The Central Newcastle Butcher Boys preserved their top four spot in the Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League competition following a thrilling 20-18 triumph over The Entrance Tigers at St Johns Oval this afternoon.
The match of the NSWRL Denton Cup round lived up to all expectations, with a dazzling array of skills on show.
The Tigers pounced early when Max Trueman scored in the 20th minute, which was converted by Josh Mantellato, for a 6-0 margin.
However, the Butcher Boys retaliated with tries to Timothy Christie (34th) and Brad Murray (37th), as well as two Dylan Phythian goals, to lead 12-6 at half-time.
The Entrance locked things up at 12-all following the break after Tim Nawaqatabu touched down, which Mantellato converted.
Ethan Cook then put Central Newcastle ahead 16-12 in the 54th minute.
The hosts’ joy was short-lived as Nawaqatabu posted his second of the afternoon. Mantellato raised the flags and the scoreline to 18-16 in the Tigers’ favour.
That appeared to spur on the Butcher Boys and it was Christie again, in the 66th minute, which gave the local outfit a crucial 20-18 win.
The Cessnock Goannas maintained their undefeated streak with a 30-0 drubbing of the Lakes United Seagulls at Cahill Oval on Saturday 17 April.
A red-hot Denzel Burns put the defending premiers in the box seat from the opening whistle, scoring a first-half double, with Adrian Davis booting both conversions.
He then secured his hat-trick in the 45th minute and, when Davis added the extras, the Goannas led 18-0.
Gerome Burns (49th) and Jayden Young (57th) finished off the spree, with Davis protecting his 100% goalkicking record for the afternoon.
It was a nail-biter at the Kurri Kurri Sportsground as the hosts came from behind to upstage the Western Suburbs Rosellas 14-10.
Captain-coach Mitch Cullen snared the opening try in the sixth minute.
A penalty to Kade Hardy enabled the Bulldogs to enjoy a 6-0 lead at the break.
But, the Rosellas levelled up at 6-all in the 49th minute when Benjamin Glasheen dived over and Michael Hendry converted.
Wests then hit the front, 10-6, courtesy of two penalty goals to Hendry.
In the final 10 minutes, buoyed by a home crowd, Kurri Kurri regained the ascendency when Henry Penn crossed the tryline. Hardy piloted the ball through the uprights for a 12-10 scoreline.
Hardy wrapped up the triumph with another penalty in the dying stages.
However, the Bulldogs will have an anxious wait this week in regards to Cullen after the skipper was placed on report.
The Maitland Pickers surged back to form with a 28-12 win over the South Newcastle Lions at the Maitland Sportsground.
The 2020 President’s Cup champions, who suffered a loss to the Goannas in their previous outing, stormed to an 18-0 lead, thanks to Carl Randall (22nd), James Bradley (30th) and Peter Wilson (37th) and three goals to Brock Lamb.
They continued that rout after the interval when Tom Hughes (45th) and Perry Le Brocque (63rd) touched down.
Lamb was on target just once more as Maitland held a 28-0 advantage.
The Lions refused to buckle and posted a couple of consolation tries to Jake Dooley (65th) and Jason Keelan (78th), with the latter converting both.
At Lyall Peacock Oval, the Macquarie Scorpions powered to a 36-12 victory over the Wyong Roos.
In an entertaining first period, the home team laid on four converted tries to Callan Briggs (3rd), Royce Geoffrey (11th), Joe Woodbury (26th) and Luke Higgins (37th).
Kerrod Holland landed all shots on goal.
For the Roos, Blake Andrews (7th) and Terence Seuseu (34th) crossed, aided by two Lachlan Hanneghan goals, to trail 24-12.
With conditions deteriorating, the Scorpions added to their try tally in the final 40 via Ro Buaserau (56th) and Campbell Sheppard (75th).
Holland upheld his touch with the boot, too, knocking over another two goals.
2021 Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL)
NSWRL Denton Cup
(round 4 results)
Cessnock Goannas 30 (Denzel Burns 3, Gerome Burns, Jayden Young tries; Adrian Davis 5 goals) defeated Lakes United Seagulls 0
Macquarie Scorpions 36 (Callan Briggs, Royce Geoffrey, Joe Woodbury, Luke Higgins, Ro Buaserau, Campbell Sheppard tries; Kerrod Holland 6 goals) defeated Wyong Roos 12 (Blake Andrews, Terence Seuseu tries; Lachlan Hanneghan 2 goals)
Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 14 (Mitchell Cullen, Henry Penn tries; Kade Hardy 3 goals) defeated Western Suburbs Rosellas 10 (Benjamin Glasheen try; Michael Hendry 3 goals)
Maitland Pickers 28 (Carl Randall, James Bradley, Peter Wilson, Tom Hughes, Perry Le Brocque tries; Brock Lamb 4 goals) defeated South Newcastle Lions 12 (Jake Dooley, Jason Keelan tries; Keelan 2 goals)
Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 20 (Tim Christie 2, Brad Murray, Ethan Cook tries; Dylan Phythian 2 goals) defeated The Entrance Tigers 18 (Tim Nawaqatabu 2, Max Trueman tries; Josh Mantellato 3 goals)