Roosters and Eagles face off in local derby

The Bega Roosters dominated the first half of reserve grade rugby league, but the second half belonged to the Tathra Sea Eagles. 

Offload: A Tathra player gets the offload out during a tackle attempt by two Bega Roosters defenders in a closely-fought derby on Sunday.

Offload: A Tathra player gets the offload out during a tackle attempt by two Bega Roosters defenders in a closely-fought derby on Sunday.

In their first local derby on Tathra soil in four years, the Sea Eagles rallied from a 16-0 deficit at the break to fall short by just a converted try on Sunday, finishing down to the Roosters 20-14. 

Daniel Hyland broke through for the Roosters to score the first points of the game in blustery conditions at the Tathra Beach Country Club, scooting in from about 10 metres out to score near the posts. 

Kicker Billy Hudson made no mistake despite frosty gusts from the southerly end and the Roosters took the lead 6-0 early on. 

Ricky Stapleton was a key attacker for Bega in the opening half, providing plenty of forward motion with some strong runs up the ruck. 

Meanwhile, Ben Crowley out of the halves and fullback Josh Finucane were providing a strong partnership for the Sea Eagles with some clever outside runs. 

The two hookers were also influential with James McMillan directing play for the Sea Eagles, while Bega’s Scott Barton was the second to score against his former club, setting up a 12-0 lead for the tri-colours.

Play then fluctuated through the middle with plenty of effort by both forward packs with Clay Child, Jesse Hoyland-Meaker and Scott Orr building metres for the Sea Eagles. 

Meanwhile, Todd Ingram, Hudson and Shannon Shepherdson provided impact for the Roosters. 

However, handling errors hurt both teams with some unforced handovers preventing genuine attacking threats at either end.

A try in the final minute of the first half put Bega ahead 16-0 with Eric Fuller finding the line. 

With the wind at their backs in the second half, the Sea Eagles found fuel in the tank to nearly close the gap. 

Wearing a second number one jumper, Sam Peters scored early for the Eagles in the second half. 

The Roosters extended their lead through Kayne Tyler just 10 minutes in to lead 20-6. 

However, the Sea Eagles were building their pressure and soon mounted more scoring raids against their cross-town rivals. 

Ben Crowley crossed 20 minutes in to trail 20-10, but with a few minutes left to play Daniel Rutter crossed with both conversions fading for Tathra to trail 20-14 at the buzzer. 

In other Group 16 matches a scheduled clash between the Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs and Narooma Devils was cancelled on Saturday. 

The Bega Roosters first grade a bye over the weekend.

The Bombala Blue Heelers had a close 22-18 win over the Cooma Stallions at Bombala.  

Tathra will head to Narooma this weekend.