Dreams came true for the lucky school students who ran out on the Gabba Wednesday to contest the Brisbane Lions Cup grand finals.
It is only a select few outside of the Brisbane Lions and visiting AFL teams who get to play on the hallowed turf; and for one day a year AFL Queensland are fortunate enough to be allowed access to run school grand finals.
A large group of Brisbane Lions players were also on hand throughout the day watching the games, stopping for photos with fans and assisting present the medallions and trophies.
In front of a large media contingent, Lions’ co-captain Jonathan Brown officially opened the day to the thrill of the crowd, and tossed the coin for the first matches of the day – the Primary Boys and Primary Girls grand finals.
In the girls’ final Tullawong State School from Caboolture made their first appearance at the Gabba, while Coorparoo’s Our Lady of Mt Carmel School once again showed the depth of AFL talent at their school, making the final for the third time in four years.
In what was the most thrilling match of the day, the lead changed several times in the last quarter before Mt Carmel took the title defeating Tullawong by five points, 5.8.38 to 4.9.33.
Tullawong’s Lily Postlewaite was adjudged best on ground, winning the Carol Berry Medal, a key player for her side in the narrow loss.
The Primary Boys’ final saw reigning premiers Nudgee Junior College from Indooroopily going for their third straight title against Sunshine Coast Grammar School.
Whilst Grammar put up a very strong performance, Nudgee Junior was once again dominant with Max Clayton starring in his best-on-ground performance for the premiers.
Simon Black and Brent Moloney were among the Lions’ players who presented the players with their medallions and trophies at the end of the match.
In the 8/9 Boys’ final, the Sunshine Coast’s Matthew Flinders Anglican College made the trip south to take on Lions Cup newcomers Brisbane Boys’ College from Toowong.
Simon black tossed the coin for the captains before the game started, a thrill for the boys.
Flinders showed kicking accurately was a real strength of their game, only kicking a sole behind. But BBC proved too strong for their rivals, extending their lead throughout the game, eventually running out 29 point winners 11.6.72 to 7.1.43.
BBC’s Max Webber was awarded the Daniel Merrett Medal for his best on ground performance, presented by the Lions’ James Polkinghorne.
The day was capped off with the Schools of Excellence playing their senior final, in which Palm Beach Currumbin SHS defeated Helensvale by 19 points. You can find more details on this match in our earlier website story.
Throughout the course of 2013, each region in the Brisbane Lions’ academy zone has conducted carnival days and competitions under the umbrella of the ‘Brisbane Lions Cup’.
Open to every school in the Brisbane Lions’ academy zone, the pathway for winning schools leads through regional pool finals until the grand finalists met at the Gabba on Wednesday.
Schools located in the Gold Coast SUNS’ academy zone (Gold Coast, Central & North Queensland) play in the Gold Coast SUNS Cup, with a similar pathway and finals to be played next Tuesday 30th July at Metricon Stadium.