The Beechwood Shamrocks have fallen just short of a memorable Hastings League grand final appearance after bowing out of the 2019 competition on Saturday.
Up against the South West Rocks Marlins, the Shamrocks clawed its way back into the contest before the Marlins scored a late try to snatch victory.
The Shamrocks were gallant in defeat.
Another strong crowd was on hand for the clash showing that the Hastings League, who will celebrate 100 years of competition in 2020, is in a good place.
Despite the windy and cool conditions, the two games on Saturday were of a high standard.
The men's game was an absolute cracker with the Marlins skipping out to a handy lead early in the contest.
The Shamrocks managed to close the gap and had drawn level at 24-all with just five minutes remaining on the clock.
But in a gut-wrenching finish, the Marlins crossed for a try to claim the clash 28 points to 24.
The Marlins scored six tries with a double to Peter Bula, and one each to Joshua Trindall, James Stokes and Jesse Meeghan. Steve Walker kicked two goals.
For the Shamrocks, Ray Donovan, Jake Flanagan, Luke Reis and Glen Strong all crossed for tries while Max Ward booted four conversions.
The Marlins will now take on minor premier and last year's beaten grand finalists Laurieton Hotel Stingrays in the grand final.
In the ladies final, the Lower Macleay went up against the South West Rocks outfit in a tough contest.
The Rocks proved too good on the day eventually running out comfortable winners 26 points to 4.
For the Rocks side, tries to Elizabeth Dickson, Olivia Roko, Tahlisa Daley-Button, Stevie-Grace Moran and Tyan Leonard who also kicked three goals.
Tintinara Duroux was the lone scorer for the Lower Macleay outfit.
South West Rocks will now take on the Beechwood Shamrocks side in Saturday's grand final.
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