Submitted by Chris Yeend.
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN has stunned the Reserves football world with a jaw-dropping five-point win over Aspley in the Reserves Preliminary Final to set up a date with Labrador in the Grand Final.
The Lions trailed at every change before coming from behind in the last quarter to secure victory with the last score of the game; 6.15.51 to 6.10.46
FIRST QUARTER – Aspley start strong
The Hornets had its road to the Grand final detoured after its loss to Labrador the previous week; while PBC had to come from 20-points down at half-time to force the game against Maroochydore into extra-time, before winning by two goals.
The Hornets started strong with a few early goals; making the most of their limited chances up forward and kicking away to an early lead.
The Lions welcomed Jed Walter, Will Bella, Malachi Dumas and Brinn Little into the team who added a bit more strength around the key areas of the ground.
Aspley held firm inside the forward 50, while PBC couldn’t buy a goal, trailing by eight-points at the first term; 0.5.5 to 2.1.13.
SECOND QUARTER – Hornets stand tall
Aspley came out of the quarter-time break united and determined to quick harder together. It linked up well across the forward line with its forward half in sync and keeping the ball locked into that half of the ground.
When PBC did clear the ball from half-back, they did so really quickly but still struggled to convert.
Jed Walter made his mark on the game with a strong mark 18-minutes into the quarter and kicked PBC’s first goal after eight straight misses to cut the margin back to eight-points.
Mitchell Howson was dominant up forward for the Hornets and caused headaches for the Lions’ defense.
Aspley led by seven-points at half-time; 4.4.28 to 2.9.21.
THIRD QUARTER – Grid lock as game tightens up
Aspley stormed out of the blocks to start the third term and were desperate to hit the scoreboard early.
With scores low, and the game tightening up, Aspley couldn’t make the most of its opportunities, kicking 0.3 to start the quarter and pushing the lead out to double digits. Justice Bentley presented well up forward and Josh Cooper showcased tremendous pace and agility to keep PBC at bay.
With Aspley struggling to convert up forward, Bronson Howard kicked the goal of the day in front of the club rooms. Howard gathered the ball 25 metres out, and snapped around the body to dribble the ball through for a goal at the 12.5-minute mark.
Aspley held firm and weathered the storm to lead by eight points heading into the final change, 5.8.38 to 3.12.30.
FINAL QUARTER – Walter takes over
With the game firmly in the balance and a place in the Grand Final awaiting the winner; Jed Walter launched into the pack 15 metres out from goal for PBC and took a strong contested mark; and kicked truly to cut the margin back to two-points.
Aspley responded shortly after to push the margin back out to two kicks in a see-sawing affair.
When Lachlan Jolley received a free kick for the Lions 25-metres out from goal at the 17-minute mark, his kick on goal cut the margin to just one-point.
With both sides showing desperation, Kuot Thok took an outstanding contested mark for Aspley in defense late in the quarter to give his team possession and a chance to slow the ball down.
Walter made his mark again for the Lions with another big clunk at the top of the goal square and kicked his third goal at the 21-minute mark of the term, putting his team in front for the first time in the game.
Unfortunately for the home-side, Walter’s kick was the final act of scoring as both teams battled out the final six-minutes and Palm Beach Currumbin storming to another famous win; its third come-from-behind victory from three finals matches.
PBC won 6.15.51 to 6.10.46 and now advance to play Labrador in the Grand Final; a team that beat them by 119-points earlier in the year and then again by 27-points late in the season.
Image by Anthony Byron Photography.