Miners fall at final hurdle

AN injury time try lifted the Maroondah Griffins to an 18-14 victory and broke the dreams of the Keech Australia-backed Bendigo Miners in Saturday’s rugby union grand final.

The Miners led 14-13 at three minutes to go in the VRU division 2B decider.

From the re-start after Bendigo hit the lead, Maroondah regained possession from a short kick-off and kept the Miners in their own quarter,

Regaining possession after a failed Maroondah penalty goal attempt, the Miners were unable to clear the ball. Eventually, Maroondah scored in the corner from a routine backline passing move.

Despite running up the slope of the Box Hill ground, Bendigo was able to establish a 7-3 half-time lead after a Josh Drahm try just before the break.

Bendigo was unlucky not to score a second try when Drahm outskirted the Griffins’ defence inside the Bendigo quarter and linked up with Phil Keech on the half-way line.

The referee ruled that the pass from Drahm to Keech had gone forward on a touch judge report.

After an even first half, the Griffins were well on top for most of the second half.

Stoic defence held out the Griffins until the 25th minute when they scored an unconverted try to lead 8-7.

They stretched this to 13-7 shortly thereafter with another unconverted try ahead of the dramatic final minutes.

Scorers: Drahm, Poto tries; Manderson two goals.

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