Above: Narrabri Blues reserve grade fullback Rob Doolan crosses for the match-winning try which was set up by a brilliant David Toomey flick pass close to the line. The try made the score 34-30 with six minutes remaining and the Blues held out the Roosters to win by that scoreline.
It was a tough day at the office for the Narrabri Rugby League Football Club on Sunday afternoon at Kootingal.
Not only did the Blues have to take on the Roosters away from home in round 13 of the Group Four Rugby League season, but they also had to battle some trying conditions on a cold, windy and rainy day.
Both clubs did not let those conditions get the better of them as they produced four entertaining matches.
In the first grade game the Blues’ finals chances were wiped away when the Roosters secured a 44-22 victory.
For the Narrabri reserve grade men it was a different story as a 34-30 victory saw them put one foot in the door in terms of a finals appearance while keeping their chances of finishing second alive.
In the under-18s competition the Blues also kept their finals hopes alive when their battle against Kootingal finished as a 14-all draw.
The Narrabri ladies’ league tag team fought hard in its match but went down 26-8.
The Blues went into the first grade contest well aware that it needed to win to remain a chance of playing finals footy.
A day earlier Gunnedah won its round 13 match 44-26 against Boggabri away from home.
In the other match Werris Creek ensured it would finish the round in second place after beating Dungowan 32-6.
Fourth-placed side Gunnedah’s win put it three points ahead of fifth-placed Narrabri, and second-placed Werris Creek’s victory saw it move three clear of third-placed Kootingal.
That meant that Narrabri needed to win to go into round 14 playing for fourth, while Kootingal needed to win to enter the last round with finishing second still a chance.
The Blues were well and truly in the contest with 10 minutes to go when the score was 30-22 to Kootingal.
They needed an inspired final 10 minutes to win and keep its finals hopes alive.
However, it was anything but that as the Roosters shifted up a gear to pile on 14 late points to win the match 44-22.