By Ant Wingard
Park Ridge have earned promotion to the QFA Division 1 HART Sport Cup after a hard-fought 17-point win over geographical rivals Beenleigh in the QFA Division 2 Grand Final at Leyshon Park Yeronga on Sunday afternoon.
The Pirates prevailed in front of approximately 1000 people to claim the club’s first senior club premiership winning over the Buffaloes 12.17 (89) to 11.6 (72).
And for a club just one decade old, the historic win meant the world according to Pirates head coach Graham Adams.
“It’s pretty special. It’s unreal,” Adams told aflq.com.
“Our club is a young club and we’ve sort of come from the back blocks and moving forward. The result is a great result for the club.”
“I’m exceptionally proud of the boys to guts (sic) it out in the end.”
Windy conditions made scoring heavily favouring one end, and it was the Pirates who took full advantage of that in the opening term.
The away side drew first blood in the contest – a fitting result given their dominance in general play.
The Pirates locked the ball well within their offensive half for the better part of 15 minutes in the opening term as the young Buffaloes outfit struggle to find any kind of movement further upfield.
Despite holding a stronghold early, the Pirate’s afternoon soon got tougher after hard-nosed midfielder Nick Davidson was sent off half-way through the term. But even with a man-down, the Pirates held firm and added their second goal in the shadows of quarter time.
The windy conditions, which restricted the game to just two goals in the opening quarter, remained unrelenting early in the second term and it took until midway through the quarter for both sides to figure out the breeze.
After they did, the goals game thick and fast – first through Beenleigh who kicked their first major of the game. The Pirates responded with two goals of their own against the wind to extend their lead.
Beenleigh speedster Ryan Bernie almost singlehandedly kept the Buffaloes in the contest with two majors which kept the margin between the QFA Division 2’s top two sides to four goals.
The Buffaloes’ second-quarter fightback continued as Beenleigh booted seven goals to two in the term to draw within a single point at the main break.
Park Ridge again benefited from the win in a crucial third term and asserted their dominance back on the scoreboard.
Beenleigh matched the side for much of the term with and kicked the opening two goals after the break before the Pirates ramped up the pressure and ran away.
Park Ridge booted four goals to one in the third stanza including two from half-forward Brandon Cherry to establish a comfortable 21-point lead at the final change.
With knowledge Beenleigh would run out the game with the favourable breeze, the Pirates set about the final term looking to lock away the game early.
For the Buffaloes, it was Bernie again who looked to impose himself on the contest in the crucial early moments of the fourth quarter but he two inside 50s could muster little else apart from a handful of stoppages and one major through Bernie.
Instead, it was Park Ridge who got the jump and all but sealed away the Premiership win through a flurry of goals to Tylor Cester and Anthony Stewart.
Following the win, Park Ridge will move into the QFA Division 1 competition – something Adams said his group are already looking forward to.
“It’ll be a great challenge for the boys. To be able to challenge themselves against some good sides.”
Park Ridge midfielder Thomas Overington was judged best on ground for the Pirates in the landmark win.
QFA Division 2 Grand Final
Park Ridge AFC 1.1, 1.1, 10.14, 12.17 (89)
Beenleigh AFC 0.1, 0.1, 8.5, 11.6 (72)
QFA Division 2 Reserves
The Kenmore Bears have continued their hot-streak against the Bond University Bullsharks with a comfortable 58-point win to claim the Premiership in the QFA Division 2 Reserve Grand Final at Leyshon Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Bears had previously beaten the Bullsharks in all three of their encounters this season, including a 63-point Semi Final win a fortnight ago, and did so again in the biggest game of the season in the 10.14 (74) to 2.4 (16) affair.
Despite finishing one place below Bond University at the end of the home and away season, it didn’t take long for Kenmore to assert themselves in the contest as the northside club launched an unmitigated reign on the scoreboard.
The Bears booted the opening three majors of the game including one from Gary Chung, who made the most of his opportunity and handed Kenmore an 18-point lead early.
John Chenhall provided some reprieve for Bond University late in the term but early majors for Kenmore lifted the side to a 33-point lead at the main break.
With a comfortable buffer in place, Kenmore couldn’t add much more in what was a quiet third term for both clubs but continued with four unanswered majors in the final term as they ran away with the premiership.
The 16 points scores by Bond University was their second lowest final score of the season.
Kenmore’s Sean Rooks was awarded the best of ground medal in the Bear’s premiership triumph.
QFA Colts White
The Moreton Bay Lions have held off a second-half fightback from Victoria Point to claim the QFA Colts White Premiership by 30-points at Leyshon Park on Sunday morning.
A dominant opening half from the Lions became the catalyst of the victory as the northside club prevailed despite a scoreless third term.
Victoria Point opening the scoring with the first two majors of the day but were matched immediately by the Lions who went on to score the next eleven goals of the game.
After beating the Sharks a fortnight ago to make it into the Grand Final, the Lions’ emerged early as the better side. The Lions booted four goals during the time-on period in the opening stanza to hold a 28-point lead at the first break and extended that to 62 at half time.
But with the game’s result all but confirmed, Victoria Point mounted a comeback in the third, booting the five unanswered goals in the premiership term.
The Sharks cut the deficit to just 19 points early in the fourth but couldn’t capitalise on their repat inside 50s and mustered a frustrating string of behinds.
Will Merrilees broke the Lions’ goalless drought – a stretch that lasted nearly two quarters of football in the 17th minute to all but put the result to bed.
Moreton Bay midfielder Keily Castle was awarded the best on ground medal in the Lions’ Premiership triumph.