WINGER Jordan Leota ran 80 metres to score at the death and snatch Lake Macquarie a 17-11 win over Merewether Carlton at Townson Oval on Saturday.
The win wasthe Roos’ first victory on the Greens’ home turf since they returned to the top flight of Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union in 2002.
In a dour, mistake-ridden affair, the Roos led 7-6 at half-time.
The Greens, who were without several key men, hit back with a try to Lewie Dunn to take the lead 11-10.
The home side were camped in the Roos’ territory for much of the second half.
Replacement Sam Clifton blew a chance to seal victory when he spilled the ball with the line wide open from a counter attack.
Then with two five minutes remaining, Merewether five-eighth Gareth Ernst chipped to the corner. Lewie Dunn went up for the ball but was beaten by Leota.
The ball bounced off his knee, but he was able to pick it up and set off on an 80 dash to the tryline. Matt Clarke added the extras for a memorable win.
Elsewhere on Saturday, leaders The Waratahs ended a two-game losing steak with a resounding 46-33 win over Maitland at Waratah Oval.
Boosted by the return of Pala Palupe, Dylan Heins and Joel Ford the Tahs raced to a 34-18 lead at half-time and then held the Blacks at bay.
Wanderers also returned to the winner’s circle with a bruising 24-19 triumph over Southern Beaches at Cahill Oval.
The Two Blues led 18-0 at half-time and then hung on against a fast-finishing Beaches.
Nelson Bay recorded their first win of the season, thrashing Easts 48-10 at Strong Oval.
Chad Northcott and Joe Armstrong scored two tries each.
In the final game, premiers Hamilton disposed of a plucky University 43-17 at Passmore Oval.
WINNING TRY: Lake Macquarie’s Jordan Leota is congratulated by teammate Drew Bogdanovs. Picture: Jonathan Carroll