THE BLOOMFIELD Wildcats have held off a fast-finishing Bathurst St Pat’s side to claim this year’s under 13s Group 10 Junior Rugby League grand final 20-18.
The Wildcats were dominant in the first half as they pushed out to a 16-6 lead, but Saints scored the next 12 points of the match to take the lead.
But with three minutes left Wildcats fullback Trey Lucas scored in the left corner.
It made it a perfect season for the Wildcats, who won 13 consecutive games on the way to the minor premiership.
Both sides were guilty of early errors, but the Wildcats came up with the opening try.
Lucas fended away a number of defenders as he drifted out towards the right wing, then offloaded to Tyson Davis. The centre broke clear down the wing before running around to improve the position for his kicker and grounding the ball.
Luke Burrell appreciated the help as he sent his conversion over for a 6-nil lead after seven minutes.
The Wildcats allowed the kick-off to bounce into touch and the Saints punished the mistake.
Hooker Nik Booth scooted over from the back of the scrum, Jarrod Cooper adding the extras to make it 6-all.
After that it was the Wildcats who took control.
Davis swung momentum back in their favour as he scored off the back of a 70-metre run.
Then on the stroke of half-time second-rower Tylah Palamo split the Saints defence and ran 30 metres to score a converted try, gifting the Wildcats a 16-6 half-time lead.
Then the blue and whites began their comeback.
When a Bailey Akroyd bomb was knocked on Cooper pounced on the ball then found Patrick Clarke in support, the Saints winger going in to score.
Then a determined individual effort from five-eighth Akroyd had the Saints ahead.
As Cooper’s conversion sailed between the sticks the Saints had the lead for the first time at 18-16 with 12 minutes left.
But the Wildcats were not done.
Davis came close to his hat-trick as it took a swarm of Saints defenders to hold him out, but not long after a good chase from Burrell forced a line drop-out.
Lucas then came up with the match winner, catching out the Saints defence with a burst of speed to make it 20-18.
BLOOMFIELD WILDCATS 20 (Tyson Davis 2, Tylah Palamo, Trey Lucas tries; Luke Burrell 2 goals) def BATHURST ST PAT’S 18 (Patrick Clarke, Bailey Akroyd, Nik Booth tries; Jarrod Cooper 3 goals)