Scone and Aberdeen secure strong victories in Group 21 round thirteen

GRAND RETURN: Scone supporters were pleased to see Ben Hagan coming off the bench for this first time in 2019. Photo: David Casson

GRAND RETURN: Scone supporters were pleased to see Ben Hagan coming off the bench for this first time in 2019. Photo: David Casson

IT was a powerful performance by both of the competition's heavyweights at the weekend, as the Scone Thoroughbreds and Aberdeen Tigers won by a combined margin of 86.

Those results saw the former, who are the reigning champions, keep their 12 point buffer atop of the table and the latter extend their lead over the Singleton Greyhounds out to six points.

Despite the Tigers' 62-4 victory over the Denman Devils, club president Peter Fitzsimmons had plenty of praise for the opposition.

"It was a pretty brave effort from a lot of their young blokes and their club has a lot to be proud of, especially with their younger players," he said.

It's understood the Devils were fielding several juniors and over a dozen reserve grade players that were forced to play two matches on the day, making it an uphill battle to begin with.

However, Aberdeen still had to maintain their focus and they did just that, with several players putting their hand up for best afield.

Marcus Marsh, Jayson Hovi and Dylan Porter were among the standouts, with the former securing two tries on the day.

In the other match, traffic was also largely one way as Scone marked a special day, with the reappearance of Todd Lowrie for the first time in 20 years.

The former NRL player had only played one senior game with the Thorougbreds - off the bench in the 1999 first grade grand final before leaving for his terrific NRL career of over 200 games at five different clubs over 13 seasons.

Scone were off to a good start when, after 7 minutes, Adam Clydsdale weaved his way to the try from 20m out, then Jake Watts converted for the early 6:0 lead.

Singleton were putting on a good display and held on until the 15 minutes to go when Clydsdale took off from dummy half on the blind side and found Joel Harrison for a four pointer, but Watts missed that chance for the 10:0 lead.

Scone were back on the attack on the first set from the kick off. The veteran - John Johnson found some clear space and was happy to pass on to Harrison to run the distance for his second only minutes after his first try. Watts converted for 16:0.

The Thoroughbred's lost one to the bin with a couple of minutes to go but held on to deny any points for Singleton until half time.

The second half continued a pretty even contest - mixed in with a fair share of errors from both teams. Tom Hagan was able to get across after 10 minutes or so, thanks to Singleton losing the ball near their try line. Easy conversion for Watts taking the score to 22:0.

An altercation after 20 minutes saw the teams come together for some discussions and resulted in one Scone and two Singleton players having a 10 minute rest.

The players had just returned when, after some torrid defence on their try line, Scone went to the other end and Todd Lowrie pounced on a nice kick in goal by Watts.

In similar circumstances, Gary McKeon crossed with 7 minutes to go thanks to a nice Clydsdale kick from dummy half near the line, which was followed up by a Watts conversion to make it 34:0.

Singleton didn't give up however and managed their own try after a penalty near our line and subsequent good passing to the other side to cross near the corner. Try converted for the final 34:6 score.

Reserve Grade

Merriwa 22 Defeated Scone 14

Singleton 30 Defeated Greta Branxton 0

Muswellbrook 32 Defeated Murrurundi 14

Aberdeen 66 Defeated Denman 0

Under 18's

Muswellbrook 56 Defeated Scone 10

Denman 24 Defeated Aberdeen 18

Ladies League Tag

Scone 14 Defeated Merriwa 4

Murrurundi 20 Defeated Muswellbrook 0

Aberdeen 38 Defeated Denman 0