The junior Shepparton Gators teams descended on Echuca at the weekend, with results from the tournament varied.
The under-12 division two boys secured three victories from four matches, and were competitive in a 19-21 loss to Benalla.
The Gators defeated Rochester 40-2 before falling to Benalla, but bounced back quickly to deal easily with Craigieburn (31-7) and Wangaratta (41-12) to round out the weekend in style.
●The under-14 division two boys made it all the way through to the grand final of the competition, but fell at the final hurdle 29-39 to Benalla Breakers Riley.
In their first tournament as a team, the Gators scraped past Wodonga (19-18) in the first game before defeating Benalla Breakers Green 48-10, Yarrawonga-Mulwala 49-12 and Wangaratta 67-18.
In the final, the Gators trailed by as much as 20 points at half-time, but fought back well to draw closer to the eventual victors.
●In division one of the under-14 girls’ competition, the Gators made a strong run to the grand final before falling short of the overall victory.
The girls fought hard against Yarrawonga in the first match to complete a 18-13 win before comprehensively defeating host Echuca 44-12. A 21-30 loss to Wodonga halted the Gators momentum momentarily, but the girls bounced back to defeat Warrnambool 34-19.
Another meeting with Wodonga was awaiting in the decider, but the Gators could not reverse the result and went down 21-36.
●The under-16 division one girls also fell one win short of an overall tournament victory, losing to Wodonga 24-28.
The Gators handed Echuca a heavy 42-22 defeat in the first game of the weekend before beating Wangaratta (30-23) and Wodonga (23-20) to finish the round-robin matches undefeated.
The girls then overcame Wangaratta again (27-20) to book a rematch with Wodonga, but could not reproduce the earlier result.
●The Gators under-16 division one boys went through the entire weekend undefeated to stamp their authority in the region once more.
The boys defeated Yarrawonga-Mulwala (35-22), Wodonga (40-21), Echuca (43-31) and Wangaratta (44-35) in the qualifying stages of the tournament before backing their performance up against Wangaratta with a 37-25 victory in the decider.
●In the under-18 girls’ division one competition the Gators broke even for the weekend, winning two and dropping two matches.
The Gators began with a 21-16 win against Wodonga before falling agonisingly short of victory against Wangaratta, losing 24-25.
A tough game against Echuca followed, with the final scoreboard reading 12-33, before the girls finished strongly with a 34-22 triumph over Rochester.
●A grand final berth was within the grasp of the under-18 division one boys, but a poor final half against Wodonga saw the Gators lose 20-29 and miss the decider, despite leading at the main break.
Earlier the boys had strongly beaten Kyneton 32-14 before losing 13-43 to Wangaratta and smashing Benalla 44-9.