THE Atherton Roosters’ 2019 season has come to a devastating end after they were beaten in the Qualifying final 32-28 by defending premiers the Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks.
Both teams needed more than the allotted 80 minutes to separate themselves, as it was tied up at 28 all at the end of regulation. The Roosters couldn’t have asked for a better start, as they crossed the line twice in the opening 20 minutes courtesy of tries to their front rower and Graham Clark Jnr to jump out to a 12-0 lead.
A lead is never safe against an electric side like the Sharks however, as they scored three unanswered tries in quick succession to take the lead. The Roosters refused to let the game get away from them, as Cairns District Rugby League veteran Reece Munster went over just before halftime to set up a 18-16 scoreline in favour of Atherton at the main break.
The Roosters’ second half started much like their first stanza, as they scored twice through Kobe Martin and Ned Blackman to create a healthy 12-point buffer.
Despite facing an uphill battle, Mossman-Port Douglas displayed their premiership mettle in the final stages of the match, scoring twice in the remaining ten minutes to lock the scores at 28 when the siren sounded at the 80-minute mark.
The Sharks carried that momentum into extra time, and were able to capitalise as Abbie Gibuma scored in the 89th minute to secure the win. Their win sets up a clash in the CDRL grand final with the Innisfail Leprechauns, which will take place at Barlow Park this Sunday.