By Sophie Wheeler
AFL Wide Bay
Hervey Bay Bombers vs Gympie Cats
Saturday 18th August 2018
Final Score: Hervey Bay Bombers 11.10. 76 defeated by Gympie Cats 13.8.87
The Gympie Cats have snatched a place in the Grand Final from minor premiers the Hervey Bay Bombers in a hard-fought match on Saturday afternoon.
The two sides have been each other’s closest rivals all year, concluding the regular season on the same points and winning two games apiece across their four encounters by almost identical margins.
As predicted, the match was a neck-and-neck contest throughout the whole four quarters.
The Cats booted four goals three behinds in the first quarter, earning them a narrow six point lead as they headed into the first break.
The Cats dominated the second term, restricting the Bombers to just two scoring shots as they stretched their lead to 38 points heading into the main break.
The Bombers booted 4 goals 3 behinds in the final quarters while the Cat’s scored two goals four.
The Cat’s mediocre third-quarter performance in front of goal reduced the margin to 29 points – a tough but achievable scoring target for the Bombers to surpass in the final term.
The Bombers put on a gutsy, exciting show in the final quarter, locking the ball in their attacking half for the most of the term and restricting the Cats to just 1 scoring shot.
The Bombers last-quarter domination resulted in 5 scoring shots, reducing the margin to a nail-biting 11 points before the siren sounded to declare the Cats victors.
Gympie’s Bronzen Rowlands was a key contributor to the side’s narrow win, booting an impressive 5 goals throughout the game.
The Cats have earnt a week off in the lead up to the Grand Final, while the Bombers must defeat the Bay Power in next week’s preliminary final for a shot at redemption.
Bay Power vs Brothers Bulldogs
Saturday 18th August 2018
Final Score: Bay Power 11.13.79 defeated Brothers Bulldogs 5.10.40
Brothers Bulldog’s finals crusade has come to an end with Bay Power comfortably defeating them in Saturday’s knock-out semi-final.
The odds were in favour of Bay Power heading into the match, having completed the regular season 20 points clear of the Bulldogs and having won three of their four encounters this year.
Power were rearing to go from the first siren, booting a whopping 7 goals and 3 behinds to the Bulldog’s solitary goal and heading into the first break with a 39-point lead.
The second term was a much lower-scoring affair, with both sides suffering from inaccuracy in front of goal.
The two sides had four scoring shots apiece, with Power slotting one goal three while the Bulldogs could muster only four behinds.
Bay Power maintained their dominant performance throughout the third term, stretching their already-comfortable lead out to 41 points as they headed into the final break.
The Bulldogs were the more dominant side in the final term, clocking more scoring shots and forward entries than their opponent, but still struggling to convert major scores.
Regardless, the Bulldogs last-quarter effort was no match for the impressive lead Bay Power established early in the game- Power were 39 points in front as the final siren sounded.
Power’s win over the Bulldogs propels them through to the preliminary finals, where they will tackle the Hervey Bay Bombers in a fight for the remaining spot in the Grand Final.
Yeppoon vs Glenmore
Saturday, 18th of August 2018
Final Score: Yeppoon Swans 10.11.71 defeated Glenmore Bulls 5.6.36
The Yeppoon Swans have earned a ticket to the Grand Final after producing a comfortable win over the Glenmore Bulls on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls went into the match as clear underdogs, having lost all three encounters against the Swans this season by 11 goals or more.
Despite this, Glenmore managed to keep the undefeated minor premiers at bay for the first quarter and they headed into the first break leading the Swans 14 points to 12.
Yeppoon were plagued with inaccuracy in front of goal in the second term- of their six scoring shots throughout the quarter, just one sailed between the big sticks.
However, with the footy spending most of the quarter down the Swan’s scoring end, Glenmore were restricted to just one goal and the Swans headed into the main break with a three point lead.
Yeppoon were able to shake off their bad luck in front of goal during the third quarter, with all four of their scoring shots finding their way through the middle.
The Swans headed into the third-quarter break with a comfortable 24-point lead, meaning the Bulls would need to produce a miracle to claw their way back in front.
A last-ditch comeback for the Bulls was not to be- The Swans dominated in the final term, taking nine scoring shots to the Bull’s three and finishing 35 points in front as the final siren sounded.
Yeppoon’s win was a true team effort, with nine players making their way onto the goalkickers list.
The Swans will enjoy a week off while Glenmore take on the BITS Saints in a fight for the final spot in the Grand Final.