RUGBY UNION: Lennox Head bounces back to trump Grafton
A STRONG second-half display saw Lennox Head claim a 28-23 win over Grafton in Far North Coast rugby union at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head, on Saturday
The Trojans trailed 11-6 before winger Rowan Morgan scored right on half-time to level it up.
Lennox laid on three quick tries in in the second half with Morgan completing his double.
The astute kicking game of five-eighth Connor Winchester put the Redmen under pressure as the Trojans took a 28-11 lead.
Flanker Harry Witt worked overtime and combined well with teammate Hamish Holbrook in the forwards for Lennox Head.
"You just expect that from Harry, he plays well every week," coach Aaron Matenga said.
"I was really impressed with three of our young blokes.
"We had Rowan and Lachlan Crawford make the most of their opportunities on the wing.
"Connor is still in high school with the two wingers and those big raking punts of his worked well."
The Redmen never gave up with back-to-back tries setting up a nervous couple of minutes for the home side.
Flanker Sam Powell was yellow-carded for an infringement at the breakdown as the Trojans hung on to claim the win.
"They came to play and it was a good physical battle," Matenga said.
"We were pretty determined and deserved the win I thought."
The win gives the Trojans a seven-point buffer in fourth spot with the Redmen behind in fifth.
Elsewhere, Bangalow kept its semi-final hopes alive with a 46-17 win over Southern Cross University at Schultz Oval, Bangalow.
Fullback Matt Morgan scored a hat-trick while his opposite number Matt McMullen bagged a try-scoring double for the Gold Rats.
Undefeated Wollongbar-Alstonville thumped Casino 65-10 at Albert Park, Casino.
And Byron Bay got another bonus point win after Lismore City was forced to forfeit.
FNC RUGBY UNION SCOREBOARD
Bangalow 46 (Matt Morgan 3, Bob Mataia, Ben Farrow, Chris Bleakley, Will Cotterill, Lewis Jones tries, Matt Morgan 2, Ben Farrow conversions) d Southern Cross University 17 (Matt McMullen 2 tries, Michael McMullen 2 conversions, penalty goal). Half-time: 22-7.
Wollongbar-Alstonville 65 (Jerry Faifaise 2, James Vidler 2, Bill Johnston 2, Justyn Keir 2, Vinnie Leatigaga, Sam Kerry, Jarrod Wylie tries, Ben Damen 2, Vinnie Leatigaga 2, Terry Murphy conversions) d Casino 10 (Shaun Locke, Raleigh Cadman tries). Half-time: 39-0.
Lennox Head 28 (Rowan Morgan 2, Lachlan Crawford, Harry Witt tries, Connor Winchester conversion, 2 penalty goals) d Grafton 23 (Tom Ellem, Paul Cameron, Nick Collie tries, Andrew Pye conversion, 2 penalty goals). Half-time: 11-all.
Byron Bay defeated Lismore on forfeit.
Byron Bay 53,
Lennox Head 37,
Bangalow 27 d Yamba 22, Evans River 33 d Lismore 0, Ballina 22 d Murwillumbah 7, Lennox Head 15 d Grafton 10, Wollongbar-Alstonville 22 d Casino 10.
Ballina 33 d Lismore 0, Kyogle 43 d Wollongbar-Alstonville 10.