IT was a red-letter day for the Muswellbrook Rams at Olympic Park on Sunday, with all four sides claiming their respective Bengalla Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League minor semi-final showdowns.
The Troy Hilder-coached top grade eliminated the Singleton Greyhounds 32-12, reserves upset the Murrurundi Mavericks 26-18, the under-18s ended the run of Greta Branxton 38-0 and the Ramettes trounced the Colts 38-9 in league tag.
“I was fairly confident going into today, but it’s still a great result for the club,” president Kurt Dial said.
“The job’s not over just yet.”
The Rams next tackle the Scone Thoroughbreds in this weekend’s preliminary final at Scone Park for the right to face the Aberdeen Tigers in the decider on Sunday, August 26.
Muswellbrook grabbed the early initiative with fullback Bailey Taylor touching down. Although Bailey Ellis missed the conversion, the hosts led 4-0.
But, that joy was short-lived as Singleton young gun James Bradley dived over for the visitors. Will Nieuwenhuise put them ahead 6-4, which remained that way until the break.
Whatever Hilder said to the Rams during the interval hit the mark.
Centre Keda Moylan scored within minutes of the resumption. Ellis quickly made it 10-6 in Muswellbrook’s favour.
That was soon followed by Zac Webb’s four-pointer – and a 14-6 lead.
A bit of razzle-dazzle saw winger Daniel Ellis add his name to the list, too. Ellis converted to extend the margin to 20-6.
As expected, Singleton hit back, via Nieuwenhuise, and when he added the extras, the Greyhounds remained in the match at 20-12.
But, a try each to Taylor and Moylan – their second of the afternoon – in the final 10 minutes meant it was Muswellbrook’s day.
Ellis converted both to wrap up the victory, 32-12.
The Greyhounds can be well-pleased with their season – and the nucleus is there for a side to challenge for the title in the near future.