For the first time in the Newcastle Dodgeball League’s tenth season, the team topping the table has breathing room, after Hamilton easily accounted for their premier-contenders Waratah in an 8(3)-1 landslide.
In a match that saw a third of all sets go to a sudden-death decider, the ‘Tahs control of the match slipped away, leaving them chasing advantages and struggling to get back into the contest.
In the end, a shining performance from Alexander McIntyre stifled any luck Waratah may have found on the day, as he marched to a half-dozen catches, a match-high block haul and a double hat-trick of eliminations late on.
All three sudden-death rounds falling to Hamilton also put the ‘Tahs further behind, with two protracted deciders being decided by a catch from Lachlan Craig and an elimination from Doug Byrne.
Later, Belmont battled their way back to shared points against Raymond Terrace, eventually locking the score at 7-all to remain in third.
The Terrace took an early lead in the match however, with standout performances from Nathan Lindbeck and Rynell Williams securing them at least two points early on.
The combined efforts of front-men Jaimi Bubb and Liam Janczuk for Belmont was enough to keep them in the contest, but the side will be wary after Cooks Hills’ win puts them level in the standings.
Cooks Hill accounted for Rutherford 9-2 as they bounced back from their sobering defeat last round, and although early season defeats haunt their point difference, the squad is still very much in the race for a first week finals bye.
TABLE: Hamilton (34), Waratah (28), Belmont (24), Cooks Hill (24), Rutherford (12), Raymond Terrace (10).