Tuggeranong Bushrangers and West Belconnen Warriors played out a thrilling 26-all draw in Round 6 of the Canberra Raiders Cup at Greenway Oval on Saturday.
The Bushrangers had a chance to snatch the win and complete an incredible second-half comeback, but their late field goal attempt was charged down.
A conversion to give Tuggeranong the lead in the 75th minute was also heartbreakingly missed by two-time try scorer Zac Saddler.
West Belconnen came out of the gates firing, with three tries to three separate players in the first 30 minutes quietening the crowd.
The game looked over by half-time, with a late penalty goal giving the Warriors a 20-point lead at the break.
Michael Brophy began home team's comeback in the 45th minute, stepping through a couple of defenders and going in under the posts.
Their second try soon followed, courtesy of a tackle break by centre Karlos Filiga, who offloaded to James Cahill to score.
Brandon Withers collected his second for the Warriors, but it was all Bushrangers after that, with four tries in 15 minutes levelling the game with five minutes to go. Bushrangers coach Jason Kelly was critical of his side's first-half efforts.
"The first half was a terrible half of footy by us, we played some really dumb footy at times," Kelly said.
"We made a lot of mistakes and didn't really deserve to be in the game, down 20-0 at half-time."
He was proud of his team's fightback though, overcoming multiple injuries to almost win a game they had no right to.
"The second half was a courageous one for us, by half-time we had two concussions and it only got worse for us with injuries," Kelly said.
"We had a lot of adversity, Darby Medlyn played on with an injury he shouldn't have. We had a lot of players out of position in that second half.
"Probably should have won the game in the end. Credit to Westies though, they are a good side and really put it to us today. They can probably feel a bit stiff in not getting the win."
AT A GLANCE:
Canberra Raiders Cup First Grade: Queanbeyan Blues 42 bt Belconnen United Sharks 16, West Belconnen Warriors 26 drew Tuggeranong Bushrangers 26, Woden Valley Rams 34 bt Goulburn City Bulldogs 16, Queanbeyan Kangaroos 20 bt Yass Magpies 12.
Reserve Grade: Queanbeyan Blues 74 bt Belconnen United Sharks 0, West Belconnen Warriors 34 bt Tuggeranong Bushrangers 8, Woden Valley Rams 46 bt Goulburn City Bulldogs 6, Queanbeyan Kangaroos 32 bt Yass Magpies 26.
Katrina Fanning Shield: Tuggeranong Bushrangers 32 bt UC Stars 10, Goulburn City Bulldogs 32 bt Woden Valley Rams 16, Yass Magpies 82 bt Boomanulla Raiders 0.
Under 19s: Tuggeranong Bushrangers 38 bt Cootamundra Bulldogs 12, Goulburn City Bulldogs 14 bt Woden Valley Rams 12, Belconnen United Sharks 34 bt Crookwell Green Devils 16, Queanbeyan Blues 28 bt Gungahlin Bulls 12.
Ladies League Tag: West Belconnen Warriors 42 bt Tuggeranong Bushrangers 0, Woden Valley Rams 18 bt Goulburn City Bulldogs 0, Belconnen United Sharks 24 bt Queanbeyan Blues 4.
George Tooke Shield: Boorowa Rovers 20 bt Crookwell Green Devils 10, North Canberra Bears 36 bt UC Stars 0, Harden Hawks 16 bt Cootamundra Bulldogs 6, Bungendore Tigers 28 bt Binalong Brahmans 10.
Ladies League Tag: Bungendore Tigerettes 48 bt Binalong Brahmans 0, North Canberra Bears 16 bt UC Stars 0, Boorowa Roverettes 18 bt Crookwell She Devils 6, Harden Hawkettes 44 bt Cootamundra Bulldogs 4.
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