Joshua Shepherdson was named man of the match for Bega in the Roosters’ reserve grade premiership win on Sunday.
He was a deserving winner with a good tackling game alongside his regular kicking ability, but also a fantastic try to help seal Bega’s 30-10 result over the Stallions.
The win gives Bega back-to-back results and an untarnished undefeated run this season.
The reserve grade contest was marred by some massive breakdowns of play, including three players binned – one from each Bega and Cooma for the same incident and later another Cooma player for a separate offence.
Regular stoppages meant the game never truly hit the rhythm possible and neither side took control of the momentum until the later stages when Bega began running away with the result.
The Roosters had built the lead early with Shannon Shepherdson looking dangerous on the right edge before a sweeping play to the left put Lee Fuller over out of the centres.
In the following sets Cooma pushed Bega all the way to their own line and went for the try, but were ruled to be held up in goal as the Roosters’ defence stood firm.
Cooma again pushed the right edge in a repeat effort, but were rewarded when Nick Moon lured the defence with a good dummy before diving under them to cross the line and converted his own effort to lead 6-4.
However, Josh Shepherdson repaid the favour when Bega pushed up to about 10 metres out, he faked right then scooted left and weaved between two defenders to lead 8-6.
After the first players were binned following a colossal breakdown in play, Josh nearly tipped the scoreboard again as a perfectly weighted grubber pulled up in Cooma’s in-goal.
Unfortunately the Bega attackers fumbled the ball and led into the break 8-6.
Both teams seemed focused on niggling at each other, but the Roosters did find some composure to get good attacking runs down field.
Justin Towney smashed through for a try after regathering a neat Scott Barton grubber to the right of the posts.
Then, Todd Ingram put Bega in great field position after breaking free from a Cooma tackle to charge headlong about 40 metres down the field.
A sweeping right-edge play let Trent Galli loose to score – after he had been denied an earlier try for going into touch – and Bega were taking charge at 18-6.
With 20 minutes on the clock it was still up for grabs, but fullback Blake Grant burst through a gap for a good sprint, then found outside support to send Shannon over the line to lead 24-6. A penalty goal tipped Bega to 26-6, before late tries to Blake Grant and Cooma’s Jesse Jackson sealed the 30-10 result.