Cooks Hill’s five-game undefeated run has come to an end at the hands of Hamilton in a fiery derby match at Oakdale Arena last week.
Tempers flared late as the defending champions played out an 8-4 win over their long-standing rivals, with the umpire having to step in to settle the battle.
Before the late-game clash between a number of players, the match played out like most Cooks Hill-Hamilton clashes – fast-paced and aggressive.
Vice-captain Lewis Foot, centre Caleb Gribble and season-signing Zac Gardner all controlled the mid-court for the Cookers, but a number of high-percentage plays for Hamilton paid off.
A stand-out performance from Alexander McIntyre also silenced his younger brother Benjamin on the other side of the court, keeping Cooks Hills’ captain from impacting the match to a significant degree.
Earlier, Rutherford squared off against Raymond Terrace in the northern match, with the season’s new club running out 14-3 victors in a fast-paced fixture.
Despite the defeat, the Terrace’s Rynell Williams shone, scoring a handful of catches and poaching a number of eliminations.
Later, Waratah nearly stumbled in their pursuit of the top spot finals bye, clawing back a 6-all draw after being down 5-2 at half-time.
Belmont’s Jaimi Bubb and Nic Price had pulled their squad to a commanding lead at the break, but the ‘Tahs knew they needed at least a point to retain the league lead over Hamilton.
Nathaniel King stepped up late to score back-to-back vital round wins for Waratah to level the result and leave Oakdale with a crucial point in hand.
Competition Table: Waratah (12), Hamilton (11), Belmont (9), Cooks Hill (8), Rutherford (6), Raymond Terrace (2).