NEW recruit Brian Tighe received the biggest cheer at Scone Park on Sunday, when he touched down for the Thoroughbreds against the Denman Devils.
The 58-year-old, and father of former NRL star Brad Tighe, registered with the BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 club – and spent 10 minutes on the field in the reserve grade encounter.
To cap off his debut, he dived over for a four-pointer in the 60-10 triumph.
In the feature showdown, Denman scored in the corner after seven minutes.
Scone’s Wesley Suckley found the line soon after with Nick Watson doing the same, five minutes later, and Kyle Wilcher followed suit soon after.
Sam Taylor converted one for a 14-6 lead.
Denman wasn’t going anywhere and was next over to bring the score to 14-10 at the break.
Scone held the lead until the 20-minute mark with a couple of trysaving tackles.
A converted try to Denman gave them the advantage, which was soon followed by another four-pointer with 15 to go.
A field goal in the latter stages took the Devils’ margin to seven for the final 21-14 score.
Coach Suckley acknowledged the effort of the Thoroughbreds but admitted there was plenty of improvement to be found.
“We were disjointed in attack today and couldn’t maintain the momentum we had in the first half,” he said.
“Denman was a tough opponent and we have to put in for the full 80 to beat these teams.”
In reserves, it was a big win to Troy’s Boys.
Josh Adams was over early thanks to a Thomas Vincent break and pass.
Chris “Checka” Brennan scored his usual try, minutes later, after Denman turned over the ball.
Jake Collison received a nice ball from a Codie McCarthy pass.
Josh Noble converted these three.
Jared Austin was over in the corner soon after.
However, it was Denman to score from long range next, thanks to an intercept.
Jesse Kilroy picked up a try after that but a lack of urgency let the Devils in right on half-time for a 26-10 lead.
That was the end of scoring for Denman and Scone crossed for another six.
Adams got his second, Austin, Josh Whale, Nathan Justice, Troy Dunley and newcomer Tighe charged over with three to go.
Dunley converted five goals in the 60-10 win.
He was very pleased with the efforts.
“We let an easy one in at the end of the first half but otherwise kept up the intensity for the majority of the game,” Dunley said.
“We need to do this as we prepare to for the ‘pointy end’ of the season.”
Once again, the under-18s were well in the contest when Ben Fechner jumped on a loose ball and scored from inside his 20m to even up the scores, 6-all at the break.
Denman managed to score again just after the restart giving them a six-point buffer.
They followed up with another shortly after, seeing the score go to 16-6.
A Devils’ error at the restart allowed Scone to build some pressure and Steven Blayden crossed, narrowing the margin to 16-12.
Denman touched down again after some poor defence on the line with 13 to go for the final score of 22-12.
Nathan Clerke converted the first try while Ben Fechner converted the second.
Coach Codie McCarthy said he was pleased with the efforts of the team but they needed to play two halves of footy to win.
“Once again we were right in the mix of it at half-time,” he said.
“But, we couldn’t maintain the pressure for the second half.
“We are getting better and I am confident that a win is not too far away.”
Two tries were about the only highlights for the women’s league tag girls.
After scoring in the first minute, their game never really got going.
Uncharacteristic dropped balls stopped any sort of momentum and Denman, to its credit, defended well throughout but well and truly provided plenty of opportunities for Scone to capitalise.
Samantha Elphick scored first and then it was Tyler Palmer crossing with five to go.
Plenty to work on for the girls but well done on the win.
Captain Loren Heath said that while the two points were valuable, the team didn’t perform to expectations.
“We did not prepare well for this game and it showed on the paddock,” she said.
“We have a very young team.
“However, we need to ensure we are switched on at both training and game day to ensure we play to our potential.”