Scone Holds Off Muswellbrook in Group 21 Grand Final Nail-Biter

Updated: August 30, 2016

By Rod Thompson / The Scone Advocate

The Scone Thoroughbreds erased 12 months of heartache at Olympic Park on Sunday.

Unlike last year’s A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Group 21 decider, which the Thoroughbreds lost in one of the longest league matches in history, they accounted for the Muswellbrook Rams 16-14 in regulation time.

But, the match still went down to the wire.

Muswellbrook had the opportunity to send the encounter into extra-time, however Jeffrey Saarikko’s penalty attempt in the 77th minute was waved away.

The game exploded from the opening minute, as tempers flared, and an all-in melee set the tone for a fiery fixture.

When the dust settled, it was the Rams who drew first blood.

Captain Cade Boney, a thorn in Scone’s side all afternoon, touched down in the 18th minute. Saarikko piloted the ball between the uprights and Muswellbrook led 6-0.

The Thoroughbreds hit back soon after when powerful centre Justin Apthorpe barged his way over the line. John Johnson converted, levelling things up at 6-all.

In the 30th minute, a piece of individual brilliance by Rams’ winger Lennie Craft put his team in front. Liam Dunn missed the sideline shot, but Muswellbrook enjoyed a 10-6 lead.

Click here to read full match report in The Scone Advocate