They left it late but the SG Ball Sharks have come from behind to score a thrilling 23-22 win over the Balmain Tigers in a match played as a curtain-raiser to the Sharks-Storm NRL clash.
The under-18 Sharks were always under pressure from a determined Tigers outfit, however a couple of classy touches late in the contest from half back and captain Kai Broadhurst got the Cronulla side over the line.
It was a Broadhurst kick and re-gather try, followed by a sideline conversion kicked into a stiff south-easterly breeze which levelled up the scores, before his field goal two minutes before full-time put the Sharks in front.
The Sharks battled hard to stay in touch with their opponents in the opening period, with errors, ill-discipline and some average defensive efforts letting them down at crucial moments.
The Tigers were first on the board in the 15th minute of the match, before the Sharks made it 6-all with dive over dummy half try to hooker Isaac Longmuir and a conversion from Broadhurst.
Then just as it appeared the teams would go to the break all locked up, a Tigers try wide out sent them to half time with their tails up at 10-6 in front.
The second period was a see-sawing one, Declan Casey scoring for the Sharks to put them in front, the Tigers then re-taking the lead, with neither side able to establish a clear advantage.
After the Tigers had scored once more, Broadhurst would touch down for the first of his two tries, but again the Tigers would go ahead, this time 22-16 with what appeared to be a match-winning advantage with time running out.
The Broadhurst try then brought them level, before the field goal gave the Sharks the all-important two points and confirmed their place inside the top four of the SG Ball competition table.
The final game of the season for the Ball Sharks will be against Illawarra Steelers at WIN Stadium next Saturday.
Kai Broadhurst 2, Isaac Langmuir, Declan Casey tries Broadhurst 3 goals and a field goal
BALMAIN TIGERS 22