Orange Emus rolled to a resounding win over traditional rivals Orange City in Sunday afternoon's Blowes Clothing Cup second grade minor semi-final at Cowra Rugby Ground, winning 29-7 to join their other two men's grades in next weekend's preliminary finals at Endeavour Oval.
The greens led 10-7 at the half-time break before scoring three unanswered tries in the second half, the victory setting up a showdown against Dubbo Kangaroos and taking some of the sting out of their first and third graders' major semi-final losses the day before.
Louis Carr scored two of Emus' three tries and was the standout for the greens, who are one victory away from securing their sixth straight grand final appearance, that streak mirroring their top graders' and stretching back to 2014.
It took just three minutes for Emus to open the scoring through nippy halfback Louis Carr Joel Urban added the extras to give last year's beaten grand finalists an early, 7-nil lead.
Although the Lions camped in the greens' half for the next 20 minutes it was Urban who troubled the scorers next as well, extending Emus' lead to 10 with a penalty goal.
They didn't hold that lead for long though as Lions' outside centre Kurt Beahan, who proved a handful in the two sides' final-round derby a fortnight ago, found the stripe, with player-coach Brad Cleal knocking the conversion over to cut the gap to three.
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The Lions continued to push late in the half and early in the second, but Emus once again took their chance after winning a penalty 12 minutes into the new half.
Reece Bell crashed over and Urban kept his perfect record intact by slotting the conversion and pushing the greens' lead to 10 points, before Carr ensured Emus' victory with his second of the day as the clash entered its dying stages.
Urban missed that shot but made no mistake just 60 seconds later, capping the greens' 22-point victory after Derek Thompson scored on the final play.
It was also Emus' fourth victory over the Lions this season, they'd won all three regular-season derbies before Sunday's do-or-die showdown too.
- ORANGE EMUS 29 (Louis Carr 2, Reece Bell, Derek Thompson tries; Joel Urban 3 conversions, penalty goal) def ORANGE CITY LIONS 7 (Kurt Beahan try; Brad Cleal conversion)
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