Marist fourth after battle of attrition with Sharks

By Cameron Leslie

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Hora Hora and Mid Northern are two sides that have had a good first half of the Bayleys Southern Districts Premier Reserve Competition. PHOTO/RON BURGIN
Hora Hora and Mid Northern are two sides that have had a good first half of the Bayleys Southern Districts Premier Reserve Competition. PHOTO/RON BURGIN

Old Boys Marist has announced themselves as a team to watch in the Bayleys Southern Districts Premier Reserve Competition, knocking over the table topping Western Sharks.

A brace of tries to prop David Leslie, and a line break to set up another, helped get Old Boys Marist over the line 40-34 despite the Western Sharks best attempt at a comeback.

There's no doubt Old Boys Marist will be stoked to put on 40 points against a team which had only conceded 103 points in its previous eight games.

With both sides fielding few reserves on Saturday, it was a battle of attrition to finish off the first round of the competition.

While Old Boys Marist has won their last four games, Mid Northern as always look to be the side who could go all the way.

The polished Hukerenui side has only dropped two games this season, to Hora Hora in round one and to Kamo in four weeks ago.

Boasting a formidable for-and-against record, Mid Northern were the only previous team to have beaten the Western Sharks until the weekend.

Sitting inside the top four after the first complete round are Mid Northern, Western Sharks, Hora Hora and Old Boys Marist.

However, looking further down the table there are plenty of teams waiting on the top four to slip away as Wellsford and Kamo sitting just outside.

Even though Hikurangi's premier side seems to be struggling, the reserve side sits eighth and could be a danger if a few upsets take place - a reality in the premier reserve grade.

Lingering at the bottom of the premier reserve table are Otamatea and Waipu who will need a big second round if they are to challenge for play off spots.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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