The young Guildford Owls upset defending Premiers Wentworthville Magpies 40-30 in the upset of the Sydney Shield round at McCredie Park last Saturday.
On an Easter weekend which again produced an avalanche of tries – 78 in all across the seven matches – it was the performance of Todd McKeown’s charges at home that was the most outstanding win of the round.
With 19-year-old centre James Gammidge scoring his second brace of tries for the year, the Owls made the most of Magpies errors and virtually had the match won with a 36-12 lead at the break after an incredible opening half.
The Owls did enough to hold their lead in the face of a second-half comeback by the Magpies to post eight tries and give the Magpies their second loss for the season.
Belrose Eagles maintained their competition lead with a 42-10 thumping of Auburn Warriors at Lidcombe Oval last Saturday.
With fullback Christian Bate scoring two tries and newcomer Andy Layton playing strongly at hooker, James Mortimer’s men had the game won with a commanding 32-nil half-time lead.
Belrose coasted home against an improved Warriors in the second half to score eight tries to remain unbeaten.
A 77th-minute field goal from half Nick Greenhalgh was enough for St Marys to edge out Cabramatta 19-18 at St Marys Leagues Stadium last Saturday.
In a scrappy game where both sides constantly dropped the ball, Cabramatta led 14-12 at half-time after conceding the first try and looked in some sort of control.
Despite scoring four tries to three, the Two Blues coughed up far too much ball in the mistake-riddled second half – allowing the Saints enough possession and field position in the closing stages for Greenhalgh to snap the winning field goal, then hang on for their win.
Four tries from hooker Jai Doolan saw Western Suburbs bounce back to the winner’s list with a high-scoring 36-30 win over Blacktown Workers at Kirkham Park, Camden last Saturday.
The former winger, now hooker, bagged the first two of his four tries to keep scores level at 12-all at half-time. Doolan then snared his third and fourth tries in the second half to give Wests a match-winning 36-24 with seven minutes left. Magpies back rower Trent Pye also got two tries.
Doolan is now the leading try scorer in the Sydney Shield with nine majors in the first four games of the year.
Mounties made a statement to the rest of the competition with a remarkable 76-8 annihilation of Hills District Bulls at Aubrey Keech Reserve last Saturday.
The home side started strongly enough and led 24-4 at half time before unleashing nine tries at more than a point a minute in the second half on the shell-shocked Bulls. Winger Maile Li got a hat-trick for Mounties, with Rusty Bristow, PJ Lose and Vinny Ngaro all bagging doubles in the 13-try romp.
In action last Thursday Night, East Campbelltown Eagles maintained their top four place with a 34-22 win over Windsor Wolves at Windsor Sports Complex.
The Eagles set up their win with four first-half tries to lead 24-4 at the break. Eagles winger Craig Moustakas got two tries as East Campbelltown withstood a Windsor comeback of sorts in the second half to secure their win.
Finally, the Peninsula Seagulls bounced back to winning ways with a 64-nil thrashing of Asquith at Forestville Oval in last Thursday Night’s other game.
In nothing more than a training drill at times, the Seagulls led 40-nil at half-time and posted 11 unanswered tries.
Jake Pickering, Richie Goodwin and Barry McGrady all got doubles in the rout of the hapless Magpies.
Belrose remain the sole leaders on eight points after four rounds, with Mounties and East Campbelltown leading four teams giving chase on six points. Windsor, Blacktown and Asquith remain at the bottom of the ladder as the three winless teams.
The first split round of the season sees only three games this weekend, with all games set for Sunday.
Wentworthville host Peninsula Seagulls at Ringrose Park as the best match on the day, while East Campbelltown host Auburn at Waminda Oval and Hills District Bulls square off with Guildford at Crestwood Reserve.