RYAN RETURNS: Cowboys forward Ryan Donovan in possession for Warwick Cowboys against Gatton.
RYAN RETURNS: Cowboys forward Ryan Donovan in possession for Warwick Cowboys against Gatton. Deanna Millard

Fifth placed play-off between Cowboys and Diehards

IT'S crunch time for the Warwick Cowboys as they look to keep their finals hopes alive.

The Cowboys will need to back up from their last-minute win against Toowoomba Valleys last weekend with an important match against Dalby Diehards tomorrow.

Both Cowboys and Diehards are in equal-fifth place on the Toowoomba Rugby League ladder.

With only three rounds remaining after this weekend and Dalby yet to have their bye round, a win tomorrow would put the Cowboys in good stead for a top-five finish.

Captain-coach Matt Gainey knows this game is crucial for the Cowboys finals hopes.

"It's a massive game against Dalby," Gainey said. "Both teams need the win so the main focus is not to drop this game."

With plenty of players still out due to injury, the return of Ryan Donovan from a stint of playing lawn bowls will be a welcome inclusion.

"He just loves lawn bowls, he had a final to play so we let him go," Gainey said. "It will be good to have him back, he obviously didn't get any injuries.

"We are slowly getting back to full strength but I've been really happy with the players who have been filling in."

The Cowboys welcome back Scott Ellis but Sam Broomhall is still out with injury.

Gainey praised reserve players Jamie Abbas and Josh McIntosh who backed up to play for the A-grade team, calling it a massive effort.

It will be a top-of-the-table clash when Dalby reserve grade host the Cowboys, who sit just 1 competition point behind in second place.

Both reserve teams have had a strong season but if the Cowboys can post a win this weekend they should finish on top of the table.

Warwick under-18s still have a chance to keep their finals hopes alive as the competition remains tightly contested between fifth and seventh place.

Games begin tomorrow with the under18s at 10.30am followed by C-grade at 11.50am, reserve grade at 1.30pm and the A-grade kicks off at 3pm at Dalby, corner of Orpen and Drayton Sts.



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