Round 14 saw the Braidwood Bears travel to sunny Canberra to do battle with the Boomanulla Raiders. A win here would see the Bears in with a chance for finals footy and a loss would make it almost impossible.
Braidwood kicked off & on the back of an early mistake had great field position. But unfortunately in what would be the theme of the first half the Bears final pass went to ground. You don’t want to give Boomanulla to many opportunities but alas the Bears did. The Raiders scored 5 unanswered tries in the first half to be up 28-0 on the back of Bears errors and some suss penalties.
The boys came out in the second half knowing a comeback was possible. Possession was the key & after 10 minutes of back & forth the Bears finally started to get quality possession in the Raiders half. Justin Mitchell capitalised & caught Boomanulla napping darting over from dummy half to bring the score to 28-6.
Boomanulla were struggling and the Bears again ploughed their way into the Raiders half. Rikki Kelly pounced, diving over from dummy half after a quick play the ball. The Boomanulla bench was starting to sweat with the score at 28-10 with still 10 minutes to go.
The strong Bears contingent of supporters lifted the boys and they marched down field quickly. Eddie Jenkins got some early ball & ran over 3 defenders to score. At 28-14 there was a glimmer of hope.
Pretty much straight off the kickoff the boys shifted the ball to the edge & Eddie made a break down the right only to be run down losing the ball in the process. Boomanulla handed the ball straight back over & super sub Junior Aloese bull dozed his way over with Eddie converting brining the score to 28-20 with only minutes to go.
Unfortunately time got the best of the Bears comeback. The Bears had probably 3 more tries in the second half stopped by a last ditch tackle or errant pass. Both teams were wrecked at the final hooter due to the unseasonal heat & end to end nature of the game.
The Bears forwards really stood up in the second half & dominated both sides of the ball & that was reflected in the best & fairest votes. "Bulldozer" Junior Aloese took the 3 points leaving many defenders flat on their backs. 2 points went to Tommy Potter who led the hitup count. Veteran Tommy Watson got the 1 point after tackling all day while playing well under the weather.
This Saturday sees the boys at home for their last home game against Boorowa. The finals are still mathematically a possibility but a lot of other results will need to go the Bears way. Kickoff is 3pm. They will be drawing their big state of origin signed jersey raffle after the game at the club. Tickets are still available so see any Bears player or committee member to be in with a chance.
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