Diesels take narrow win over Tumbarumba to finish on a winning note

Matt Hands was pleased with a 32-28 win over Tumbarumba on Saturday to end Junee's season.

Matt Hands was pleased with a 32-28 win over Tumbarumba on Saturday to end Junee's season.

It has been a tough year on and off the field, but Junee finished on a high under lights at Laurie Daley Oval on Saturday.

Holding off Tumbarumba, the Diesels took a 32-28 win to finish the season in ninth place.

While it was a big fall from grace from last year’s preliminary final, outgoing captain-coach Matt Hands was pleased by how they finished things.

“We let them back into the game there by not completing, but we come away with the points and no injuries either which was a real positive,” Hands said.

“It was a tough year, especially in the back end, but credit to those players who hung around, dug deep and played two games.

“We didn’t disgrace ourselves either.

“We could have thrown our hands up in the air coming up against Southcity and Gundagai in the last month that we had so to get a win was a pretty pleasing way to go.”

While Hands will remain a player with the club after three seasons at the helm he’s more than happy to let someone else fill the role.

The Diesels are still working on his replacement.

However he believes there are some positive signs for the future with the team still fairly competitive despite a critical lack of numbers caused by injury.

“It has been a good three years,” Hands said.

“It is probably not the way I wanted the season to go but there is still a few positives we can take out of that and into the pre-season.”

The Diesels flew out of the boxes with tries to Fale Malase, Aidan Sweeney and Daniel Foley in the first 13 minutes.

However Tumbarumba soon found a way back into the clash.

The Greens hit back with tries to Nathan Hammond and Braden Hunter which reduced the margin to two points

Hands extended the Diesels lead to eight points before his Tumbarumba counterpart Robbie Byatt scored right on the bell.

Junee took a 32-18 lead mid way through the second half courtesy of a double to Hayden Diggins, however tries to Kane Hammond and Byatt set up a thrilling finish.

But the Diesels were able to hold on for their fifth win of the season.

While Foley and Trent Schubach were among the Diesels’ best, Hands also paid credit to Diggins who helped lift the tempo around the ruck when he came onto the field.

“He (Diggins) was good out of hooker when he came on,” he said.

“Between the two of them (Diggins and Schubach) they made plenty of metres up the middle which was sort of the difference around the ruck.”

Hands thought their was a good atmosphere for the clash that started just after 5pm and would like to see more night time fixtures throughout the season.

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