By Terry Wilson

NOOSA made it back-to-back premierships in the Pineapple Hotel Cup when they thrashed Palm Beach-Currumbin in a one-sided grand final at Fisherman’s Road on Saturday.
Noosa, full of vigour and far and away physically stronger than their rivals, took the flag home to the northern tip of the Sunshine Coast by 16.6 (102) to 5.6 (36).
There has not been a QAFL second division grand final won by such a clear margin since 2007 when PBC trounced Western Magpies by 64 points.
Sadly for those who went to watch what promised to be a classic contest between the durable (Noosa) and the slick (PBC), the contest was as good as over by quarter-time after a controversial opening term when Noosa had a howling south-westerly at their backs.
The Tigers led 8.3 to 0.0 at the first break, aided somewhat by the wind but also by the sending-off of two Palm Beach players after separate flare-ups when umpires deemed the Lions pair to be at fault.
Minus perhaps their best two on-ballers in the ‘Bad Brads’ – Brad Hards and Brad Hewat – with red cards, the Lions were reduced to 20 players for the remainder of the contest.
Noosa were fortunate not to lose fiery ruckman Peter Trompf, who was merely cautioned for his role by being issued a yellow card, which drew a stint in the sin-bin.
As shattered PBC co-captain Matt Carroll said afterwards: “Two reds to one yellow and it’s game over.”
That it certainly was, although it must be said PBC were their own worst enemies.
Carroll agreed with that line, to a certain extent At least, but he was clearly frustrated by the heavy free-kick count, saying so many 50-50s that went against his side was a major contributor as well.
Super veteran James Drake, again one of the Lions best, had no doubts ill-discipline was at the root of PBC’s woes.
“It cost us, you would have to think, wouldn’t you,” he said of at least three goals Noosa claimed from double 50-metre frees. “You just can’t do it, can you,” he said.
“But I think the best side won it.”
PBC were, to put it bluntly, totally undisciplined. Sure, they copped some rough decisions from the umpires in the free-kick department, including 11-3 in the first quarter and 15-6 in the second.
PBC coach Craig O’Brien was also in the sights of the umpires. O’Brien was booked by the emergency umpire under rule 19.2.2c (which covers insulting, abusive, threatening or obscene language during the first quarter, then by a field umpire for the same thing during the quarter-time break.
 O’Brien even cost PBC a 50-metre free kick, and subsequent goal, when he encroached on to the playing field after being reported.
So it was not the best way for O’Brien to end his coaching career with the Lions. Four grand finals in five seasons for two premierships did not deserve such a humiliating ending, but even he would concede his side did not deserve to win this one.
Noosa were champions in the tough stuff, as they always are.
Pre-match talk centred on Noosa as likely winners if it was wet. The Lions would come into their own if it was dry when their speed and skills would cover the toughness of the Tigers.
Instead, the wind factor was instrumental. Because of it, the ball spent a lot of time on the deck, where Noosa reigned supreme.
In the first quarter, especially, they seemed to have numbers everywhere the ball went. It was obvious from that term the 2010 champions were going to successfully defend their title.
When Noosa, ahead by 51 points at quarter-timer, kicked the first goal of the second quarter, whatever chance the Lions may have held were snuffed out by a goal from three 50-metre frees awarded against David Manning.
That was it and from then on it was a matter of completing the job with a minimum of fuss.
Coach Wayne Fletcher, who now has the record of third, second, first and first in four seasons at Weyba Road,
Fletcher was not concerned by whatever conditions prevailed on the big day. He was of the view that both teams had to cope with whatever came and the Tigers would adjust where necessary.
“Our actions and decisions were going to decide our fate, and I thought we did that to perfection,” he said.
As for the matter of red cards being shown to two Lions players, Fletcher said he was a touch confused as to what was going on, but no doubt the send-offs came as a huge bonus for the free-wheeling Tigers.
“At the end of the day – and I’m not questioning their tactic – I suppose they were playing with fire and they got burnt,” he said.
“We can focus only on what we do and I was more than happy with my players for the discipline they showed under extreme pressure.”
Big Brett Duke, one of the Tigers longest-serving players, was named winner of the Ray Poulter Medal for best-on-ground, but he had a truckload of rivalos for the individual honour.
None more so that captain Adam Bovalino in defence, Brooks Durdin on a wing, centreman Lucas Matthews and small forwards Zac Smith and Travis Mills.
That list leaves out some outstanding contributors, such was the all-round effort of the Tigers.
“Having 22 blokes totally committed to each other and having a strong desire to succeed has been the key to our success,” noted Fletcher.
Bad news for  rival PHC clubs is that Fletcher is keen to go on against next year – and he does not expect many losses from the playing roster.
“That result makes me very enthusiastic about continuing on,” said Fletcher.
“We’ll talk to the club but I’d love to stay on board.
“I think we have the right formula there, so I can‘t see any reason why we can’t continue to succeed next year and the years beyond.”
Palm Beach, who will be looking for a new coach after Craig O’Brien’s pre-match decision to step down, had too many players who were outclassed in close – and that was the order of the day in the wind.
But Drake, speed machine Arnold Knight, centreman Brad Horn and co-captain Angus Munro and Darryl Dyson did their best to stem the overwhelming Tiger attacking sorties.

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