It might not be enough to get them into the Laurie Daley Cup finals, but the Western Rams under 18s still gave fans plenty to cheer about at Gulgong on Saturday.
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A brilliant try for Harry Scott in the final seconds secured a 28-22 win over the Greater Northern Tigers for the 12-man Rams.
With the seconds ticking down and the scores all square, Western halfback Jamie Thorpe chipped from inside his own half.
Flying fullback Nick Murphy raced through to claim the ball and after getting into space he drew in the fullback and then sent Scott flying down the left flank and over, to spark the celebrations.
The Rams went into Saturday's final round match knowing they had to score a convincing victory over the previously winless Tigers and then hope results elsewhere went their way to be any chance of playing finals.
The eagerness to score points hampered the Kurt Hancock-coached for much of the first half and it allowed the Tigers, who were content to play grinding footy, to race out to a 12-0 lead.
But just minutes before the break Dubbo five-eighth Tyrone Tattersall stepped off his right foot close to the line and went over to get the hosts on the board.
That try and a stern talking to during the break helped the Rams find their composure in the second 35 minutes.
Just two minutes after the restart Forbes Magpies recruit Thorpe went over and Murphy's successful conversion made it 12-all.
After a somewhat slow start to the contest Murphy began to come into the game more and show the kind of form which produced a stunning hat-trick in the previous round's win over Monaro.
Some quick hands during a shift to the left put Scott in for his first try of the day but while the centre celebrated, teammate Cooper Ferrari was sent off.
We went into half-time and screwed our heads back on.- Harry Scott
In one of the biggest moments of the match, the officials ruled Ferrari had shown dissent after a tackle earlier in the set and the Rams had to play the final 20 minutes a man down.
It didn't take long for the Tigers to hit back, as Kaleb Hope pinched a pass from Tattersall and raced 50m untouched to score and he converted his own try to level it up again.
With seven minutes to go the momentum shifted again as Rams took back the lead after a neat short-side play from a scrum led to Murphy wrestling his way over the line.
His kick missed to make it 22-18 and from the ensuing kick-off the Rams allowed the ball to bounce and the Tigers regathered.
A couple of plays later they barnstorming prop Jake Clydesdale carried defenders with him across the line, but Hope's conversion missed and the healthy Gulgong crowd was set for a grandstand finish.
Thorpe, Murphy and Scott then combined in a moment worthy of the occasion.
"I know the run and I know it's on. We've got that set play," Scott said of the match-winner.
"It's a good group. We love it. There's a good attitude and good energy and we were going a little crappy (in the first half) but we went into half-time and screwed our heads back on.
"We had a good yarn and then came out and fired up."
The win moved the Rams into the top four but seven of the eight sides below them still have matches to play.
The Rams were third on six points on Sunday morning while the Macarthur Wests Tigers (6 points) and Newcastle Knights (5) have a match in hand and the North Coast Bulldogs (5) still have two matches to play.
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