THE Aberdeen Tigers produced a stunning second half performance to eliminate the Scone Thoroughbreds from the BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League premiership race at Scone Park on Sunday.
In the minor semi-final, the Tigers trailed 22-0 at the break before surprising the home side with a 36-point blitz in 40 minutes.
The victory now puts Aberdeen up against the Singleton Greyhounds for the right to meet the Muswellbrook Rams in the 2017 decider on Saturday, September 2.
The Thoroughbreds hit the ground running, with Nicholas Watson (2), Tim Smith and Gary McKeon posting tries.
Sam Taylor landed three conversions.
But, Scone’s fortunes changed in the blink of an eye.
A double to Aberdeen playmaker Liam Foran and representative second-rower Josh Schmiedel gave the Tigers a glimmer of hope.
Further four-pointers to Hamish Wolfgang and Karl Shearman added to the sensational comeback, while Cameron French booted six goals.
In reserve grade, a hat-trick to Brad Collett set up the Rams’ 24-18 triumph at the expense of Scone.
The Thoroughbreds had better luck in the under-18s, knocking over the Denman Devils 20-18.
The Muswellbrook Ramettes proved too strong for the Singleton Greyhounds in women’s league tag, with Harmony Liddell crossing for two tries in the 16-0 rout.
Sunday, minor semi-final –
ABERDEEN TIGERS 36 (Liam Foran 2, Josh Schmiedel 2, Hamish Wolfgang, Karl Shearman tries; Cameron French 6 goals) defeated SCONE THOROUGHBREDS 22 (Nicholas Watson 2, Tim Smith, Gary McKeon tries; Sam Taylor 3 goals)
MUSWELLBROOK RAMS 24 (Brad Collett 3, Mathew McKay tries; Hayden Dolgan-Fox 4 goals) defeated SCONE THOROUGHBREDS 18 (Jack Thomas, Daniel Edwards, Troy Dunley tries; Thomas 2, Josh Noble goals)
SCONE THOROUGHBREDS 20 (Caleb Taylor 2, Ronin Hadden, Nathan Clerke tries; Clerke 2 goals) defeated DENMAN DEVILS 18 (Emmanuel Sithole 2, Corey Harris tries; Edan Tickle 2, Nathan Connor goals)
Women’s league tag
MUSWELLBROOK RAMETTES 16 (Harmony Liddell 2, Kylie Saunders, Cressa Harris tries) defeated SINGLETON GREYHOUNDS 0
Saturday, major semi-final –
MUSWELLBROOK RAMS 28 (Jacob Ellis, Daniel Ellis, Ewin Bartholomew, Jake Hardy, Corey Holman tries; Hardy 3, Bailey Taylor goals) defeated SINGLETON GREYHOUNDS 10 (Zac Solman 2 tries; Will Nieuwenhuise goal)
ABERDEEN TIGERS 20 (Sean Millwood 2, Terry Russo, Corey Gilmore tries; Grant Savell 2 goals) defeated SINGLETON GREYHOUNDS 18 (Brodie Rinkin 2, Damien Rees tries; Chad Solman 3 goals)
SINGLETON GREYHOUNDS 28 (Logan Rutter 2, Morgan Amidy, Lachlan Fry, Zachary Buttler tries; Hayden Bourke 3, Butler goals) defeated MUSWELLBROOK RAMS 24 (Bailey Taylor, Jacob Button, Bryce Beverstock, Fletcher Baker tries; Paul Dengate 4 goals)
Women’s league tag
MERRIWA MAGPIES 24 (Taylah Blackadder 3, Maddilyn Blackadder, Madison Swan tries; Swan 2 goals) defeated MURRURUNDI MAVETTES 4 (Jodie Holman try)