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Kyogle Turkeys tough it out to claim win

TURKEY TALK: Kyogle fullback Sam Nicholson prepares to take on the Ballina defence at Kingsford Smith Park.
TURKEY TALK: Kyogle fullback Sam Nicholson prepares to take on the Ballina defence at Kingsford Smith Park.

KYOGLE claimed its biggest scalp of the season with a hard-fought 30-28 win over defending premiers Ballina in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, yesterday.

The Turkeys looked down and out plenty of times but they continued to claw back into the contest as the afternoon progressed.

Replacement hooker Hayden Pratt scored a try in the 77th minute to lock things up at 28-all.

Halfback Simon Pederson nailed the conversion to kick the Turkeys to second place on the ladder.

"When we keep our structure and composure I don't think anyone will beat us," Kyogle coach Cameron Mulcahy said.

"It was a gutsy win and we came up with the goods.

"We lost our fullback early with a head knock but the boys just kept digging."

It looked like it was going to be a long afternoon for the Turkeys when Ballina centre Michael Thomas scored two tries in the first 10 minutes.

It was the usual suspects leading the way for Kyogle with lock Ryan Daley, prop Scott Lavelle and Pederson all scoring tries.

Daley gave the opposition the most trouble early in the game with his carries and offloads helping the Turkeys back to 18-all after trailing by 12 points.

Ballina looked like they might have run away with it in the final 20 minutes after Kyogle centre Nigel Roy was sin-binned for dissent.

Ballina prop Robby Miles scored a try in the following set as the Seagulls took a 28-18 lead.

However, Ballina five-eighth Alwyn Roberts soon found himself in the sin bin after the Seagulls were warned about slowing down the play-the-ball.

Ballina had some crucial calls go against them towards the end including a penalty for pushing off the mark while they had the ball.

Lavelle charged over for a try out wide in the next set before Pratt hammered the win home when he sneaked over from dummy-half.

Ballina also had their fair share of injuries throughout the game with a hat-trick to Thomas the main highlight.

In other games, Mullumbimby grinded out a hard-fought 24-18 win over Marist Brothers at Les Donnelly Field, Mullumbimby.

It was a double celebration for the Giants, who were hosting a reunion of the 2004 premiership-winning team at the weekend.

Elsewhere, Murwillumbah remain at the top of the ladder after a 32-22 win over Casino at Stan Sercombe Oval, Murwillumbah.

Northern United piled on the points in a 42-18 win over Evans Head at Crozier Field, Lismore.

And Byron Bay thumped Lower Clarence 64-14 at the Maclean Showground.

Topics:  kyogle turkeys northern rivers regional rugby league



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