Dewsbury Rams celebrated winning the Championship Reserve Grade Grand Final with a stunning victory over Leigh Centurions last Friday.
It appeared the Rams’ tremendous effort would fall agonisingly short against the reigning champions as they trailed 28-26 deep into the final minute of the match.
With just five seconds remaining on the stadium clock, and Dewsbury on their last tackle, James Delaney found centre Sam Dunn, who beat three men on a terrific run to the line to snatch victory in the most dramatic fashion.
The Rams only reformed their reserve team at the start of the season but, under the guidance of Jonathan Schofield, they have produced some fantastic displays throughout the campaign.
Despite losing their first three matches of the season, the Rams Reserves battled to reach the Grand Final but went into Friday’s match at the Leigh Sports Village as big underdogs against a side chasing back-to-back Reserve Grade titles.
Leigh drew first blood with a Mitch Cox try, converted by Jack Hansen, but Byron Smith replied for the Rams, following Brad Delaney’s break and the latter converted.
Austin Buchanan was sin-binned shortly after but Dewsbury’s defence survived while down to 12 men.
Leigh regained the lead when Eze Harper raced 70 metres for an unconverted try but the Rams hit back as Dunn stole the ball in a one-on-one tackle and sent Ryan Langston over as the sides went into half-time locked at 10-10.
Corey Lee scored soon after the break, with Hansen converting, but Jason Muranka dived on Buchanan’s kick through and Brad Delaney converted to level once more.
Frankie Halton gave Leigh the lead for as fourth time with a 52nd minute try, improved by Hansen, only for the Rams to hit a purple patch as cousins Brad and James Delaney scored in quick succession to give Dewsbury a 26-22 lead.
Cox darted through the Rams defence and Hansen’s conversion gave his side a two-point lead with 11 minutes left.
It appeared as though Dewsbury’s terrific effort would be denied until Leigh kicked out on the full with 40 seconds remaining. On the last tackle of the final Dunn grabbed the match-winning try to the delight of the large travelling Dewsbury support.
The Rams first team will now look to emulate the Reserves’ achievements by winning the Championship Shield Grand Final.