DROUGHT BREAKS IN NICK OF TIME
It didn’t matter how it came as long as it came.
After a month without a win, the Marlins simply had to get the job done and pocket the competition points against a fired-up Western Sydney Two Blues last Saturday.
It took a full 80-plus minute effort but the drought broke – the 26-19 victory at Manly Oval ending a heart-breaking run of three close losses and a draw.
This was a real roll-your-sleeves up, knock ’em down, drag ’em out style win.
The Two Blues kept coming at us all day and were camped on our line inside the final three minutes without being able to cross for what could have been a match-levelling converted try.
It was courageous stuff from the men in blue and the relief was obvious as Manly Boom Boom rang out from the first-grade dressing room for the first time since June 3.
We led 10-7 at halftime thanks to a wonderful try to Zac Barnabas, set up by 100-gamer Aaron Blacklock, and two goals from Tom Hardwick.
Hardwick increased our lead to 13-7 with an early second half penalty before the Two Blues reduced the margin to one on 50 minutes with a dubious try.
Worse was to come when the visitors scored again to take a 19-13 advantage just past the hour mark.
Here’s where the game could have gone one of two ways.
Two penalties drew us even and then a lovely ball from Hardwick sent Ben Gleeson in under the posts to snatch back the lead in the 75th minute.
The Two Blues kept coming but the Marlins kept repelling them in a massive defensive effort at the death.
“That was pretty good from the boys. We’ve been training those scenarios for a few weeks now, so it was good to finally pull it off on game day,” Barnabas told Fillets.
“It was an awesome result and a big confidence booster heading into the last three rounds.”
With two home games in the next three weeks, don’t forget to secure your tickets and get down to the Oval and support the boys.