STRONG EFFORT: Lower Clarence Magpies Under-18s side lost 30-14 to the Ballina Seagulls in the NRRRL preliminary final.
STRONG EFFORT: Lower Clarence Magpies Under-18s side lost 30-14 to the Ballina Seagulls in the NRRRL preliminary final. Contributed

Magpies U18s do their club proud

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Lower Clarence Under-18s side succumbed in a 30-14 defeat to the Ballina Seagulls in their NRRRL preliminary finals clash at Les Burger Field on Sunday.

With the wind at their back in the first half, Ballina raced to a 14-0 lead early, with both teams opting to play an open style of attacking football.

The Magpies scored their first points of the match when winger Peter Laurie finished a well-executed set play just before the half-time siren, going into the break down 14-4.

Lower Clarence opened the scoring in the second half through second-rower Cooper many who barged over after excellent lead-up work from his fellow forwards to take the score to 14-8.

However unforced errors from the Magpies put the pressure back on the team, and while their scrambling defence held off Ballina for a while, with more possession the Seagulls were able to score a couple of tries late in the half. A late try to Charles Charlton was too little, too late.

Magpies vice-president John Elisaia said U18s coach Alex McMillan had installed a camaraderie amongst the squad and strengthened an already strong work ethic.

"Despite the pain felt by all the boys after Sunday's defeat this squad can hold their heads high not with just the effort they displayed during the game but for the effort they showed throughout the season which has not just earnt them the respect of many within the club but brought the community together," Elisaia said.

"These young men hold the key to the future success of this great club and as such should feature strongly in the rebuilding of the club's future rosters."



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