The Beaudesert Kingfishers under-19s lost an entertaining encounter with the Ormeau Shearers 56-30 on Saturday at Willis Park.
The Kingfishers did their best to contain the monster opposition pack in the opening exchanges, but the Shearers jumped to an early 12-0 lead before the home side got on the board.
By halftime, it was 22-10 and the Kingfishers were right in the hunt.
In the second half, the game opened up into an end-to-end try-fest.
Beaudesert opened the scoring through sensational halfback Shallin Fuller to close the gap to 22-16.
Ormeau then powered over for two tries in quick succession to take the score to 34-16. But the Kingfishers hit back with a double of their own, including a brilliant Fuller solo effort.
At 34-26 there was a ray of hope until Ormeau crossed twice to take the score to 44-26 and regain their stranglehold on the contest.
Each side traded blows in the dying minutes. As the bell sounded Beaudesert were beaten but still on their feet.
Beaudesert Kingfishers coach Mick Harkin admitted the team had struggled this season but he could not fault his charges’ commitment and determination.
He said his team was a young outfit that was learning to play to a structure, devote three to a tackle and slow the play the ball down.
“They’re the smallest in the competition, so they’ve punched above their weight,” he said.
“They’ve tackled their guts out and it’s been good experience for them.”
The Kingfishers are running ninth on the QTOP under-19 ladder. They will face Runaway Bay away from home on Sunday.