LABRADOR v. PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN
Labrador 4.0, 9.3, 12.8, 15.12 (102)
Palm Beach Currumbin 3.3, 5.4, 6.6, 7.7 (49)
Back-to-back. Three words that are going to sound very sweet to Labrador fans for the next 364 days.
The Tigers are the 2016 QAFL Premiers, and they did it in emphatic fashion.
From the first bounce, they put the game on their terms.
They out-pressured the Lions, and they made them kick down the line to a contest.
That was always going to win them the game, because it’s what got them to the Grand Final, and off their deathbed after round 6.
The Lions tried all day to use the short kick, open it up by foot and get on their bikes, but they were climbing Everest without a Sherpa.
Wayde Mills – the 2016 Joe Grant Medalist for best on ground – was the man early.
He had four intercept marks in the first quarter alone to chop the Lions off at the knee.
The Tigers made the most of their opportunities in the first, whereas the Lions, who had the breeze, were a bit wasteful.
Palm Beach turned into the walking wounded in the second quarter. Steve Thynne was on one leg, Josh Woolley rolled an ankle, Jackson Emblem went down with what looked to be a serious knee injury… It was a nightmare for Chad Owens and his coaching staff.
But the Lions found something late. Flinn Chisholm was getting busy, Max Spencer went forward with immediate effect, and Emblem came back from the dead to kick the last of the half.
It was still a 23-point deficit, but the game had a pulse.
The Tigers thought otherwise.
Bryce Retzlaff kicked two of the first three in the second half to open up a 41-point Tiger advantage.
The fourth quarter was one-way traffic.
Dyer kicked the first, but Baxter’s bomb from 65-metres was the killer blow. It was lights out at the 16-minute mark.
Retzlaff capped off the afternoon with his sixth late in the piece to bring the cup back to Cooke-Murphy Oval.
Retzy led the team superbly. He said once he walked in at the start of this year this flag was the goal, and he delivered.
He also had a lot of mates along for the ride with him. Bill Hicks was great in the midfield, Jake Goldsmith was clunking everything… you could write something about all 22; they had contributors everywhere.
For Palm Beach Currumbin, Asky, Spencer and Chisholm can hold their heads high. They left everything out there today.
For a team that was 2-4, that’s sweet victory.
Two premierships in two years. It’s something they haven’t achieved since their 1993-94 triumph.
Perry Meka – Labrador
Chad Owens – Labrador
“We didn’t take our chances on in the first quarter, which was our best chance, and it changed the game.
“We lost a few troops, which didn’t help.
“Labrador were too good from the first bounce today. They had 22 contributors, and that was the difference.
“I’m really proud of this group though. They never gave up today, and they have done everything we have asked all year.”
By Andrew Wiles