Roosters suffer a narrow loss but they are still out on top!

Cobar’s Tyler Coughlan pouncing on a Gilgandra Panther player in Saturday’s Castlereagh First Grade game. ▪ Photo contributed by Steve Basham

The Cobar Roosters failed to get the com-petition points or the silverware in their Boronia Cup challenge game against the Gilgandra Panthers at Gilgandra on Satur-day.
The Cobar team however still retains the number one position on the ladder after 11 rounds of the 2022 Christie and Hood Castle-reagh Rugby League competition.
It was only the Roosters’ second loss of the season and they went down in a nailbiter by just two points, the final score being 28-26 in favour of the home side after both sides crossed for five tries apiece.
With the lead changing on a number of occa-sions, the game provided plenty of entertain-ment with the Roosters drawing first blood to lead 6-0 with a converted try to lock Zane Tay-lor, before Gilgandra’s industrious second rower Blake Frost scored what was to be the first of his two tries in the match to level it up at 6-all with 20 minutes elapsed.
A well weighted grubber kick, pounced on by Cobar’s winger Tyler Coughlan, saw the Roosters go out to 10-6 leaders.
That lead was however short lived when they let a ball find touch in goal from the kick off and soon after the resulting goal line drop out, Gilgandra’s captain coach Jamie Towney was able to force his way over the line for a con-verted try to see the Panthers back in front at 12-10.
Frost went over for his second four pointer just before half time and with the conversion being successful, the home side went to the sheds holding an 18-10 advantage.
Back-to-back tries for the Roosters (by Reynold Mugugia and Gerald Mackay) early in the second half had the Panthers reeling and behind on the score board, 18-20.
It wasn’t until midway through the second half that the Panthers scored a rapid-fire dou-ble to get them out to an all-important eight-point margin.
With 15 minutes remaining, they led 28-20.
Any thought of the Roosters going away quietly was quickly dispelled, with the visitors seemingly camped within 20 metres of the Gilgandra line and the home side being called on to defend stoutly for the bulk of the final 15 minutes of the encounter.
This they managed to somehow do until they had a player put in the bin for continual ruck infringements with five minutes to go.
Then the Panthers somehow managed to lose a scrum when they had the feed just 10 metres out from their own line, a gift the Roosters seized upon and turned into a converted try to second rower David Watson.
That meant the supporters from both sides had to sit out a frantic final three minutes be-fore the thrilling match came to a conclusion with the Panthers just hanging on to win.
Cobar’s Best & Fairest points went to Coughlan (3), Mugugia (2 and also Players’ Player) and Taylor (1).
The win sees the Panthers draw level with Cobar at the top of the competition ladder but Cobar has a far superior ‘for and against’ rec-ord and, as such, they remain the competition leaders at this stage.
Cobar First Grade has a bye in the competi-tion this week.—contributed