Butchers clean, clinical

Thirroul’s Mitchell Bate offloads in his team’s tidy despatch of Helensburgh in the Illawarra Coal Cup semi-final. Picture: DAVE TEASEThirroul advanced to the 2012 Illawarra Coal Cup grand final with a clinical 22-6 win over Helensburgh at WIN Stadium yesterday.

The Butchers will now play premiers for the past three years Wests in the decider at the same venue on Sunday.

“We wanted that shot in next week’s game against Wests. We’ve been hanging out for that. We knew we had to play well against Helensburgh again today,” Thirroul coach Phil Ostwald said.

“It was a really good team effort. We’re happy.”

In what would turn out to be his last game as a player for Helensburgh, Tigers coach Wade Humphreys said Thirroul deserved their win.

Thirroul led 2-0 after seven minutes when prop Shane Grady kicked a penalty goal.

Resolute defence reigned until the 20th minute when the player of the match, Butchers hooker Joel Johnson, scampered over for a try.

Thirroul stretched their lead to 12-0 when interchange forward Adam Goode forced his way over and five-eighth Ty McCarthy added the extras.

Grady added another penalty goal in the 34th minute for the Butchers to head into the sheds 14-0 ahead at the interval.

The Tigers cut the lead to 14-6 in the 57th minute when hooker Humphreys scored from close range and halfback Andrew Dallalana converted from near the posts.

That was nullified when Butchers interchange backrower Jacob Ling crossed in a handy position but Grady’s conversion attempt hit the upright.

The Tigers conceded a penalty to allow the Butchers to be back on attack, Johnson capped an outstanding performance in the 77th minute with his second try of the match and this time it was McCarthy’s conversion attempt that hit the post.

But that didn’t matter. Unlike in the qualifying semi-final there was no late comeback from the Burgh. The Butchers were grand final-bound.

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