Norths have extended their recent run of success over Ipswich after clinching a dramatic victory against a courageous Jets team in their Intrust Super Cup season opener at the North Ipswich Reserve.
The 22-16 win stretched the Devils unbeaten streak against the Jets to five matches (dating back to May 2012).
It also capped a dream start for first-year Intrust Super Cup coach Mark Gliddon and his new-look Norths team.
But Gliddon had to wait the best part of 80 minutes before his team was able to put the gritty Jets away.
Ipswich had very little possession in the first half after conceding a string of penalties. The hosts could easily have lost touch with the Devils but somehow they were able to stay within a converted try at half-time.
Norths took an 18-12 advantage into half-time on the back of tries from Byron Creighton, Rogan Dean and Shaun Carney.
Creighton and Dean struck within quick succession for a 12-0 lead before the Jets responded via Brendon Marshall, who produced a great fend on his opposite number to dash away and score.
Carney then opened the Jets up on the left to score his first try for his new club to boot them out to an 18-6 lead.
There were clear danger signs for the Jets at that point but they regrouped to march downfield for a rare crack at the Devils’ line.
Back-rower Sam Martin came up with a crucial four-pointer and debutant Haydan Lipp added the conversion to narrow the gap to six points.
Lipp then played a key part in Ipswich’s promising second half assault, launching a brilliant 40/20 kick and throwing a nice pass in a movement that saw Kurt Capewell cross in the right corner.
The conversion missed to the right, leaving the Devils in front 18-16. The score remained that way for a long period with both teams going close to scoring in an enthralling finish.
Norths were twice denied by Ipswich’s scrambling defence in the corner, while the Devils were equally desperate off their own line and managed to defuse a dangerous situation with seven minutes to go when Jets livewire West Conlon lunged for the line.
Ipswich was pressing hard for a match-winner in the closing stages but the Devils had the final say when a kick behind the line eventually found its way into the hands of Dylan Galloway.
NORTHS DEVILS 22 (Shaun Carney, Rogan Dean, Dylan Galloway, Byron Creighton tries; Shaun Carney 3 goals) def IPSWICH JETS 16 (Kurt Capewell, Brendon Marshall, Sam Martin tries; Haydan Lipp 2 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Thank you to the QRL for this photo and article.