THIS week saw the South Coast Rugby competition move into the semi finals. All four teams travelled to Milton to play in their finals.
The Bombala Bluetongues were set the challenge of taking on Milton, whom have been having a good end to their season, stringing several wins together to secure third spot on the ladder.
Bombala won the toss and chose to run into the wind and sun for the first half.
A fierce opening to the game saw both teams trying to take the advantage, however neither team was able to crack the opposing defense.
Milton however were on top in terms of possession and territory but the Bluetongues defense was up to the challenge not allowing the Milton boys over the line.
Milton were first to score after some good phase ball through their forwards, making inches at a time which dragged Bombala's defense in and left space out wide.
A hands call from the Milton backs saw the ball got to the wing, try scored but not converted, 5-0 to Milton.
From the restart Bombala stepped up their defense and pushed Milton back. A mistake from Milton gave the ball to Bombala who through some strong runs from Jessierey Abinal and Vin Papalii in the front row got the boys on the front foot.
Bombala looked to run the footy, again through the mid field Rhys Crouch at centre was causing problems for Milton.
With ball in hand Bombala were looking dangerous. However with some ruck infringements the referee was penalising the Bluetongues heavily. Milton took advantage of the situation and again went wide with 30 minutes down to score out wide, the try was converted score 12-0 to Milton.
Last ten minutes of the half needed to be strong from Bombala and they needed to score to keep in touch with Milton. More strong work in the forwards, with substitute Chris Thornton making an impact, with some strong and elusive runs putting Milton on the back foot.
From here Digby Walcott at half back sent the ball to the backs who from half way moved the ball through the hands to feed our winger Craig "Shayne" Newton who beat his name to score his first try for the year in the corner, not converted 12-5 to Milton.
First half came to a close, and the teams switched ends. Bombala kicked off and from the get go pinned the Milton attack. The referee was making it hard for both teams to get any sort of flow at the start of the second half, numerous penalties around the ruck were hurting both teams.
Bluetongues had to clean up the silly penalties and that they did. A few strong runs in the midfield from Rhys Crouch and substitute Dylan Walker were giving the Bluetongues the upper hand.
From here the Bombala forwards took on the workload, moving the ball up the field with some great support from second rowers Gus Litchfield and Andrew Rutherford.
Meters from the Milton line, Andrew Boreham snapped up the ball and dived over the line to score, however the referee wasn't up with the play and didn't see the ball grounded, try was disallowed.
Bombala kept their frustrations in check and were able to get the ball back after and failed kick for touch from Milton.
Again the forwards worked the ball up the field, before moving it wide where the backs with support from the loose forwards were again punching through Milton defense.
Vinnie Papalii called and "georgie left" where halfback Digby Walcott was able to scoot from the ruck laying a ball back on the inside, Vinnie crashed over the line. The officials called the ball lost forward, no try scored.
With the game coming to a close, Bombala had to throw everything at Milton. With the ball being moved around Bombala were looking promising however Milton were able to lift with ten minutes to go. With bodies on the line Milton's defense held strong, and a turnover gave Milton a final chance to close out the game.
As fatigue from the fast, hard game was taking its toll, Milton's half back was able to break from the ruck and beat the Bluetongues defense to score right on the siren, this was converted with the final whistle blown, leaving the score 19-5 to Milton.
With Batemans Bay beating Broulee, that means the Bay boys move to the Grand Final in two weeks, Milton take on Broulee next week for a place in the Grand Final.
Next week sees the Bombala Bluetongues take on the Narooma Whales for a place in the Plate Final, game ground is yet to be decided.
Points for this week's game: 3 pts to Gus "guts" Litchfield playing at 4 (Landmark Operations), had a strong game, with great defense and a massive work load at the breakdown. 2pts to Digby "lure" Walcott at 9 (Bombala Bakery), again great work defensively and good service to the backline. 1 pt to Jessierey "Bendoc sheriff" Abinal playing at 1 (Linga Longa Cafe) who had his best game of the year. Hitting the line hard and always putting his hand up for work.
Players Player went to Rhys "razz" Crouch playing at 12 (Jamie's Bobcats) who again had another strong game, running the ball hard and shutting down the Milton attack numerous times.
Commitment Cup went to Chris "thorny" Thornton, who came off the bench and made a solid impact through some big runs breaking the Milton defense.
Thanks to all our sponsors, whom without their support our season would not happen - Globe Hotel, Dongwha Timbers, Delegate Hotel, Linga Longa Cafe, Letompe Partnership, MCH Welding, Landmark Operations, Bombala Bakery, Lowanna Properties, Delegate Station, Meadowbank Texels & Borders, Village Ford, Dungaree Past Co, Jamie's Bobcats, IGA Bombala, D & M Automotive and Brugalong Livestock.