Group 11 2017: Dubbo rivals CYMS and Macquarie to meet in under 18s qualifying final

CLASS: Matt Burton will be key to CYMS' at Nyngan hopes on Sunday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
CLASS: Matt Burton will be key to CYMS' at Nyngan hopes on Sunday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

A grand final appearance is within reach.

Dubbo rivals CYMS and Macquarie meet at Nyngan on Sunday in the under 18s qualifying final.

This season’s finals is different for both clubs, as the Fishies and Raiders clashed in an elimination final last year and it was the men in sky blue who were left cheering then.

The two rivals have been extremely even this season, both only losing twice, while the same goes for minor premiership-winning Forbes in what has been an enthralling season of under 18s rugby league.

Macquarie were the first side to defeat CYMS this season, scoring a 30-14 victory in round four after the Fishies had conceded just six points in the opening three rounds.

But Bernard Wilson’s outfit got its revenge later in the season, when a Matt Burton-inspired CYMS scored a 24-16 win.

Burton is undoubtedly key to his side’s hopes.

The talented playmaker has found a home at fullback this season despite being making the NSW Country side as a five-eighth.

But the move has been vindicated, with the young gun still getting plenty of touches while Western Rams’ star Bayden Searle guides his side around in the number six jersey.

Forwards Jack Davis and Todd Deveigne and hooker Jackson Bonham-Phair have also been key to CYMS’ success this season while the Raiders have been led by two players who have spent plenty of time in first grade this season.

Back-rower Luke Gale is a regular in the Macquarie first grade outfit now while captain and five-eighth Jai Merritt has also featured in the top 17.

Gale has been named but it will depend on his ability to get through Saturday’s first grade elimination final against Parkes unscathed.

While the winner on Sunday meets Forbes’, the loser will face either the Parkes Spacemen or Nyngan Tigers in next weekend’s minor semi-final.

Nyngan finished fourth while Parkes overcame some inconsistencies to claim fifth spot.

The Tigers claimed a 28-22 victory last time the two teams met.

Sunday’s match is set to start at 1.15pm at Nyngan’s Larkin Oval.

This story Rivals just two wins away from a decider first appeared on Daily Liberal.