A last-minute penalty goal from 46 metres out has handed the East Maitland Eagles a dramatic 20-18 win in their grand final replay against Wanderers on Saturday.
Playing at their Tenambit headquarters the Eagles’ Adam Simmons proved to be the match winner with a pressure kick at goal when trailing the visitors by one point.
The victory was made all the sweeter for Simmons, who broke his leg in last year’s decider before the Eagles lifted to secure back-to-back premierships in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union C-grade competition.
“It was a terrific game on Saturday,” Eagles coach Brad Dilley said.
“And with a minute to go Adam [Simmons] kicked a penalty from 46 metres out to win it for us.”
The Eagles trailed 10-0 early in proceedings and were behind 15-10 at the break.
A second try to Adam Hewitt shortly after half-time gave the Eagles a 17-15 advantage after Simmons landed conversion number two of the afternoon.
Wanderers kicked their second penalty via Dustin Kavanagh and edged ahead 18-17, but in the dying stages Simmons held his nerve and maintained the Eagles’ position at the top of the competition table.
The Eagles have won five of their six matches this season and are two points clear in first position.
The Maitland Blacks had the bye this weekend and sit in fourth spot on 17 competition points, six behind the Eagles.
The first local derby between the clubs will be played out on June 16 at Marcellin Park.