League's closest round sees the 'Tahs take top spot; Cooks Hill defeat old rivals to earn first win | photos

GRUDGE MATCH: Cooks Hills' Lachlan Pasquale is clapped from the field by Hamilton's Harry Gibson and Thomas McCallum in the grand final rematch. Picture: Andrew de Souza
GRUDGE MATCH: Cooks Hills' Lachlan Pasquale is clapped from the field by Hamilton's Harry Gibson and Thomas McCallum in the grand final rematch. Picture: Andrew de Souza

There won’t be many rounds tighter than this – in the fourth round of the Newcastle Dodgeball League, not a single match was decided by more than one point.

The opening match of the round set the precedent, with a comeback stiffled in the very last point played, and one that left Raymond Terrace on the bottom of the ladder.

The match opened with Rutherford cruising, and their dominance was clear in the scoreline as they surged to a 7-0 lead at the half-time break.

The tie was far from over however, as a recovery from Raymond Terrace in the second half saw them clock 8 points of their own in what could have been a match-winning half in most fixtures.

It wasn't enough, however, as Rutherford claimed just two games to stretch the scoreline to 9-8 in their favour – stopping the Terrace side from recording the league’s biggest ever comeback.

The second fixture saw Waratah take four points and the sole place on top of the table, but it too came down the wire as Belmont made them fight for every point.

Although the 6-5 scoreline was due to strong performances from players on both sides, the match-up boiled down to who shone brighter for their team – Belmont’s Liam Janczuk or the ‘Tahs’ Jakub Lunarzewski.

In the end, Lunarzewski was able to apply more pressure, and Belmont couldn’t find their footing in the late stages of the game, even with the return of their captain Nic Price.

IN-FORM: Cooks Hills' captain Benjamin McIntyre has returned to the form that saw him play a key part in Hamilton's first championship four seasons ago.

IN-FORM: Cooks Hills' captain Benjamin McIntyre has returned to the form that saw him play a key part in Hamilton's first championship four seasons ago.

The final match of the round was an early season blockbluster – Hamilton and Cooks Hill have met three of the last four grand finals, with Hamilton taking the glories in all three deciders.

Momentum was with the Cookers in the regular season game however, as the 6-5 scoreline fell to the team searching for their first win in 2018.

Key performances from Thomas McCallum, Alexander McIntyre and Harry Gibson, as well as a 1-on-4 outplay from power forward Lachlan Craig, wasn’t enough for the defending premiers however, as Benjamin McIntyre and Lewis Foot controlled the tempo of the game.

The pivotal moment of the match came in the ninth and tenth rounds, as Cooks Hill secured the first back-to-back point wins of the match – up until that point the two teams had traded rounds.

Cooks Hills’ first win also moves them back into a finals position, and just four points behind their defeated rivals.

Competition Table: Waratah (14), Hamilton (10), Rutherford (8), Belmont (6), Cooks Hill (6), Raymond Terrace (4).

If you’re interested in registering for the Newcastle Dodgeball League, head to newcastledodgeball.com/register-now, or email newcastledodgeball@gmail.com.

Round 5 Fixtures

  • Rutherford v Belmont (6.30pm)
  • Hamilton v Raymond Terrace (7.15pm)
  • Cooks Hill v Waratah (8.00pm)