THE fairytale ending the Moss Vale Dragons were hoping for did not occur.
After dropping out of first and reserve grade in the Group 6 competition earlier this year, the Dragons had shown plenty of heart to make it through to the second division grand final.
Moss Vale faced Appin Dogs at Campbelltown Stadium on September 17 in the decider.
The two teams had only played each once in the season and that match was called off early due to a fight.
In the end, the Dogs claimed the premiership with a 28-10 victory.
The Dragons’ hopes of winning the match faded early when Appin got out to a quick 16-0 lead.
It was not until late in the first half that Moss Vale hit back through Daniel Donnelly to trail 16-6 at the break.
Dropped ball cost the Dragons points in first half and it was the same story in the second half.
Chris Conquest scored the first try of the second half to give Moss Vale some hope.
But with the score at 16-10, Appin hit back with two more tries to seal the victory.
Moss Vale coach Robbie Payne said it was a disappointing result for the club.
“We didn’t start the game well. Early on I think the boys might have been overawed by the occasion,” he said.
“Before we knew it we were down 16 blot and it was too hard to claw our way back against a good team like Appin.
“We probably saved our worst game of the season till last but the boys fought until the 70th minute. It just wasn’t our day.”
The Conquest brothers Matt and Chris were again strong in the forwards for Moss Vale.
Despite the loss, Payne said it was encouraging for the club to have made the grand final after an up and down year.
“We made the grand final, we’ve got a squad of 25 and hopefully that encourages the club to build on that next year and hopefully get back into grade which is where we want to be.”
The match was the final game of rugby league for both Payne and halfback Ronald Jones.
“That was his [Jones] swansong. After 35 years of me being involved in rugby league, it’s time for me to have a rest.”