Workies stun Mudgee to claim fifth spot, break Hawks’ hearts

CRUCIAL: Brendon Van Veen scored one of Lithgow's three tries in Sunday's stunning upset of the Mudgee Dragons, which keeps Workies' 2017 Group 10 premier league season alive. Photo: HOSEA LUY
CRUCIAL: Brendon Van Veen scored one of Lithgow's three tries in Sunday's stunning upset of the Mudgee Dragons, which keeps Workies' 2017 Group 10 premier league season alive. Photo: HOSEA LUY

A week after handing Orange CYMS their first defeat of the Group 10 premier league season Lithgow Workies stunned another of the competition’s title contenders, coming from behind to down the Mudgee Dragons on Sunday.

Trailing Orange Hawks by one point on the competition ladder prior, the 16-14 victory not only maintains that stunning run of form, it keeps Lithgow’s season alive.

Workies will now travel back to Mudgee in the first week of the finals, they’ll face the Dragons again in the fourth-versus-fifth elimination play-off.

Hawks were sweating on a Mudgee victory at Glen Willow Sporting Complex on Sunday afternoon and it looked as though the two blues would have their wish granted early.

The Dragons took just 90 seconds to open the scoring through Todd Munn, Sam Wooden’s conversion sailing wide.

At that point, considering the Dragons’ start, no one could have predicted just how important that kick and the one other Wooden missed would end up being.

It was three tries apiece in the clash, but Harry Bender nailed two conversions for Lithgow to Wooden’s one, leaving the two-point deficit.

Mudgee’s excitement didn’t last long, Greg Alderson scoring in the fifth minute to cancel Munn’s try out. Bender’s first goal gave Workies a 6-4 lead.

Mudgee crossed twice more, Nathan Orr scoring both, in the remaining 35 minutes to lead 14-6 at half-time.

The Dragons would add no more points though.

Brendon Van Veen and Eli Felton scored in the 55th and 65th minutes, respectively, and Bender’s lone conversion pushed the score to 16-14 with 15 to go.

That’s where it stayed,as Lithgow’s defence held firm, despite Mudgee having a try disallowed late in the piece.