By Les Muir

RESPONDING to adversity, Cootamundra has stunned Junee 18-12 in another Group Nine upset at Les Boyd Oval on Saturday.

With both teams struggling for players to make up the numbers, Cootamundra showed greater resilience to virtually end Junee’s faint hopes of making the finals.

For the Bulldogs it was their second surprise success this year, more than matching their gallant 28-26 victory over Kangaroos several weeks ago.

On a day of wounded heroes, Cootamundra five-eighth Liam Duffy was up there with the best.

Duffy could not play a week ago because of a hamstring strain, but bravely went into battle on Saturday.

“I had a bit of a run before the game and thought I’d be right,” Duffy said.

“My hamstring wasn’t 100 per cent but that’s what you have to do.

“It was just great to get the win.”

Duffy refused to kick sand in the face of the Junee players.

‘”They’re (Junee) in much the same position as we are,” Duffy said.

“They were short of players.

“It’s been tough for both of us this year.”

Despite the tender hamstring, Duffy was in grand form and was instrumental in the win.

Playing without gun playmaker Aaron Byrne, who is out for the remainder of the year with a torn Achillies tendon, Cootamundra came from behind to sweep past the Diesels.

Junee got the right start when hooker Trent Schuback crossed for the opening try in the 16th minute but the Bulldogs hit back with tries to James Smith (17th minute) and Jason Cronin (38th) to be up 10-6 at halftime.

When Cronin scored his second try in the 44th minute the lead was 14-6, but the Bulldogs were not finished.

Matt Forsyth pushed Cootamundra out to a 18-6 advantage with a try in the 64th minute before Simon Wilson grabbed a try back for the losers.

Resurgent forward Moe Clune was outstanding for the Cootamundra, but Duffy and Forsyth were also excellent.

Clune played the majority of the game and the big man was going strong at finish,


COOTAMUNDRA 18 (J Cronin 2, M Forsyth, J Smith tries; M Forsyth goal) d JUNEE 12 (S Wilson, T Schuback tries; H Diggins, T Sutherland goals) at Les Boyd Oval


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