A SURPRISE mid-week loss to the Scone Thoroughbreds has opened up the Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League competition.
In a high-scoring encounter, the Muswellbrook Rams ended their rivals’ unbeaten run 38-30 at Scone Park last Thursday night.
The defeat allowed defending premiers Aberdeen Tigers to regain top spot on the ladder following a 28-8 victory over the Singleton Greyhounds at McKinnon Field on Saturday.
But, the 2017 champions didn’t have it all their own way.
Singleton only trailed 10-8, with 30 minutes left on the clock, before Aberdeen closed out the fixture.
Josh Schmiedel, Ben Baker, Guy Thompson, Hamish Wolfgang and Jesse McLean led the way for the Tigers, each crossing the tryline, while Baker added four goals.
The Greyhounds’ points came from youngster Bailey Schultz and halfback Jake Smith.
Twenty-four hours later, the Denman Devils recorded their second triumph of the season, accounting for the Greta Branxton Colts 20-16.
Aberdeen heads the points table on eight, along with Scone, with Muswellbrook (six), Denman (four), Singleton (one) and Greta Branxton (one) in hot pursuit.
In reserve grade, the Rams defeated the Murrurundi Mavericks 18-16, the Tigers crushed the Greyhounds 34-10, the Colts upstaged the Devils 24-8, and the Merriwa Magpies beat the Thoroughbreds 27-18.
Scone’s under-18s looked sharp in its 28-4 win over Muswellbrook, Greta Branxton knocked over Denman 24-18 and Aberdeen forfeited to Singleton.
In league tag, the Ramettes pipped the Mavettes 12-4, the Greyhounds outclassed the Tigers 44-10, the Colts put the Devils to the sword 26-10, and the Thoroughbreds overwhelmed the Magpies 22-16.
In round six, Muswellbrook hosts Greta Branxton at Olympic Park on Saturday, with Scone locking horns with Singleton, and Denman facing Aberdeen on Sunday.
Round five results:
First grade –
Muswellbrook defeated Scone 38-30
Aberdeen defeated Singleton 28-8
Denman defeated Greta Branxton 20-16
Reserve grade –
Muswellbrook defeated Murrurundi 18-16
Aberdeen defeated Singleton 34-10
Greta Branxton defeated Denman 24-8
Merriwa defeated Scone 27-18
Scone defeated Muswellbrook 28-4
Singleton defeated Aberdeen on forfeit
Greta Branxton defeated Denman 24-18
Women’s league tag –
Muswellbrook defeated Murrurundi 12-4
Singleton defeated Aberdeen 44-10
Greta Branxton defeated Denman 26-10
Scone defeated Merriwa 22-16
Round six draw:
Saturday, May 19 –
1pm: women’s league tag, Muswellbrook v Greta Branxton
2pm: under-18s, Muswellbrook v Greta Branxton
3.10pm: reserve grade, Muswellbrook v Greta Branxton
4.40pm: first grade, Muswellbrook v Greta Branxton
2pm: women’s league tag, Murrurundi v Aberdeen
3pm: reserve grade, Murrurundi v Aberdeen
Sunday, May 20 –
10.25am: women’s league tag, Scone v Singleton
11.20am: under-18s, Scone v Singleton
12.30pm: reserve grade, Scone v Singleton
2pm: first grade, Scone v Singleton
10.25am: women’s league tag, Denman v Merriwa
11.20am: under-18s, Denman v Aberdeen
12.30pm: reserve grade, Denman v Merriwa
2pm: first grade, Denman v Aberdeen