THE Aberdeen Tigers’ fairytale run continued at Pirtek Park, Singleton, on Sunday.
After securing a top four spot in the final round of the BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League first grade competition earlier this month, the “underdogs” added another scalp to their tally.
Following a strong win over the Scone Thoroughbreds last weekend, the Tigers eliminated the Singleton Greyhounds 22-12 to move into the 2017 decider.
There, they’ll tackle minor premiers Muswellbrook Rams at Olympic Park on Saturday.
Aberdeen had the showdown wrapped up at 22-0 but the Greyhounds refused to surrender.
And, while the coaching staff won’t use it as an excuse, Singleton’s injury woes in recent matches eventually took its toll.
Forwards Russell Richards, Craig Edwards, Zac Solman, Joshua Upward and Thomas Johnson tried valiantly, however they were ultimately out-muscled by the Tigers’ pack.
Front-rowers Marcus Marsh and Chris Vidler certainly set the platform for Aberdeen, giving Josh Schmiedel, Liam Foran, Chris Hunt, Hamish Wolfgang and Andrew Nicholls room out wide to cause plenty of headaches.
The Tigers struck in the 10th minute when Foran kept the ball alive on the fifth tackle and found a rampaging Nicholls, who dived over. Cameron French missed the kick and the score remained 4-0.
Soon after, Vidler barged through the Singleton defence to touch down near the uprights. French landed the conversion and Aberdeen led 10-0.
It stayed that way until the break.
A dour start to the second half was eventually broken in the 61st minute when Nicholls made a break down the sideline and kicked over the top for French to score untouched. Youngster Harry Douglass, taking over the kicking duties, made no mistake for 16-0.
Aberdeen lifted the tempo and it was lock Guy Thompson to join the team’s tryscoring list. Douglass extended the margin to 22-0.
Although time was against them, the Greyhounds would not give up.
With six minutes on the clock, Singleton posted two consolation tries to Hayden Yates and Luke Gardner.
Chad Solman converted both, however the Tigers prevailed 22-12.
Singleton had better luck in reserve grade, beating Muswellbrook 54-0, while the Rams (under-18s) and Ramettes (women’s league tag) enjoyed victories in their respective encounters, 34-0 and 16-4, over Scone and Murrurundi.
ABERDEEN TIGERS 22 (Andrew Nicholls, Chris Vidler, Cameron French, Guy Thompson tries; Harry Douglass 2, French goals) defeated SINGLETON GREYHOUNDS 12 (Hayden Yates, Luke Gardner tries; Chad Solman 2 goals)