We take a look at the two big school grand finals played on the Darling Downs this month.
Toowoomba Grammar has won their 3rd straight Darling Downs Open Division AFL Independent Schools Cup with a comfortable 70 point victory over traditional rivals Downlands College.
Grammar jumped out of the blocks well in the first quarter with midfielder Mitch Golding booting the opening goal. With four other individual goal kickers in the first term, the GPS powerhouse went into the first break with a handy 30 point lead.
Downlands found their feet in the second term and dominated possession for the majority of the quarter with State representative Josh Smith influencing the game with his cleanness and delivery. Unfortunately the dominance in possession didn’t reflect on the scoreboard with inaccurate kicking keeping Downlands to 1.4 for the quarter. At the main break Downlands had reduced Grammar’s margin to 24 points.
In what was described by many as the turning point in the game, Downlands lost the services of Marcus Tanzer just before half time for the remainder of the match and had to play the majority of the 3rd quarter down 1 player. Grammar used this to their advantage booting four unanswered goals for the quarter and at the last break held a match winning 51 point lead.
This lead blew out further in the last quarter and when Alec Beeston booted his second goal for the quarter the win belonged to Grammar. The final margin had Grammar recording a comfortable victory 13.12. 90 to Downlands 2.8.20.
Grammar coach Charlie Aston praised the efforts of his group after the game where half back/utility Sam Marshall was adjudged best on ground, while Downlands captain Josh Smith won the league MVP award and Ryan Fletcher (Downlands) the leading goal kicker for the season.
The U15 division grand final will be contested at Gold Park today (25th October) at 4:15pm with Our Lady of the Southern Cross College from Dalby travelling in to take on Downlands College.
STATE HIGH SCHOOLS RIVAL FOR LIONS CUP GLORY
Centenary Heights SHS have won their second Open Division AFL Lions Cup with a comfortable 47 point victory over Pittsworth SHS.
In the top schools’ competition for State High Schools on the Darling Downs, ‘The Heights’ last won the premiership in 2006, so a good start was imperative to success. Captain Scott Blake got them off to the perfect start with two opening quarter goals. But to Pittsworth’s credit, they answered with two goals of their own from Balzer and Weymouth and at quarter time Centenary held a slender one point lead.
Centenary asserted their stamp on the game in the second term and dominated possession for the majority of the quarter with Riak Deng booting 2 goals and Tom Wainwright adding another. At the main break Centenary had opened up a handy 15 points advantage.
The third term was much the same as the second with Pittsworth battling extremely hard but falling short of finding a way to keep constant scoreboard pressure on their opponents and it looked as though Centenary just had a bit more class across the field. The Heights booted three unanswered goals in the third term, and at the last break held an almost unassailable 37 point lead.
To Pittsworth’s credit they never gave up all game and fought the game out well with two last quarter goals. But Centenary had too many winners around the paddock and when Dale Carlish booted his third goal for the game the match was sewn up with Centenary recording a 12.10.82 to 5.5.35 victory.
In a reflection of Pittsworth’s attitude to never give in, the man of the match went to their lively small Jake Morris who was exceptional through all four quarters of the game. Pittsworth players Jackson Luscombe and Tom O’Sullivan won the League MVP and League Leading Goal Kicker awards respectively. But the day belonged to Centenary Heights, coached by Mike Hetherington, who were deserving winners after going through the entire season without a loss.