Inspirational Comets clapped from field

Reports by AARON KELLY

IT WAS branded a David and Goliath battle and a gutsy Central Comets outfit stood up against the Queensland Wizard Cup giants yesterday.

The Comets suffered a nail-biting 32-22 loss to competition leaders the Burleigh Bears ? a performance worthy of a standing ovation from the Comets' faithful at Rockhampton's Browne Park . After their last round humiliation by Easts, it was a totally different Comets side boasting a never-say-die attitude.

Tries to centre Matt Hill and winger Paul Albury inside the opening 15 minutes gave the home side a 10-0 lead.

But it only sparked the Bears into action, with three quick tries helping Burleigh to a 14-10 advantage at the break.

When Bears prop Shane O'Flanaghan barged over for his double in the 53rd minute the signs looked ominous, but to their credit the young and enthusiastic Comets never surrendered.

Three minutes later Albury grabbed an intercept try to take the scores to 2016 before fullback Clint Rothery produced a try-saving tackle on Burleigh flyer Trent Purdon, who looked certain to score in the corner.

Martin Griese edged Burleigh further ahead in the 69th minute when he scored under the posts, but the Comets hit back soon after through halfback Adam Geddes to trail by just four points.

In a spiteful encounter, Bears fullback Phil Ramage sealed victory with a late try in the dying seconds.

Comets coach Neale Crow said his players showed plenty of commitment, led by teenage lock Trent Callaghan.

Burleigh coach Rick Stone said it was two points he was happy to take home.

"It's amazing how far genuine effort can take you and the Comets had that today,'' Stone said after the match.



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