Grand Final Review
As all of our great supporters are aware, last Saturday will be long remembered when the clubs 25 year premiership drought came to an end. With 30 seconds to go, the 44 point margin in the last premiership in 1996 looked like it would be replicated, with a late goal aided by a 5o metre penalty incurred after our players began celebrating the final siren, and ran over the mark. It mattered little however as the Cats won a hard fought but in the end pretty convincing 38 points.
A 2-3 goal breeze favouring the Southern end aided Maroochydore to skip to an early 2 goal lead before opportunist goals by LOWER and ARMITAGE and a set shot by BURTON arrested the momentum. NELSON was creating great run and carry from the backline and Searl chimed in with a couple of important intercept marks. A couple of late goals to the opposition even up the score at ¼ time however the feeling was that we were in a good position considering the breeze.
In the second stanza, with PICKERING’s second efforts in the ruck aiding some telling clearance work by LOWER, CHADWICK and FISHER the Cats were able to pile on 5 goals to 1 to go into the break 4 goals clear. Brad LOWE became a key target with Maroochydore focussing a lot of their defensive efforts on the Mayor and took 8 marks, 3 of them contested to go with 2 goals in a great display. GILMORE showed just how dangerous he can be with one of his 3 goals being an outstanding individual effort where he first took possession in D50, ran forward to receive and then kicked truly from 50 under pressure.
The third quarter became an arm wrestle resulting in only 2 scoring shots each, however the Roos kicked 2 straight to 0.2 to close the margin to 15 points and the final change. Some desperate efforts by the back 6 prevented more scoring by the Sunshine Coast team with spoiling efforts by ARNOLD a feature. There were plenty of nervous people at the ground knowing that Maroochydore to their great credit had come over the top of their opponents in the final ¼ in all three finals matches, and the Cats were short on match fitness having played once in 2 months.
Coach O’Brien implored his players to do “whatever it takes” to bring home the flag in the last. Which is exactly what they did. Clutch goals by LOWE, MONCRIEFF and a team lifting run down tackle by BURTON made it clear to all that the resolve of the this playing group ensured the trophy would head to SUBARU OVAL. Always the showman Sam JASPER but the icing on a great cake by taking a speccy and goaling right in front of the faithful late in the game.
Congratulations to Liam NELSON who was awarded the Joe Grant medal for his 21 disposals and 7 tackles, and a similar amount of running bounces. LOWER with 34 possessions, 2 goals, 9 clearances and 8 tackles was back to his very best and ERICKSON (28 & 7 tackles) and CHADWICK (21, 4 clearances, 6 tackles) also worked tirelessly.
Unfortunately, our colts went down earlier in the day to Labrador who went through the season undefeated in that competition. LEQUESNE, DAWSON, ECKERSLEY, ROGERS and SEMMLER were amongst the best. Congrats to all involved in making it through to the GF.
Looking forward to celebrating a great season for the Cats at the JIM STUBBS GALA BALL. Please go to https://www.stickytickets.com.au/MS3KA to purchase your tickets for what will be a memorable night.