The Batemans Bay Tigers’ under 18s will play in next weekend’s Preliminary Final after a 26-14 win over the Eden Tigers at Ack Weyman Oval.
A late intercept try to James Henry sealed the win, after Eden threatened to steal the match with a furious, late rally.
Batemans Bay was the dominant side in the early exchanges, as the defensive line aimed up for a number of big hits on Eden’s primary movers.
The dominance paid off in the 13th minute, as Jack Colovatti ran onto a short ball from dummy half to crash over under the posts. Ethan Wood converted the try for a 6-0 lead.
The half turned into an arm wrestle from that point, as neither side generated any good chances at the line for 20 minutes.
That stretch was broken with seven minutes to play in the half, as Batemans Bay’s Jacob Bradbury came up with a brilliant one-on-one strip 20 metres away from Eden’s line.
Tyler Alvey scored off the very next play, but suffered a knee injury in the act of scoring. Ethan Wood once again converted the try to give Batemans Bay a 12-0 lead at half time.
Eden worked their way back into the game in the second half, but another freakish play from Jacob Bradbury had the Tigers in again after 12 minutes.
Bradbury chased through on a kick from Ethan Wood, and managed to control the ball with one hand. He then offloaded away to Will Bruce for a try.
Eden finally got themselves on the board just three minutes later, as Rhyse Grewar finished off a beautiful backline move in the left corner.
Any momentum the southern team had quickly disappeared, as Batemans Bay’s Will Shoemark took advantage of a bouncing bomb to give them a 20-4 lead with 17 minutes to play.
Eden regathered a short kick off to give themselves a sniff, and Bailey Kebby crossed in the corner to bring them back to within 12 points.
The comeback was well and truly on seven minutes later when impressive prop-forward Vincent Worthley busted through the defensive line and ran 50 metres to score.
It wasn’t to be for Eden though, as Batemans Bay’s James Henry picked off a pass inside Eden’s 10-metre line to score the game-sealing try. Ethan Wood converted to make the final score 26-14.
Batemans Bay will now play the Bega Roosters in a home Preliminary Final next weekend.