Magpies keep finals hopes alive with win

By Ruben Campbell - South Coast Register

In form Berry Magpies made it three wins in four games with an impressive 28 to 14 victory over the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs at Berry Showground on Saturday.

It was the fourth victory at home this season for the Magpies who are now placed just outside the top four.

Meanwhile the Bulldogs made it back-to-back losses after losing last weekend to the competition leaders, Shellharbour City Sharks. 

The Bulldogs got off to a great start as they scored the first try on the 10 minute mark when Jesse Piekar, who replaced Mitch Simington at fullback, received a beautiful cut out ball from Jason Wells to score under the posts. He converted his try to put the Dogs up by six.  

For the next 20 minutes both sides were showing a lot of character and fight in defence. Berry finally got their first try of the match through second rower Bryce Rutherford, who sprinted down the middle of the field to set up hooker Blake Dryden with an inside ball. The kick was converted and the scores were locked.

Ben Evans scored the second try of the afternoon for the Bulldogs when they forced a mistake at the kick off, and they were leading the Magpies 10 to six.

Milton however, did not have the lead for long as Berry skipper Nathan Benney made a 40 metre line break. On the next tackle, five-eighth Josh Ingold scored next to the posts and converted his own try as the Magpies led 12-10 at half-time.

The Magpies kicked off the second half with two tries in the space of five minutes as they flew away to a 12 point lead.

The first came off the back of a cross field kick from Josh Ingold, when centre Rory McCall leaped high to beat two defenders and slam the ball over the white chalk, the try was converted.

Milton then conceded a penalty which led halfback Jack McPherson to score an unconverted try as the Magpies raced to a 22-10 lead.

Milton threatened to make a comeback and needed to be the next on the board. Winger Lachlan Moore scored off a pitch perfect cross field kick from Jason Wells, the try was not converted as the Dogs trailed by eight.

The Dogs got back-to-back penalties but they found it difficult to break the tough defence of the Magpies. They managed to clinch victory with seven minutes to go on the back of a bomb from Jack McPherson when Ryan McCall scored under the posts. 

Best on field for the Berry Magpies were Nathan Benney, Josh Ingold, Bryce Rutherford, Rory McCall and Jack McPherson while Nick Goodman, Adam Stone, Owen Mitchell and Jason Wells were the best for the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs.


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