NEAFL: Queanbeyan Tigers v Belconnen Magpies
The Tigers' Ben King handballs. Photo: Graham Tidy
The Belconnen Magpies spoiled the Queanbeyan Tigers' 90th birthday celebrations on Saturday, thrashing their cross-border rivals by 35 points.
Some of the Tigers' greatest players gathered at Queanbeyan to reminisce about the club's glory days and celebrate a massive milestone.
But the Tigers failed to rally and fell to the rampaging Magpies, 17.11 (113) to 11.12 (78).
The Magpies were bolstered by the return of midfield general James Bennett and coach Jeremy Rowe. Those stars came back from injuries and provided a timely boost for the club's North East Australian Football League season.
Meanwhile, Ainslie coach Chris Rourke was estactic after his side's best four-quarter performance of the year as the Tricolours romped to a 68-point flogging of Hills Eagles.
The Tricolours were in control from start to finish, improving to a 5-3 record for the season with the 20.13 (133) to 9.11 (65) victory at Bruce Purser Reserve.
Nick Salter and Nick Paine kicked four goals each, while Jason Fleming and Clint Mathis chipped in with three apiece in a complete team effort.
The Tricolours are within touching distance of the top six now and push their claims for finals football in the next two weeks when they take on Canberra rivals Eastlake and Belconnen.
Rourke said he was pleased with his side's application as it hunted in packs and did not give Hills Eagles a sniff in the first game after last weekend's bye for the representative fixture.
"It was a good four-quarter effort. The boys had a good go and ran out the entire game,'' Rourke said.
''We think we're in with a show of the finals, but the top seven are very good.
"We're aiming for it, but whether we get there or not ... it's a big ask.
''The next couple of weeks we'll find out with our games against Eastlake and Belconnen.
"Eastlake will be very fired up and Belconnen will be keen to get one back on us."
In the other game the Magpies grabbed their second win of the season with the victory against the Tigers.
The Magpies and Tigers have identical 2-6 win-loss records.
AT A GLANCE
BELCONNEN MAGPIES 17.11 (113) bt QUEANBEYAN TIGERS 11.12 (78), AINSLIE 20.13 (133) bt HILLS EAGLES 9.11 (65).
Sunday: Eastlake v GWS Giants reserves at Manuka Oval, noon.