WINGHAM Tigers reserve grade team went to Verge Street Oval at Kempsey to play in the Group Three Rugby League preliminary semi-final (second v third) against the Port Macquarie Sharks.
The reserves are the only Wingham side still involved in the final series.
With the aid of a strong wind in the first half, the Tigers started well with an early try to Jacob Lonsdale out wide, converted by Fletcher Lewis.
When Nick Beacham scored under the posts 10 minutes later, and Fletcher Lewis added the extra points, Wingham led 12-0.
After a 40-20 kick by Liam O'Neill, Jacob Lonsdale scored again in the corner. Fletcher Lewis' sideline kick made the score 18-0.
Minutes later, Jacob Lonsdale made it a hat-trick of tries, this time beside the posts after a scrum win. Fletcher Lewis had no problems with the kick.
Soon after, Wingham were reduced to 12 players with Brendan Butler sin-binned.
Right on half time, Jacob Lonsdale looked to be in again, only to have the try disallowed after it was ruled that he stepped on the dead ball line.
Right on half time, Nick Beacham was also sin-binned. But the Tigers held a commanding 24 point lead.
An early try to Cooper Lewis after an Adam Kerr break, and the conversion by brother Fletcher, made the score 30-0.
But a mistake from the kick-off put the Sharks in an attacking position, resulting in a converted try.
A quarter of an hour into the second half, Port Macquarie were reduced to 12 players after a send off.
But after a 40-20 kick, the Sharks scored again to reduce the margin to 30-12.
With just over five minutes remaining, Jacob Lonsdale scored in the corner for his fourth try.
Then right on full time, Brendan Butler scored. With the conversion by Fletcher Lewis, Wingham had won by 40-12, and now face Port City at Port Macquarie Regional Stadium on Sunday to play for a place in the reserve grade grand final.
(Jacob Lonsdale 4, Nick Beacham, Cooper Lewis, Brendan Butler tries, Fletcher Lewis 6 goals.)
Port Macquarie will now play Macleay Valley in the minor semi-final on Saturday. All minor semi-finals have been switched to Wauchope as Port Macquarie Regional Stadium has been booked for junior league semi-finals.
In first grade Taree City will play Port Macquarie on Saturday in the minor semi while minor premiers Port City will tackle Macleay Valley in Sunday’s major semi.
Taree City defeated Old Bar 24-20 in the elimination semi while Macleay Valley accounted for Port Macquarie 40-32 in a spiteful preliminary semi-final played at Kempsey.