By Ant Wingard
QFA Division 1 HART Sport Cup Grand Final
The Maroochydore Roos have claimed their second straight premiership in the QFA Division 1 HART Sport Cup with a thrilling one-point Grand Final win over arch rivals Noosa in an all-time classic at Leyshon Park on Saturday afternoon.
After holding a steady two goal lead for most of the game, a late goal to ruckman Cody Thorp was enough for the Roos to withstand the fast-finishing Tigers in the 11.18 (84) t o12.11 (83) affair.
Over 1100 spectators witness the Roos repeat their 2017 heroics over the same side as Maroochydore and Noosa added another stellar chapter in a glittered on-field rivalry between the two Sunshine Coast clubs.
Maroochydore head coach Andrew Cazdow knew of the enormity of another premiership win but applauded the character of his group when it mattered most.
“It’s fantastic. It was 21 years between premierships but now we’ve won two in a row,” Cazdow told aflq.com.au after the siren.
“It is a very good group of young men and they’ve taken advantage of growing up together and playing together and soon enough, you start playing good games of footy. We did that today.”
The Roos were forced to hold of a lingering Noosa side who never trailed by more than 19-points throughout the game but came home strong in the final term to fall agonisingly short of another premiership.
With scores level at three quarter time, Noosa piled on three goals to two in the final term, but ironically, it was Maroochydore’s inaccuracy in front of goal – a final scorline of 11.18 – which became the difference in the end.
“Of course, we were worried. We really didn’t hurt them a bit a couple of times where we kicked seven or eight points,” Cazdow said.
“We had the opportunity to really break the game open, but we missed, and we kept them in the game. We had real character to sort of get back and win the game.”
In the opening term, Noosa drew first blood after winning the first clearance of the game through the crafty work of small forward Jai Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick’s magic was paired with the Tigers’ second goal, which came via Will O’Dwyer shortly after, before the Roos responded through skipper Daniel Dzufer and Josh Norman on the stroke of quarter time.
The Roos’ lead at quarter time was shortly culled by the Tigers who kicked the opening three goals of the second term but in much the same way as the opening stanza, Maroochydore willed their way back into the contest with two late goals to again hit the lead before the break.
Hostilities between the two Sunshine Coast clubs were reunited quickly after half time with each side nailing home goals in quick succession.
But just when Maroochydore looked poised to storm away with the win having kicked four of the first five goals in the premiership term, Noosa found a way to respond emphatically.
Majors to Tigers trio Sam Faure, Kent Delbridge and Jai Fitzpatrick culled the Roos’ lead to just seven at the final change.
Noosa quickly kicked the first major of the final term after a barrage of behinds to level the score.
The Tigers produced countless repeat inside 50s and finally hit the front after a snap from Corey Boardman sailed through and handed the home side their first lead since the second term.
But Maroochydore responded with majors from Mitchell Scholard and Cody Thorp to hand the side a seven-point lead with around ten minutes remaining. A late goal from Tigers’ playing-coach Sam Faure again lifted Noosa to within one point but despite launching several more inside 50s in the dying stages, they were unable to add anything more as the Roos ran away premiers, again.
As the two genuine powerhouses of the Division 1 HART Sport Cup competition and with both teams based on the Sunshine Coast, the rivalry between them continues to grow, and according to Cazdow, Saturday’s Grand Final thriller could be the best game of the lot and was full of praise for his opponents.
“It was one of the best.”
“Sam (Faure) and his group at Noosa have been fantastic over the past three, four; five years. The rivalry on the coast in fantastic.”
“We were fortunate in the end to be in front. I guess it was just the case of who was in front when the final siren went.”
2018 QFA Division 1 HART Sport Cup
Noosa v Maroochydore
Maroochydore AFC 3.2, 5.11, 9.16, 11.18 (84)
Noosa AFC 2.3, 5.4, 9.9, 12.11 (83)
GOALS, Maroochydore AFC: M. Scholard 4, J. Norman 2, D. Dzufer 1, C. Thorp 1, N. Cumberland 1, J. Gale 1, M. Bond 1. Noosa AFC: J. Fitzpatrick 3, L. Kenny 3, S. Faure 2, C. Boardman 2, K. Delbridge 1, W. O’Dwyer 1.
QFA Division 1 Reserves
Maroochydore earned bragging rights over Noosa for the first time on Saturday afternoon as the Roos’ claimed a mammoth 57-point win in the Division 1 Reserves competition.
In windy conditions in front of a big crowd at Leyshon Park, Yeronga, the Roos made the most of their opportunities inside 50 – something the Tigers struggled to do – to run away 12.9 (81) to 2.12 (24) in the Grand Final.
The win signifies a turning point in the reserve competition for Maroochydore after the same team suffered defeat against Noosa in the big dance last year.
After a tense opening term where just two goals were kicked, Maroochydore ramped up the pressure to emerge clear victors in the contest.
The Roos booted eight of the nine goals scored after quarter time as Noosa struggled to find lethality on the scoreboard.
The game was played mostly on Leyshon Park’s commentary-side wing through the opening half, and it was Maroochydore who emerged as the side willing to take the risk and switch the play through the corridor – a decision which all but delivered a premiership to the Sunshine Coast club.
Their assault continued in the final term as the side added three majors before the final siren sounded.
QFA Colts Maroon Grand Final
Southport 7.1, 10.3, 13.10, 16.11 (107)
Maroochydore 6.2, 10.4, 12.7, 13.10 (88)
GOALS, Southport: D. Lewis 8, K. Lawson 2, S. Hilton-Joyce 2, M. Johnson 2, A. Fyfe 1, J. Gore 1. Maroochydore: T. Wischnat 4, J. Leth 2, C. Hooper 2, T. Townson 2, T. Holt 1, A. Duncan 1, J. Wyatt 1.
Southport managed to repent their loss against Maroochydore from a fortnight ago to win the QFA Colts Maroon Grand Final by 19-points.
In the first game of Saturday’s Grand Final triple header at Leyshon Park, Yeronga, the Sharks withstood the Roos after both sides went toe to toe through the opening three stanzas in the 16.11 (107) to 13.10 (88).
Both Southport and Maroochydore, who finished the home and away season in first and second place on the ladder respectively, raced out of the blocks and booted a combined 13 goals in a blitzkrieg opening term.
Their potency on the scoreboard continued in the second and third terms with little separating the God Coast and Sunshine Coast sides, with the margins resting at just one point at half time and nine points at the final break.
Such was the evenness in the contest that the biggest margin between the two sides through the first three and a half quarters was just 13 points as the lead was exchanged six times.
The even and high scoring affair was broken open in the fourth term as Southport willed themselves ahead.
The away side kicked three goals to one in the final term, including two to key forward Dillon Lewis who was named the game’s best player, steered the Sharks to their breakthrough premiership triumph.