By Casey O'Connor
The Stanthorpe Gremlins went down 16-14 in a tough semi final encounter with the Gatton Hawks at Clive Berghofer Oval on Sunday.
Half back Williams Sadler opened the scoring for the Hawks with a try and conversion in the opening minutes.
the Gremlins hit back almost immediately with Jacob Rashleigh and Jarrod Irwin both finding the line. Burnell successfully converted the Irwin try and the Gremlins took a 10-6 lead. Stanthorpe defended well late in the first half and took the 10-6 lead to half time.
The second half was a bruising encounter. Stanthorpe had the bulk of possession early in the second half but could not convert possession into points.
Gatton fullback Ben Sadler put the foot down when he took an intercept to give his team back the lead.
Poor discipline from the Hawks gave the Gremlins penalty opportunities and off the boot of Jake Burnell they wrestled back a 14-12 lead with ten minutes left on the clock.
It set up ten minutes of tough football. As the Hawks spread the ball Ben Sadler found himself on the end of a good team try scoring wide out for his second of the day. He converted his own try to give the Hawks a 16-14 win in an entertaining game.
Stanthorpe will now host Goondiwindi in a knock out semi at Sullivan Oval while Gatton take on Minor Premiers Newtown at Gold Park with both games played on Saturday.
Gatton 16 (Ben Sadler 2, William Sadler tries Ben Sadler 2 goals) defeated Stanthorpe 14 (Jarrod Irwin, Jacob Rashleigh tries Jake Burnell 3 goals)