The curtain has closed on Gunnedah Rugby Club’s first grade season after a shattering loss in the penultimate game of the Central North Rugby Union season.

Saturday’s elimination final played in Gunnedah saw the Red Devils maintain dominance up to the last minutes of the nail-biting clash against the Moree Bulls.

Marcus Hayne was first to hit the scoreboard for the Red Devils at the 14th minute, followed by a Cameron Mitchell conversion.

Following an earlier penalty goal, the Bulls quickly returned fire.

A Cameron Mitchell penalty goal equalised the scoreboard to 10-all at the 28th minute.

Ratu Vuibau hit the board towards the end of the first half, followed by a Cameron Mitchell conversion, after the Bulls hit the board again.

The scoreboard was 17 apiece as the Red Devils and Bulls went into the half-time break.

Following an early second half penalty goal to the Bulls, the Red Devils hit the lead with a 46th minute try to William Burke, followed by another magical Mitchell conversion.

The Red Devils followed up again when Sean Latham hit the board at the 58th minute, giving Gunnedah a 9-point lead over its northern visitors.

It was the final 14 minutes which brought heartbreak to the Red Devils’ grand final hopes.

The Bulls hit the board at the 66th minute, followed by a conversion.

A quick-fire try and conversion followed almost five minutes later, giving the Bulls a five-point lead.

Hope was still in the air that the Red Devils could keep their premiership aspirations alive by returning fire, however, a 77th minute penalty goal to Moree sealed Gunnedah’s fate.

The Bulls now come up against Tamworth Pirates at this Saturday’s Chillingworth Oval grand final.

For the Red Devils, attention now turns to the Women’s 10 team which has enjoyed a successful season. The Devils will take on the Narrabri Blue Boars.

Red Devils will be hoping to keep their form from the earlier final played in Tamworth where Gunnedah prevailed over Narrabri, 15-10.

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