Reports from the Weekends Minor Semi Finals
Prop Joel Attenborough charged over the line in the final minute to break a 16-all deadlock and keep the Butchers hopes alive in the 2004 Illawarra Toohey's League Finals.
After trailing all day, the premiers were in front when it mattered and will now shape up against the loser of next weeks Major Semi Final between Collegians and Port Kembla in a fortnight.
The Red Devils were the first to score when speedy winger Adam Luchetti gathered a kick and evaded the cover to crawl his way over in the seventh minute.
Luchetti added a penalty goal four minutes later before Trent Bryan got the Butchers on the board.
Bryan used sheer pace after a good long ball from Fuad Suljkanovic to streak into the left corner to reduce the deficit to 6-4.
The defence from both sides stepped up a gear before Devils five-eight Luke Watson cracked the Butchers with a clever solo effort.
But their 12-4 advantage was short-lived when Thirroul hooker Ben Linde burrowed over from dummy half right on halftime to get back to 12-10.
Sam Dorahy scored after the break in the right corner to push the buffer to a converted try before the Butcher comeback finally eventuated.
Twice Thirroul made it over the line only to be denied by referee Mick Dupille for knock ons.
Mykel Hema and Jade Air both looked certain to score only to lose control at the crucial moment.
But Air made up for his mistake with a long run in the 76th minute where he delivered an inside ball to lock Mark Sheppard who sprinted clear and scored under the posts.
Bryan's conversion squared the ledger before Attenborough turned hero.
THIRROUL BUTCHERS 22 (T Bryan, B Linde, M Sheppard, J Attenborough tries; T Bryan 3 goals) d. WESTERN SUBURBS 16 (A Luchetti, L Watson, S Dorahy tries; A Luchetti 2 goals)
The Dapto Canaries have held off a fast finishing Thirroul Butchers to win 24-22 and stay alive in the 2004 Toohey's League Reserve Grade competition.
Leading 24-12 with six minutes remaining Dapto held on after Neil Farmillo and Brad Smith scored late to almost force extra time.
Smith scored in the left corner a minute from time but his conversion attempt dropped short leaving the Butchers looking to next year.
Three tries in four minutes just after halftime set up the win for the Canaries who will now face the loser of next weeks Major Semi Final between Western Suburbs and Collegians.
DAPTO CANARIES 24 (G Sullivan 2, C Primmer, A Ashdown, L Thompson tries; C Primmer 2 goals) d. THIRROUL BUTCHERS 22 (B Lowrie, M Bate, N Farmillo, B Smith tries; B Smith 3 goals)
In the Under 18's Minor Semi Berkeley fought back from a 20-0 deficit to defeat Western Suburbs 28-24 and stay alive.
Not even four tries to Wests centre Zac Hill was enough to get the Red Devils home.
The Eagles will now face either Dapto or Port Kembla in two weeks time.
BEREKELY EAGLES 28 (T Simpson, P Idder, M Jackson, C Reilly, A Alexandropoulos; B McAllister 4 goals) d. WESTERN SUBURBS RED DEVILS 24 (Z Hill 4, K Povey tries; Z Hill 2 goals)
In the Toohey's New Cup Berkeley produced an upset to down Mt Kembla 34-14.
George Hodges grabbed a double as the Eagles steamrolled the Lowries to advance to a showdown with either Norths or Avondale in a fortnight.
BERKELEY EAGLES 34 (G Hodges 2, L Danielson, I Timanuvao, J Timanuvao, D Hodges tries; D McAllister 5 goals) d. MT KEMBLA LOWRIES 14 (J Tagliapetra, A Nolan, C Thomas tries; C Walton goal)
Last Modified on 17/08/2004 15:14