A last-minute penalty goal from Maurice Kennedy saw defending Ron Massey Cup Premiers Mounties scramble an 18-all draw with Guildford in their ‘match of the round’ at Aubrey Keech Reserve last Saturday.
The Owls – freshened up from their week off courtesy of a washout the previous week – came out meaning business and hit back hard after Dylan Izzard got the opening try for the Mulga.
Tyrone Shelley and former Leeds Rhinos and Penrith backrower got tries at the back end of the first half to give the visitors a 12-6 lead at the break.
Fired up by coach Mark Speechley at half time, Mounties struck back with tries of their own through fullback Tom Cronan and centre Leva Li to regain the lead at 16-12 mid-way through the second half.
Not to be denied, Guildford regained ascendancy as the arm wrestle continued when evergreen centre Harmony Hunt scored for Jake Carlow to convert and have Guildford in front 18-16 and in sight of victory inside the last five minutes.
Kennedy landed the penalty right on full time to deny the Owls a hard-fought win and earn the Mulga their second home draw of the Massey Cup season.
The other matches in last Saturday’s round were all clear cut and one-sided trouncings.
Wentworthville upset the annual Western Suburbs Family Day at Kirkham Park, Camden when they came away from the home side in the second half to easily win the all Magpies ‘battle of the birds’ 32-6.
Wests got off to the perfect start after Wentworthville were penalised by referee Darian Furner for being in front of the kicker at the kick-off.
From the ensuing set, a cross-field kick saw Josh Davis gather then grubber ahead with a second kick in goal to score.
It was to be the only time Wests led all day as Wentworthville warmed to their task in a tight first half.
Centre Finlay Dibley finished off a left-sided raid to get the visitor on the board before backrower Danny Howard muscled over to score late in the half to give the visitors an 8-6 lead at the break.
Wentworthville went right on with the job against a disappointing Wests in the second stanza.
Centre Atini Gafa extended the Wests lead four minutes into the second half before NRL Rookie runner up Jordan Martin pounced on a Jake Walsh close range grubber to score midway through the second half.
A brilliant Nick Walker kick return led to linking up with Martin to send Dibley away for his second try to seal the two competition points at 26-6 with 15 minutes left.
Classy interchange hooker Blake Cook put the icing on the Wentworthville cake when he scored the last try with seven minutes left.
The return of former Parramatta and NZ Warriors star Feleti Mateo propelled the Hills District Bulls to an easy 58-10 demolition of the Auburn Warriors at Lidcombe Oval.
The match was virtually over as a contest as the Mateo inspired Bulls led 28-nil at half time after tries to Aaron Weston, Tom Perrin and Danyon Barnes in the space of six minutes in the early exchanges sent the Bulls on their way.
Perrin completed his double by half time and Chad O’Donnell got his name on the score sheet before the break.
Zac Chong-Nee saw the Warriors on the board in the first minute of the second half to raise hopes of an Auburn comeback. However, a brilliant Mateo try – his first in Bulls colours – 10 minutes later killed off those hopes.
The Bulls then careered away with Weston completing his double, before tries to Jayden Horo and St Marys recruit Tom Eisenhuth saw the visitors put Auburn away with a 42-6 lead with 20 minutes left.
Chong-Nee got his second consolation try before Horo completed his double and backrower Tom Young rounded out the thrashing in the closing stages against a frustrated Warriors outfit that finished the match with12 men after Willis Meehan was sin-binned by referee Furner late in the game.
Finally, St. Marys again signalled why they are in the Massey Cup’s contenders list when they embarrassed the Cabramatta 68-6 at St. Marys Leagues Stadium.
From the moment when ex-Mounties try scoring freak Maika Sivo opened the scoring in the third minute, Brad Drew’s men were always in control.
The Saints kept up with the clock in the first half against the hapless Two Blues – with fomer Penrith and Wests Tigers centre completing a hat-trick of tries in the space of 12 minutes.
Centre partner Tony Satini, giant prop Paea Pua and interchange forward Veta Lilomaiva all joined the party with tries as St Marys looked to be racking up a cricket score with a 38-nil half time lead.
The Saints then were ruthless in the second half as interchange forwards Jamie Hill and quality fullback Mason Cerruto got tries before Pua completed his double to have the Saints leading 62-nil with 10 minutes left.
Tenisio Ahovelo got the Two Blues a consolation try with five minutes left, before Sivo bookended the match with his second try – and fifth for the season in just three games to shoot to the top of the Massey Cup try-scorers list – in the last minute to complete the rout.
The Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and Concord-Burwood-Glebe Wolves enjoyed byes.
St Marys and Hills District’s massive wins saw them go the equal Massey Cup lead along with Blacktown on eight points, with Cabramatta the only winless team after five rounds on the bottom of the ladder.
A full round of matches this weekend sees one match on Saturday and three games on Sunday – with the Concord-Burwood-Glebe v St Marys match at the Goddard Park ‘graveyard’ and the Hills District Bulls v Guildford match at Crestwood Reserve the pick of the action.