Yeronga South Brisbane 9.17 (71) def. Wilston Grange 3.5 (23)
The Yeronga South Brisbane Devils have downed Wilston Grange to book a place in next Sunday’s grand final where they face off against Coorparoo.
It took them a while to work themselves into the game, but once Yeronga had their measure, they were virtually unstoppable on their way to a barnstorming 48-point win
The Gorillas were first to hit the scoreboard, with an assured drop punt from Jacqui Yorston setting Grange up to lead by seven points at the first break.
Yeronga responded in the second, using the powerful wind at their back to full advantage by locking the footy inside 50 for a sizeable chunk of the quarter. Despite having all of the possession and territory, it was more inaccuracy in front of goals which cost Yeronga, registering nine behinds.
Some fluid ball movement in the dying minutes of the half gave the Devils fans some confidence, with Camilla Burnet finding Emma Aeschlimann in the corridor. Aeschlimann had space to surge through the middle and unload a long bomb from outside 50 which bounced through kindly to give Yeronga their second goal for the term.
The Gorillas were able to make up some ground in the third term, but the scoring dried up as the wind faltered. They managed two for the quarter, both off the boot of Lauretta Dowling who looked the goods for Grange inside 50.
Despite an inspiring goal from Sabrina Frederick-Traub on the boundary line, the Devils found themselves leading by just six with the final quarter still to come.
While the wind had just about completely disappeared by this stage, it seemed as if Yeronga had switched their sail out for a motor after three quarter time. The Devils, who had looked threatening all day without causing too much damage, could do no wrong.
A six-goal final quarter was the recipe for Grange’s last supper. Two goals went to Leach, who had been flirting with the woodwork all afternoon but not managed to put one through the sticks. Selina Puruntatmeri was red-hot in the dying minutes, showing off her silky skills with a couple of superb goals to raucous applause from the home crowd.
While Grange were able to match it with Yeronga for three quarters, they fell down at the final hurdle and didn’t look capable of challenging the surging Yeronga in the fourth. Tahlia Randall, Jacqui Yorston and Lauretta Dowling were the standouts for the Gorillas on the night, showing plenty of promise at crucial moments.
Jamie Stanton was good early but a knee to the back in the second quarter ended her night prematurely, along with key defender Heidi Thompson who succumbed to a troublesome wrist injury late in the game.
Sam Virgo and Renee Cowan started strongly for the Devils, but it was Courtney Bromage and Emily Bates who were the most damaging in the Yeronga midfield.
All eyes now shift to next Sunday’s decider. They’ve been the best two sides in the competition all year, and Yeronga and Coorparoo will rightly battle it out for the QWAFL crown at 3:15pm. The match will be live-streamed via www.aflq.com.au
By Josh Cheadle