Former Gold Coast Suns trialist Brad Rees was best afield as Redland won the QAFL Reserves Grand Final.

Sunday, 19 September, 2011

The Redland Bombers savored a special moment in club history when they posted a 37-point win over Southport in the QAFL Reserves Grand Final at Victoria Point today.

Former Gold Coast Suns trialist Brad Rees was best afield as the Bombers survived a spirited Sharks fightback in the second term to win 14-11 (95) to 8-10 (58).

It was club’s first senior premiership since they joined the State League competition in 2000 and a fitting if totally unrelated recognition for the excellent job they did in hosting the 2011 NEAFL Northern Conference Grand Final that followed.

Redland looked to have the game in their keeping early when the scoreboard showed 9-3 to 1-5 at the 11-minute mark of the second term.

But Southport, who had come from seven goals down to beat Mt.Gravatt in the preliminary final a week earlier, were not about to be denied. Again.

They kicked the last three goals of the second quarter and the first three goals of the third quarter to cut the margin to nine points.

Suddenly it was game on. And none answered the challenge better than Rees.

The 19-year-old midfielder, who finished third in the Gold Coast’s TAC Cup B&F in 2009 before playing three VFL games with the Suns in 2010, was a magnificent contributor around the middle of the ground and topped off his work beautifully around goals.

Rees kicked Redland’s 10th and 11th goals to stem the Southport charge after having bagged an earlier goal in his side’s brilliant first term.

By three-quarter time the home side had taken back the ascendancy, leading by 32 points, and they were never seriously challenged again.

Earlier, Justin Carey had sparked the Bomber early onslaught.

Having missed the first half of the season through injury after being a senior regular in 2009-10, the powerfully built forward kicked three goals in the first time and could easily have had a fourth, having also hit the post.

It was all about the Bombers’ most experienced and better credentialed players early.

Anthony Corrie, former Brisbane Lions and Collingwood AFL player, also kicked an early goal while looking dangerous up forward. Like Rees, he finished with three.

Adam Oxley, a Queensland U18 representative in 2010-11 who has caught the eye of several AFL talent scouts, kicked the other goal of the first term and he also finished with three.

Redland led 6-3 to 1-5 at quarter-time and when Carey, Oxley and Corrie bagged the first three goals of the second term it looked like it was going to be a blow-out.

But Southport skipper Jarrod Searle had other ideas. Having kicked his side’s only goal in the first term he kicked two quick ones to spark a revival, and when Mitch Hopkins followed it was a slightly more manageable 9-3 to 4-5 at halftime.

Brad Scalzo, picking up a stack of ball around the midfield, opened he scoring in the second half ahead of Matt Fowler, another Gold Coast trialist, who was swung into the midfield by Southport coach Paul Marshall to good effect.

Fowler kicked the Sharks’ sixth goal, and was followed closely onto the scoresheet by Fraser Thurlow, winner of Queensland’s Most Valuable Player Award at this year’s NAB Australian U18 Championships.

Southport had kicked six unanswered goals including three in three minutes to pull within two kicks.

But as quickly as they gained the momentum they lost it via Rees and his spirited Redland side.

Oxley kicked truly from 48m right on the three-quarter time siren to make it 12-9 to 7-7, and as hard as the Gold Coasters tried to rally there was nothing left.

Having conceded the minor premiership to Redland in the final round of the home-and-away season and then lost to them again in the major semi-final, it went on to become three Redland victories in a row against the Gold Coast powerhouse.

Dalton Tucker, the State U18 captain, was judged best overall for the Sharks from former Gold Coast Suns signing Jesse Haberfield, Thurlow, Scalzo,. Brock Askey and Matthew Smith.

Rees and Carey, who finished with a game-high four goals, were named best for Redland from Kyle Thomson, Travis Reynolds, Tyler Jones and Joel Conroy.

Winning Redland coach Chris David acknowledged not just his 22 grand final players but the entire squad of 35 who were eligible to play in the Reserves finals.

He spoke of the self-belief in the group in the lead-up to the grand final while also thanking his assistant coaches, the support staff, Redland president Colin Tobiasen and club development manager Craig Millar, and the ever-vocal Bombers supporters who turned up in good numbers for the early start.

Match Details

Redland       6-3   9-3   12-9    14-11-95
Southport    1-5   4-5     7-7     8-10-58

Goals: Redland: J. Carey 4, A. Corrie 3, B. Rees 3, A. Oxley 3, S. Godfrey. Southport: J. Searle 3, H. Browne , B. Scalzo , F. Thurlow , M. Hopkins , M. Fowler.
Best: Redland: B. Rees, J. Carey, K. Thomson, T. Reynolds, T. Jones, J. Conroy. Southport: D. Tucker, J. Haberfield, F. Thurlow, B. Scalzo, B. Askey, M. Smith

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