The Crookwell Green Devils Under 19s side went down against the Goulburn Bulldogs on Saturday morning, 48-12, in a hard-fought match at the Goulburn Workers Arena.
While on paper it looks like a fairly comprehensive win, it was far from simple for the Bulldogs, as Crookwell have improved enormously over the course of the season and threatened a comeback in the final stages of the match.
The Bulldogs leapt out to an early lead, and by half time the match looked long gone for the Green Devils.
However, roughly halfway through the second term, Crookwell managed to break through Goulburn's defence for their first try of the day.
Shortly after, the Green Devils launched a long kick on the final tackle of the set and, thanks to a good bounce, Josh Paterson was able to outrun the Bulldogs wingers and cross for his and Crookwell's second try.
After slotting a phenomenal conversion from the sideline, Paterson looked to be dragging Crookwell back into contention for the match.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Goulburn then managed to stem the flow of tries and added a couple of their own in the dying minutes.
While this loss sees the Green Devils remain on the bottom of the ladder, there was proof of a marked improvement from the Under 19s side.
Before the season began, Crookwell were easily defeated by Goulburn. However, this time proved a different story, and though the Bulldogs still claimed victory, the Green Devils showed for a good portion of the game that they could compete with top sides.
It is now a matter of ensuring that they play their best football for 80-90 per cent of each game, instead of roughly 50 per cent.
Should they prove capable of that change, Crookwell could soon find themselves climbing steadily up the ladder later in the season.
Meanwhile, there were mixed results for the senior men in the George Tooke Shield and the She Devils in the George Tooke League Tag.
The women cemented second place on the ladder with a strong 0-38 win over the Binalong Jersey Girls in Binalong on Saturday.
The Jersey Girls are currently ranked second-last, however they have proven in past seasons to be a side which can quickly upset teams who underestimate them.
Meanwhile, the senior Green Devils fell in a nailbiter to the Binalong Brahmans, 22-16. This ends Crookwell's two-match winning streak, and sees the side slip to sixth.
This Saturday, the senior Green Devils will take on the Boorowa Rovers at 2.00pm, the She Devils will play the Roverettes from 12.45pm, and the Under 19s will pay Harden Boorowa from 11.20am.