JUST when Magpies captain-coach Grant Brown thought his side was turning their season around the unexpected happened.
Two of his senior players failed to front for Lower's crunch game against Kyogle leaving the Magpies skipper a shattered man.
With star front-rower Ryan Binge already missing through suspension, centre Mikey Randall and hooker Taz Randall decided they had better things to do than play footy, letting down both their skipper and teammates.
In the end Kyogle came away with the spoils defeating the Magpies 62-20, but to Brown's credit he was full of praise for the rest of the side that toiled hard all afternoon.
"We went down again. Two of our players didn't turn up and reserve grade only had 12 players," Brown said.
"We didn't have 'Boxhead' (Ryan Binge) as well. It's just a ridiculous situation.
"All the boys had their heads down but I tried to get them to remain positive and in the end we played some decent footy."
Unlike last week against the Grafton Ghosts, Lower got off to a poor start, but Brown said they picked up their game after the break.
"We started well last week but this week we finished strongly," he said.
"If we could combine both we'd go a lot better. I think we actually scored more points than them in the second half which was a positive sign.
"But as I said, it's hard when you go into the game down on numbers. We had to borrow a few reserve-grade players to help out."
Brown was impressed with his big front-rower Kurtis Laurie who put in a Herculean effort playing all but five minutes of the game.
"Kurtis got our Player's Player award and played 75 minutes which was a great effort. He was very impressive," Brown said.
The Magpies coach said the two players who decided not to make the trip to Kyogle would be disciplined by the club.
"They'll both be dropped and probably be fined match payments," he said.
"We have no choice. They trained all week and showed commitment, but they need to get their priorities right. All we can do is stay positive as a group."
KYOGLE 62 def LOWER CLARENCE 20
CASINO 14 def by EVANS HEAD 26
MARIST BROTHERS 26 def by NORTHERN UNITED 28
BYRON BAY 28 def MURWILLUMBAH 6
BALLINA 56 def MULLUMBIMBY 4
GRAFTON GHOSTS 32 def GRAFTON RHINOS 4
CASINO 16 def by EVANS HEAD 36
MARIST BROTHERS 16 def by NORTHERN UNITED 40
BYRON BAY 18 def by MURWILLUMBAH 26
BALLINA 30 def MULLUMBIMBY 22
GRAFTON GHOSTS 36 def GRAFTON RHINOS 22
CASINO 10 def by EVANS HEAD28
MARIST BROTHERS 34 def NORTHERN UNITED 16
BYRON BAY 14 def by MURWILLUMBAH 20
BALLINA 14 def by MULLUMBIMBY 36