A STRONG second half from the Lithgow Workies has denied St Pat’s the Group 10 first division title.
After leading 6-4 at the break the Saints were put to the sword by an enthusiastic Workies forward pack, who helped take their team home to a 24-10 victory.
Pat’s were aiming to win the title after finishing the regular season in fifth but their magic finals run came up one win short.
“There were a couple of repeat sets in our half where they just kept attacking and attacking, but we kept defending and defending. We had a talk at half-time, saying we needed to come out and fire up. That’s what we did,” Workies coach Joe Inzitari said.
“To the boys’ credit they cut out the mistakes and played a bit more football. That put us back in front.
“I’m an old school coach. We first unite as friends, and friends play for each other. That’s what’s got us to go all the way.”
Pat’s player-coach Rhys Frame was proud of his side’s efforts in making a deep finals run.
“The boys shouldn’t be disappointed. We came from fifth. We didn’t win one game for six games. I couldn’t be any prouder,” he said.
“The boys have got to stick together for next year to give it a red hot go again.”
It took only 55 seconds for Connor Legge to put the Workies ahead with the opening try of the game.
Pat’s enjoyed the bigger share of possession for the remainder of the opening half but couldn’t capitalise on it until the 33rd minute.
A converted try for Jack Mackey gave the Saints a half-time lead.
When Lithgow’s Greg Alderson crashed over in the left corner just one minute into the new half it was a sign of what was to come.
Liam Walsh plucked the ball from the air and reached out over the line to give Workies a 12-6 lead.
A try for the Saints’ Jack Grant against the run of play kept Pat’s in the hunt but it was quickly cancelled out by Walsh’s second try.
Alderson helped set up a try for Steve McMurtrie and a late penalty goal for Josh Jones helped Workies eat up the clock.