By Beth Newman
A five-goal final term flurry was enough for Sandgate to claim the 2013 SEQAFL Div 1 Colts premiership, 13.17 (95) – 7.13 (55), over Wilston Grange.
The Hawks had the slightest of upper hands all day, but looked inspired as the final term kicked off, with five unanswered majors.
Their superior fitness showed as the game went on, with speedsters like Luke Barker and Adam Tipungwuti damaging in the last.
The final score looked more comfortable than the game had been for much of the day, with both sides having opportunities to get on top
It was a tight first quarter at Giffin Park, and the Gorillas set the bar high from the get go with a spectacular boundary line goal from Jimmy Gotts at the first clearance.
The Hawks had the say of the opening quarter, though, and their defensive pressure was too much for Grange.
In a second-quarter arm wrestle, only three goals were scored, with Grange kicking two.
The Hawls’ pressure was sensational in the backline and through the midfield, while their rebounding ability punished the Gorillas at the other end.
Grange’s Lachie McKellar had a sensational game on a losing side, with some incredible bursts of speed, leaving the Hawks in his wake.
Gotts was well-held for much of the day, but threatened to have an impact as the final quarter kicked off.
The league’s leading goal kicker couldn’t quite convert, though, under a tremendous amount of pressure.
Wayward kicking plagues both sides all day, and the Hawks will rue some of their missed chances through the day.
Trent Ely kicked the game sealer, and his third for the day, with two minutes to go, and the Hawks knew they had won it from there.
The win was all the sweeter for the Hawks, who had tasted grand final defeat last year by only 11 points.
Barker collected the best on ground medal for his brilliant performance.
Hawks coach, Scott Coooper, paid tribute to the Gorillas for what has become a strong rivalry in the colts competition.
“It all came together on the day for us,” Cooper said.
“We’ve had some cracking rivalries not just today, but through history and it was another good one today.
Gorillas coach, John Galligan said the loss would not take away the connection between his players.
“We’ve got enough talent in the ranks to hold the club in good stead,” he said.
“ I know you guys are hurting right now but the one thing you still have is mateship, so stick tight.”
Click here to see how the match unfolded: http://bit.ly/15YCoSQ