The second round of the Newcastle Dodgeball League had number of close matches, including one that was put in the balance by three sudden-death deciders.
First off the rank was Raymond Terrace coming up against Cooks Hill, who struggled in the first week and were kept scoreless.
This time around they managed results, but not a positive one for the ladder – the Terrace walked away with a 10-3 win and their first win on the board.
The second match of the evening at Oakdale Arena was closer, with the 7-5 scoreline that favoured Waratah nearly going the other way in the dying minutes of the match.
In the 8th round of the match, tragedy struck for Rutherford and five of their players were eliminated in the opening rush, leaving just David Franklin facing off against all six Waratah players.
4 rapid-fire eliminations for Franklin – and one mistimed catch attempt – left the dangerous Rutherford forward in a 1-on-1 situation with Jakub Lunarzewski.
Franklin, spurred on by supporters and his team bench, was confident and completed the 1-to-6 sweep in emphatic fashion to level out the scores at 4-4.
The heroic performance wasn’t enough to deliver the major result however, and Waratah walked away with the 2 points to put them, momentarily, alone at the top of the table.
They were soon joined, equal on 3 points, by Hamilton as the defending champions downed Belmont 9-7 in a cagey affair.
With just 2 round points in the match, the 3 sudden-death deciders played throughout the game were put into stark focus – Hamilton claimed two of the three to put themselves up.
The first decider went the way of Belmont, with Liam Janczuk’s fast elimination claiming it, but the next two went the way of the eventual winners.
The first nearly went the other way, as Harry Gibson was able to bag an ‘out’ moments before he was ruled to have been hit, and the second was an executed hike from Alexander McIntyre to Isaac McIntyre to seal the late sudden-death.
The close win levelled Hamilton at the top of the table, equal on point difference and result tiebreakers so far.
FINALS: Hamilton and Belmont set up grand final rematch (9/11)
RD14: Waratah down Belmont in heated one-set thriller (2/11)
RD13: Shortland oust Hamilton from first with one to go (26/10)
RD12: Belmont upset Hamilton to blow first place race open (19/10)
RD11: Shortland take second after thriller against Belmont (12/10/18)
RD10: Waratah tumble into fourth place after slow start (5/10/18)
RD9: Top four teams hold off finals-hopefuls (28/09/18)
RD8: Hamilton claim first as league celebrates Ladies Day (21/09/18)
RD7: Shortland and Kotara clash goes down to the wire (14/09/18)
RD6: Waratah keep close on Hamilton's heels (07/09/18)
RD5: Hamilton prevail in grand final rematch (30/08/18)
RD4: Belmont tumble into ladder mix with defeat (24/08/18)
RD3: Waratah cuts Shortland's undefeated streak short (17/08/18)
RD2: Shortland break Terrace to continue strong start (10/08/18)
RD1: Waratah open account against long-standing rivals (03/08/18)
PRESEASON: Season 11's draw & key fixtures revealed (19/07/18)
PRESEASON: Registrations now open for NDL Season 11. (13/07/18)
GF: Hamilton extend dynasty with fifth championship (06/07/18)
SF: Belmont punch ticket to season decider with comeback (29/06/18)
QF: Raymond Terrace scores maiden finals victory (22/06/18)
RD15: Waratah confirm second place, first week bye (15/06/18)
RD14: Waratah steady the ship with key three-set win (08/06/18)
RD13: Belmont ensures the Waratah slide continues (01/06/18)
RD12: Cooks Hill and Belmont remain level with draw (25/05/18)
RD11: Waratah lose sight of first place after defeat (18/05/18)
RD10: Raymond Terrace shock Cookers in sudden death (11/05/18)
RD9: Cookers drop 'Tahs to second with 6-5 slug-fest (04/05/18)
RD8: Hamilton take revenge in Battle of Oakdale (27/04/18)
RD7: Bailey best on field as 'Tahs in cruise-control (20/04/18)
RD6: Waratah break three-year hoodoo over old rivals (13/04/18)
RD5: Hamilton reclaim first place with 13-0 masterclass (06/04/18)
RD4: League's closest round sees 'Tahs take top spot (23/03/18)
RD3: Cooks Hill record first point with 5-5 draw (16/03/18)
RD2: Sudden-death deciders see Hamilton pip Belmont (09/03/18)
RD1: Waratah-Hamilton classic ends in 6-all draw (02/03/18)