Monday 20 September 2010

Morningside’s withering finish to win the 2010 QAGL grand final made it every bit as good as any of the previous three successes in his reign, according to coach John Blair.

The Panthers celebrated long into last night after storming home to beat favourites Labrador by 22 points.

Blair and a core of the player group have now experienced back-to-back premierships in 2003-04 and 2009-10.

“The first one was very good, the second one meant a lot because it was against Southport and Darey (Norm Dare), where there was a friendship and relationship that meant it was nice to get one on him,” Blair said.

“Last year’s was satisfying but because of all the events that occurred with some onfield events that happened, there was a bit of a sour taste in the mouth because of the way some of our blokes got wounded.

“Today to see the hard-grinding effort and the workrate…in some respects was the best win. There was a lot of character shown.”

Blair added the quality of the Labrador team coupled with the injuries his side has had to overcome this year made the success so much more euphoric.

“Labrador are a good footy side. Fieldsy (coach Jarrod Field) has done a really good job down there and it will be interesting to see how both clubs shape up over the next couple of years,” he said.

Blair was happy with the way his side competed at the clearances, an area where Labrador enjoyed the upper hand in their previous two meetings.

“We were good in that area in the first half, fell away a bit in the third quarter but we addressed that at three quarter time and the boys came up good with it,” he said.

Poor converting in front of goal, which cost the Panthers the second semi-final against Labrador and a premiership against Southport in 2008, hurt them again in the middle quarters yesterday.

The squandered a number of gettable shots under limited pressure and Blair was concerned.

“We should have been further in front (than 14 points) at halftime and even at three quarter time it shouldn’t have been a deficit, it should have been equal points nearly,” he said.

“Basically what we’ve done for the last two weeks is kick goals at training.”

After kicking six goals from 11 shots in the second term and one from seven in the third, the Panthers straightened right up with 8.3 in the barnstorming finish.

“To our credit we kept fighting away,” Blair said.

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