantage.
After a long injury delay with eight minutes remaining, Gladiator Troy Sawdy crossed for a try and the margin was 30-22.
Roosters wouldn’t give up and scored in the final minutes, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Gladiators.
DROPPED BALL: A big hit from Ryan Bernie causes the Roosters to knock on.