SUCCESS: Coffs Harbour Comets celebrate their thrilling 19-18 win over Sawtell to take the Group 2 under-18 premiership at McKittrick Park yesterday. Photos: Debrah Novak
SUCCESS: Coffs Harbour Comets celebrate their thrilling 19-18 win over Sawtell to take the Group 2 under-18 premiership at McKittrick Park yesterday. Photos: Debrah Novak

Hines slots winner for Coffs Harbour Comets

Sawtell tried to find ways through Coffs' defence.

LIAM Hines kicked a field goal to complete a 19-18 comeback win for Coffs Harbour Comets in the 2015 Group 2 Under-18s grand final.

With three minutes left on the clock Hines positioned himself perfectly and calmly slotted the ball between the uprights.

""It was a heart-racer," Hines said.

"I had a little bit of time, I nearly dropped it, but it was just running through my head I had to get it to win the game."

Sawtell had one last chance to win with a penalty 28m out. But Michael Hart's attempt was waved away as the siren sounded.

"Watching that kick on the bell gave me a heart attack," Comets coach Scott Street said.

Sawtell had all the early running and a try right on half-time saw the Panthers head into the sheds with a dominant 18-6 lead.

"We knew they always start hard so if we could stick with them for the first 15 or 20 we knew we could come through at the end," Street said.

Ten minutes into the second period Coffs five-eighth Liam Dunn produced a show and go to sprint 60m to score. Damian Dumas converted to bring the margin back to six.

Tempers flared and following a scuffle with 17 minutes on the clock Jacob Gregg from Coffs and Thomas Sanders from Sawtell were both ordered to the sin-bin.

Dumas then produced what appeared to be a fair one-on-one strip and was in the clear for Sawtell only to be called back.

However, as the players reorganised themselves Coffs Harbour's chances looked to have unravelled via an act of stupidity from Nathaniel Hart, who was rightly sent off for picking out a spectator on the sideline and left his team with 11 players on the park.

"I think that sort of worked to our advantage," Street said. "The boys dug deep when that happened and stood up."

Instead of throwing in the towel, the Comets re-galvanised and Justin Hull, who was one of their brilliant best at left centre, crossed for his second try. Liam Hines tied the scores with the conversion with seven minutes to go.

Coffs continued to apply all the pressure and Hull again got his side close to the chalk before Hines' heroic play in the following set.



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