The Cootamundra Tri-Colours fought out a tough 10 point win over Harden in an absolute mud-bath at home in Round 5 of the Oilsplus South West Cup on the weekend.
Cootamundra hosted second-placed Harden Red Devils in a grand final rematch that took place on an absolutely saturated ground - and with more showers falling.
Harden Red Devils got an early advantage with a penalty in front of the goal posts, and neither team could gain further advantage until Coota's Matt Berkrey converted a penalty to level the scores at half time.
Cootamundra got the upper hand with a try to prop Mitch Coleman-Hardy that saw mud and bodies flying everywhere, and the prop's crucial try was successfully converted by Berkrey to give the Tri-colours a seven point lead.
During the second half the decision was made to abandon scrums, with the conditions just far too dangerous, though there was still plenty of spice in the game between the two sides.
Berkrey sealed the game for Coota late in the second half with another successful penalty taking the score to 13-3.
After the loss, Harden slipped to second on the ladder, with Boorowa going top after their huge 36-12 win over the West Wyalong Weevils.
The other games for the round saw the Young Yabbies trounce Grenfell by 45 points while Condo triumphed 40-32 over Temora in an entertaining game.
In Round 6 the third-placed Tri-Colours travel to Boorowa to take on ladder leaders the Goldies in a crucial clash.
Cootamundra Best and Fairest points
- 3 points: Mitch Coleman-hardy
- 2 points: Angus Forster
- 1 point: Cameron Stanley
- Players player: Charlie Booth and Angus Forster
Cootamundra 13 (Mitch Coleman-Hardy, tries; Matt Berkrey 3 goals) defeated Harden 3 (Benjamen Lenehan goal).