Bangalow charge through to grand final after close win
Bangalow have claimed their place in the Far North Coast rugby union grand final after staging a comeback for the ages to beat Alstonville Wollongbar (WAR) 30–29, who were playing at home at Lyle Park, last Saturday.
Bangalow looked at home on opposition turf for the opening salvos and took advantage of early field position to score a penalty, but soon found themselves one man down via a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
WAR wasted no time taking advantage and scored two quick tries and firmly took control of momentum, even when the teams returned to parity in numbers, through solid handling and an accurate kicking game. Bangalow compounded their defensive problems by giving away soft penalties.
WAR went to half time in the ascendancy with a 20–3 scoreboard advantage.
Bangalow made the most of the breather and came out of the blocks in the second half like a steam roller, running in two converted tries in five minutes on the back of maintaining possession, better discipline, and direct running.
WAR put themselves under extra pressure through two yellow cards, with some time served concurrently. Bangalow attacked the depleted line and went over for another try giving them 24 unanswered points in the half and a 27–24 lead.
WAR responded quickly with their own five pointer, but couldn’t tie down a single-minded Bangalow side, now bolstered with fresh legs from the bench. A penalty put them ahead 30–29.
WAR had attacking chances on the back of lineouts in Bangalow’s 22 but solid late defence gave them the win, a week off, and a chance to win the premiership.
In the other semi-final Lennox Head beat Ballina 23–20.