GUNNEDAH won its second Cup in six days when the Bulldogs overcame Boggabri Kangaroos 44-26 in Saturday's first grade match at Jubilee Oval.
The Bulldogs retained the Dallas Donnelly Cup at Kitchener Park the previous round with a 52-30 win over Narrabri and rattled up nine tries against Boggabri to win the Boyde Campbell Cup. In the process, they sunk the Roos' hopes of winning at home on their Old Boys Day.
The Bulldogs scored all their tries through their backs, while four of the five Kangaroo tries came from hard-working forwards.
"It's a good sign," Gunnedah coach John Hickey said. "We're starting to shift the ball. Aaron (Donnelly) in particular has stood up and said 'we want it wide and we want it early'. They started doing that and it's been working well."
The Bulldogs have scored 19 tries in their last two games to keep their semi-final hopes alive and now play North Tamworth in next week's final round, sitting in equal third with Kootingal-Moonbi, who played Narrabri at Kootingal on Sunday and then have a last-round bye.
Gunnedah's attacking brilliance has been ignited by the insertion of junior stars Liam Ireland and Deacon Sankey. Ireland's service was crisp and quick for Gunnedah halfback Matt Brady on Saturday.
"His quick service from dummy half was great," Hickey. "The two juniors were outstanding. Deacon was terrific out wide too."
Sankey scored two tries, as did Donnelly, winger Nic Altman and fullback Dylan Lake.
In contrast the Kangaroos caused Gunnedah the most problems in closer where forwards Nic Millar, Matt Gillham, Matt Avendano and Mitch Campbell all crossed.
"We cruelled ourselves again," said Boggabri coach Shane Rampling.
"They scored their first two tries from bombs. The first one we let bounce and the second one we had two players contest it. But we got ourselves back into it, our forwards started to roll through them and we got back to within two points of them.
"However Gunnedah scored just before half-time and then two more quick tries after hurt us as well. The difference was their class and speed. The silly mistakes didn't help but we've doing that all year too. We dropped the ball under pressure."
He said this season has been a "learning curve" and believes the Roos have the makings of a good "top three side".
Boggabri lost Bailey Lennox to a head knock while Hawken Durrant was able to play just 10 minutes off the bench because of a bad dose of flu.
"That restricted us to 15 men too," Rampling said.
Boggabri's forwards were spearheaded by Nic and Nathan Millar, Gillham and Campbell.
They now complete their season at Werris Creek where they will be trying to shed the wooden spoon, something they can achieve if they beat the Magpies and Dungowan lose to Narrabri at Narrabri.
TOOHEYS GROUP 4 FIRST GRADE LADDER
P W L D Bye For A Diff Pts
NORTH TAMWORTH 13 11 0 0 2 564 134 430 26
WERRIS CREEK 13 8 4 0 2 336 322 14 18
KOOTINGAL 12 6 5 0 1 306 275 31 15
GUNNEDAH 13 5 5 1 2 320 326 -6 15
NARRABRI 12 4 6 0 2 307 394 -87 12
DUNGOWAN 13 2 8 0 2 230 392 -136 9
BOGGABRI 13 2 9 0 2 206 426 -220 8
Kootingal receive a point for losing to Narrabri in golden point extra time.
BOGGABRI v GUNNEDAH
Jubilee Oval, Boggabri.
First grade: GUNNEDAH 44 (Dylan Lake 2, Aaron Donnelly 2, Deacon Sankey 2, Nic Altman 2, Matt Brady tries, Brady 4gls) d BOGGABRI 26 (Jayde Campbell, Nic Millar, Matt Gillham, Mitch Campbell, Matt Avendano tries, Dylan O'Brien 3gls)
Second grade: Gunnedah 20 (Jackson Brookman 2, Paul Sharpley, Ash White tries, Jonathon Crowe 2gls) d BOGGABRO 0.
Ladies League Tag: GUNNEDAH 24 (Jacqui Jones 2, Madeline Buhagiar 2, Taryn Maher tries, Khobi Devine 2gls) d BOGGABRI 0.