The Cobar Roosterettes were well prepared for what could have been their last game of the 2018 Castlereagh League Tag season with Coach Bianka Jacobson assigning the team an extra training session last week in preparation for Saturday’s semi final showdown against Gilgandra.
The Cobar side had to make do without two of their most experienced players and Western Rams representatives, their team captain Zoë Harland and vice captain Lisa Travis (who were both on the sick and injured list), which forced Jacobson to make some last minute key positional changes.
Laura Ah-See, who is confident under the high bombs and quick to cover in defence, dropped back to fullback to replace Harland while Nikki Davey, who was carrying a niggling injury but plays in a similar style to her sister Lisa, slotted into the halves to fill Travis’ vacant position.
The game was played in miserable cold conditions at Dunedoo on Saturday and the Roosterettes were forced to play with a vacant bench while the Pink Panthers had a line up of 20 strong for the semi final game.
It seemed to matter little to the Roosterettes as they put in an impressive performance in what was a high quality game with both teams showing some great ball movement throughout.
It took 18 minutes before the scoreboard attendant was called to duty with Gilgandra’s dynamic Kaitlyn Brown finally breaking the deadlock with a try that was converted by the Panthers’ sharp shooter Shian Chatfield.
The duo repeated the dose just on half time and, with a 12 points to nil lead at half time, many thought that Gilgandra would run away with it in the second stanza.
How wrong they were in thinking that, with the Roosterettes doing all the scoring in the second half with Jenna Fullagar crossing in the ninth minute and then again in the 20th minute.
Fullagar’s second try was converted by Peta Woods to take the margin to 12-10 and set up the game for a frantic final five minutes of play.
The Roosterettes were also depleted to just 10 players when Davey re-injured her hamstring and was forced to leave the field.
Desperate Gilgandra defence was required in those final minutes as the Roosterettes threw everything they had left in attack in search of victory.
They were however denied on each occasion as the seconds finally counted down to the final hooter which saw the Pink Panthers leave the field as narrow 12-10 winners.
The loss signals the end of the Roosterettes’ season in the Castlereagh competition.
With the Cobar First Graders out last week and the Roosterettes now finished, the Cobar club’s hopes of a 2018 premiership lie solely with their Under 18s side who will play Coonabarabran in the Youth League major semi final this Saturday at Gulgong.