Alex Ryan being held back by a Gunning player and Tim Norman scoring a nice try in the men’s match.
July 1 saw the Waldren Constructions Brahmans overtake the UC Grisslies for the number five spot courtesy of a win by Bungendore over UC. Can Binalong hold onto fifth spot and get a semi-final berth in George Tooke Shield in 2017?
The Brahmans have not held a top 5 position since 2015 when they were Woodbridge Cup Premiers, so coach Jason Brown has achieved at least a part of his goal to put Binalong back up at the top.
The away match against cellar-dwellers Gunning on Saturday, which contained ex-Binalong players, would be an interesting contest. And the weather was absolutely appalling at the Gunning Showground on Saturday, freezing cold with squally showers on an already wet playing surface. Players in both matches had problems with ball handling.
And the Jersey Girls did not handle their game at all well, a lot of turned-over possession and poor passing were the order of the day. Taylor Frost played well and had a good kicking game and Jessie Jane Abnett defended really well all afternoon but the girls let in a try after just 5 minutes and another 12 minutes later to go to the break down 10-0.
Many of the refereeing decisions were sub-standard, most appear to have no general knowledge of the rules of league tag. Anyway, the second half defence held up well and the last try was scored for Gunning to take the match in the final minute 14-0.
At first receiver, Lucy Hammond was super, Steph Cribb was effective but again the star of the day was Tara McGrath West. The first grade fixture was always going to be difficult for Gunning, winless in 2017 they had no less than 7 former Brahmans on their playing roster. Nevertheless, their defence held up the Waldren Construction Brahmans for 18 minutes of the first half until Captain Jason Brown found his way over the chalk, the try converted by Dylan Arabin in swirling wind to get the lead 6-0. Again, Mick Spencer featured at lock and made good metres with the ball in hand, Jake Hill was as good again this week. As the first half wound down, Gunning could not get much field position and Binalong attacked without success time and again and running into a moderate breeze and at times driving rain for the first 20 minutes.
The penalty count against the home side started to mount and with three minutes of the first stanza remaining a well worked move found Tim Norman through a gap to score near the posts. Both flags went up for Arabin’s conversion but the referee disallowed the kick and the teams went to half time at 10-0. Bench player Rodney Freeman went to dummy half and gave good service during both halves when Shawn Brown was off the field. The conditions would not permit a quick play-the-ball for the Brahmans, but it didn’t matter for an injured Hayden Bee, who probably should not have played and who scored after the first minute of the second half.
Dylan Arabin’s conversion was missed and the visitors advanced to 14-0. Five minutes later Dale Stuart took the ball up strongly and crossed for 18-0. Stuart was dynamic in both halves, breaking tackles and leading by example. The hosts defence started to dissolve in the face of the cold wind and the Brahmans took full advantage.
Jarrod Whatman had a strong game and was assisted in attack by Brad Earley, this pair seemed to work in tandem and they took good metres with the ball. Shawn Brown produced his best defensive game again. In the 10th minute Danny Arabin produced one of his barging runs and scored, with Dylan’s conversion it was 24-0 and good night for the Roos. The Norman brothers continue to steer the side around every week, they continually change the point of attack which breaks up a defence pattern.
This is one feature of Hayden Bee, the defensive side hardly ever knows where he will be with the ball and he makes life hard if you don’t have the ball. And possession was a problem for Gunning, they gave away penalties to the tune of 8-4 which is fatal for a home side. Close to Gunning’s line in the 22nd minute, Damien Norman scored for Binalong, Dylan Arabin converted for 30-0 and almost immediately Hayden Bee crossed for his second, with the conversion it was 36-0 and that was the final score.
For the second week, Dylan Arabin accumulated points and contributed strongly but next week will have a more difficult task when the Brahmans take on the Boorowa Rovers at Binalong on Saturday afternoon at the Rec Ground. The Rovers are a much better side than in the past and will take a lot of containing. A word of caution for the Binalong Faithful, the Bungendore Tigers are now in sixth spot on the George Tooke Ladder. Binalong 36: Tries: H.Bee (2), J.Brown, T. Norman, D.Stuart, Danny Arabin, D. Norman, Goals: D.Arabin (4) def Gunning 0. bos Indicus.