Zac McKiernan the hero for Magpies in battle of the Macleay | Photos

Heroic play: Zac McKiernan in the act of evading defenders and scoring the match clinching try for the Lower Macleay Magpies. Photo: Penny Tamblyn.
Heroic play: Zac McKiernan in the act of evading defenders and scoring the match clinching try for the Lower Macleay Magpies. Photo: Penny Tamblyn.

A last minute play down the short side from Zac McKiernan saw the Lower Macleay Magpies snatch a 36-32 victory against the South West Rocks Marlins in the battle of the Macleay.

The Magpies were trailing by two-points and were down to one of their last attacking raids as they had the ball 30 metres out from the Marlins line.

McKiernan counted the numbers and saw the Marlins were short of defenders on the blind side and he took off.

“Zac threw a couple of dummies and went straight through,” Magpies coach Bo Wilson told the Argus.

“I’ve never seen him run so fast or that far.”

It was a heart-breaking finish for the Marlins, as they led for the majority of the match and were looking to snap a four-game losing streak against their rivals.

The Marlins started the match on the front foot, racing out to a 16-0 lead in the opening 20-minutes.

However, Wilson claimed the Magpies weren't panicked and the message to his teammates was to improve their discipline and get back into the grind.

They answered the call and struck back through Mike Flanders. He turned defence into attack when he took an intercept and sprinted 80 metres to score under the posts.

The Magpies reduced the deficit further when Wilson dove over for a try.

The Marlins hit back to reinstate their 10-point lead but the Magpies closed the half out strong and crossed for two tries to head into the break trailing 22-20.

The Magpies continued their momentum in the second half and grabbed their first lead when halfback Flanders scored his third try.

The roller coaster game saw the Marlins bag the next two tries to hold a 32-26 lead.

The Magpies weren’t giving up though and reduced the deficit to two-points before McKiernan’s heroic play.

“It was everything I expected it to be, they turned up for a big one and both sides played in another tight and entertaining game of footy,” Wilson said.

“The local derby always brings out the best in both sides.”

Wilson pinpointed Sean Skinner as one of the best on ground. The forward had one of his best games.

“He made a few breaks up the middle and I have never seen him do that before,” Wilson said.