Big wins for Blues and Tigers in Hastings League

IT was tough, uncompromising and, at times fiery, but Kendall prevailed 22-8 over South West Rocks Marlins to advance to the 2014 Hastings League grand final in a fortnight.

While there were few splashes of brilliance, the match did feature a sending off, a sin binning and a serious injury to Kendall's Dylan Baldry.

There is no question that Kendall deserved the victory that was built largely on tremendous goal line defence and understanding the importance of giving their speed men plenty of time with the ball in hand.

Conversely, the Marlins failed to capitalise on any territorial advantage, often handing over possession in key areas of the contest.

They just couldn't mount any pressure on the Kendall defence.

Both sides traded first-half tries, Jake Kingston crossed for the Blues and Jim Stokes for South West Rocks.

Kendall's Baldry unsuccessfully tried to blindside the Marlins' Tony Duncan right on half time. Baldry, who was later taken to hospital by ambulance suffering a serious head or neck injury, came off worse for wear from the collision.

While the first half could have been considered dour, the second half was an explosion of action.

Kendall's Brock Blanch scored an 80 metre try off a scrum win which ignited his side's bid for a grand final berth.

Fullback Daniel Minn's selective run handed Blanch a clear path to the line.

Alex Pearce landed the conversion and soon after converted a penalty goal to extend his side's lead to 12-4.

Marlins enjoyed plenty of territorial advantage through much of the second half but could not convert that into repeat sets, giving away possession or penalties at critical times.

With 20 minutes remaining, Baldry appeared to be felled and after the ambulance left the field, Marlins' backrower Grant Schubert was sent off.

After the restart of play, Kendall's Arnold Turnbull scored in the north-western corner and Pearce steered the conversion between the posts to stretch the Blues' lead to 18-4.

Alex Rouse gave his side some hope with a try but Kendall's hooker Luke White put the issue well and truly out of reach of the Marlins with a quick fire try from dummy-half against a retreating Marlins defence.

Grant Coleman added to the Marlins' woes when he was sin-binned in the dying moments of the clash.

Try-scorers for Kendall were Jake Kingston, Brock Blanch, Arnold Turnbull and Luke White. Alex Pearce landed two conversions and a penalty goal.

The Marlins' try-scorers were Jim Stokes and Alex Rouse.

Kendall's best included Blanch, Brad Rogers and Anthony Conlon, while Coleman, Schubert - before he was sent off, Mick Judd and Corey Robinson played strongly.

The Comboyne Tigers had a massive win against Lower Macleay Magpies 58-8.

The Tigers big men ran riot and proved hard to contain all game.

They will now take on the Marlins this weekend for the final spot in the final.

This story Big wins for Blues and Tigers in Hastings League first appeared on Port Macquarie News.