ST PAT’S put in a spirited performance to end their Group 10 premier league season but came up just shy of taking down the Orange Hawks in a 44-36 loss on Saturday.
Hawks led 26-14 at the break and had extended that lead to 18 points by the 50th minute, but the Saints never went away, in fact they actually outscored the hosts 22-18 in the second period at Wade Park.
Showing plenty of ticker, St Pat’s clawed their way back into the game and slashed the deficit to a converted try with just 10 minutes to go, but a Nathan Potts try in the dying stages put paid to any thoughts of a miracle comeback and kept Hawks’ dream alive in the process.
Sione Tongia scored the first try in the ninth minute, that was followed by Potts’ first and Jordan Baker’s first too, in the 13th and 16th minutes respectively.
Benjamin John hit back for the Saints five minutes after Baker crossed, but Hawks’ winger promptly score two more – either side of a Bailey Waldron four-pointer – to complete a stunning first half hat-trick and push the two blues’ lead to 26-8.
Jack Mackey crossed for St Pat’s on the stroke of half-time to keep his side in the game though, Matt Ranse converting to go into the sheds trailing Hawks 26-14.
When the two blues drew first blood after the break through Tongia, many thought the floodgates would open just as they had when the two sides met in round nine.
They didn’t though, St Pat’s scoring three of the next four tries – all converted by Ranse – to give themselves a sniff at 38-32, with just 10 minutes to go.
The Saints threw plenty at the two blues, but Hawks held, before Potts went over in the 74th minute.
Heta converted to ensure his side secured the win, despite St Pat’s crossing again just before full-time.