The Maitland Saints fought hard to reclaim the lead but were unable to hold off a late Wyong surge to go down by 11 points in their Black Diamond Cup clash at Max McMahon Oval on Saturday.
The young Saints had trailed by 17-point shortly before three-quarter time, but a goal to Hugh Matheson before the break and majors to Jim Taranto and Jason Kennewell gave them a one-point lead.
Wyong reclaimed the lead with a goal in the 12th minute and the two teams battled from one end to the other for the remainder of the quarter until the Magpies sealed their win with a goal on the siren.
The 6.3-39 to 7.8-50 result, was a marked improvement on Maitland's opening round 53-point loss to Cardiff.
Maitland was best served by Kennewell, who finished with two goals, young skipper Riley Newstead, Pat McMahon, Colin Carroll, Luke Damico and Dustin Spriggs.
In a sign of their growing depth, the Saints enjoyed a 11.9-75 to 5.4-34 win over Wyong in the Black Diamond Shield.
Joseph Butler and Matthew Greaves kicked two goals each to lead the scoring.
Joshua Johnston, Mark Curran, Cooper Newstead, Hayden Taylor and Eddie Sutherland were the Saints best.
In the Black Diamond Cup Women's, Maitland's young team showed plenty of spirit against a more experienced Wyong going down 14.10-94 to 1.2-8.
Emily-Rose Steel scored the Saints goal and Sarah James was her side's best.
James received good support from Halle Craigie, Ashlie Murphy, Cheyenne Neu, Cassy Ceccato and Sarah Dawes.
In games next week the three Maitland teams are at different venues. The seniors travel to Nelson Bay, the reserves are at Singleton and the women take on Newcastle City at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground.