IN ACTION: Warwick Cowboys prop Mark Eastwell (right) is tackled by Valleys in a grand final loss. Man of the Match David Murphy is at left.
IN ACTION: Warwick Cowboys prop Mark Eastwell (right) is tackled by Valleys in a grand final loss. Man of the Match David Murphy is at left. Gerard Walsh

Valleys rope in Cowboys for win

A DOMINANT first half by Valleys sank the grand final dreams of the Warwick Cowboys under-18 side at Clive Berghofer Stadium yesterday.

Valleys scored four tries in the first half and some deft adjustment for the wind by goal-kicking five-eighth Josh Hancock made every try into a six-pointer.

Cowboys captain and halfback Jaime Abbas led by example early in the second half with a 40-metre run downfield.

Soon after, winger Robert Stewart scored but was pulled back for an infringement before centre Brook Croft beat three defenders to score in the 4th minute of the half.

Croft goaled from wide out to reduce the margin to 24-6.

Valleys kicked a penalty in the 13th minute of the half to go up 26-6 before the Warwick kick-off didn't go 10 metres.

That brought a yell from one supporter in a large Warwick contingent in the crowd to "keep your heads up boys".

The Cowboys kept their heads up and soon after, second rower Jarred Smail raced more than half the length of the field to set up a try but the movement was brought back for a forward pass and further back to a penalty to Warwick for a high tackle on five-eighth Bill Sullivan.

Later, Warwick received a penalty after a hard Valleys tackle on Warwick prop Callum Freeman which almost started a melee.

The Cowboys kept trying and Ashley Quirk was rewarded with a try six minutes from fulltime after a long run to the south eastern corner.

Warwick won the second half 10-2 but the four Valleys first half converted tries told in the end.

Freeman said the Cowboys gave it their all to the end.

"We were underdogs at the start of the season and the start of the grand final and didn't drop our heads," he said.

Lock Mitch McMahon said Valleys played well but "we gave too many penalties away".

"We had our chances early in the second half, we all tried hard," McMahon said.

Valleys second rower David Murphy won the player of the match award after proving almost unstoppable in attack.

Warwick and TRL ambassador Aleesha Friedrichs was on official business with her ambassador role on grand final day. See more photos in the Daily News tomorrow and Weekly on Wednesday.



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