Magpies pull off an upset for the ages at Sid Kallas Oval

Thirteen players versus fifteen. Last place versus third. One win against seven wins.

Aside from the fact that the game was at Sid Kallas Oval, one would be forgiven for wondering where the Cowra Magpies' League Tag side were going to find an advantage on Sunday morning.

The conditions were perfect, with clear skies. The gentle swirl of a breeze offered nothing in either team's direction, and the visitors - from Blayney - had only travelled a modest distance compared to the size of other Group 10 road trips.

And despite the Magpies' improvement in recent weeks, the recent results - a narrow loss to the second placed Orange Hawks was followed by a 12-0 loss against Lithgow - had nothing to suggest that an upset was on the cards.

But that's exactly what happened.

Led by a bravura performance from Chelsea Apps, who scored two tries and set up another - which was taken over the score-line by Ebony Ingram - the Magpies, who led 8-6 at half and 12-10 at the game's end, defeated the Blayney Bears.

While a late try to the Bears' Lucy Johnston threatened to level the scoreline, Olivia Bird was unable to nail what was a difficult conversion attempt, the Magpies defending their margin thereafter to hold on in a remarkable win.


Meanwhile, the visitors' difficult trip was soured further, with an ankle injury to Meghan Delaney in the first half adding to the fact that Orange CYMS now only sit a game behind them in fourth spot.

Regardless of the happenings at top end of the table, Magpies coach Jack Nobes believed the result was reward for a considerable amount of effort.

"[We've] been building to it for a while," Nobes explained.

"Today was probably the least numbers we've had all year... [but] they just turned up with the right attitude and wanted to play with each other.

"The talk was real good all day and some of the ball movement was something we haven't really seen from them all year."

While the team has jumped off the bottom of the ladder, Nobes acknowledges that after a slow start to the season, the focus will be on continued improvement, with the team coming along in leaps and bounds compared to round one, but with another tough challenge in the league leading Bathurst St. Pat's this forthcoming weekend.

"[If] they turn up and want to play with each other... for each other, they'll put it to every team, which they've been doing all year," he said.

"They just haven't put the icing on the cake like we did today."

  • COWRA MAGPIES 12 (Tries: Chelsea Apps 2, Ebony Ingram) def BLAYNEY BEARS 10 (Tries: Grace Mooney, Lucy Johnston. Goal: Olivia Bird)