By Ant Wingard
Broadbeach have claimed the first of the two Grand Final showdowns with Palm Beach Currumbin as the Cats sailed to a comfortably 47-point win in the QAFL Reserve Grand Final.
After overcoming a slow opening term, the Cats ramped up the pressure after the main break and dominated proceedings in the 12.11 (83) to 5.6 (36) affair.
Led by spearhead Daniel Seri who booted a game-high five goals, Broadbeach kicked an unprecedented nine goals to one in the second half.
The Cats, who had been the benchmark of the reserve competition for much of the 2018 season, showed their prowess against a side they had already beaten several times this season.
Broadbeach captain Tayler Rolfe was overcome with emotion after leading his Cats to victory.
“You just feel numb. In the first half, they had it on us but to come back in the second half like we did, it’s unbelievable how I’m feeling right now,” Rolfe told aflq.com.au.
“I’ve been at this club for 22 years; since I was four years old and to captain a side like this and to win a flag for the club is amazing. This is my first premiership win ever and to do it for this club, it means the world to me.”
“Last year, we had 40-50-year-old blokes filling in the reserves because we didn’t have enough numbers, but we’ve just turned a page. The club is going places and it’s good to get some rewards for all of the efforts we’ve put in.”
From the opening bounce, it was evident Broadbeach’s eventual victory wouldn’t be all that easy as a stout Palm Beach Currumbin side asserted themselves early.
The Lions booted the opening three majors of the game and the Cats knew too, often resorting to vanilla down the line kicks instead of their game plan centred on short spot kicks into space.
Broadbeach managed to peg back some momentum late in the term through majors to Seri and Darcy Irwin yet still found themselves behind at quarter time.
The Lions’ lead continued early in the second as both sides booted just one goal for the term. In what became a genuine arm wrestle, neither side were able to provide their forwards with ample opportunities to make an impact.
Palm Beach Currumbin looked most threatening to score in the vital third term, but the away side mustered just two behinds; despite dominating possession for much of the quarter.
Instead, it was the Cats who pounced, and through some stout defensive pressure up forward, the minor premiers were able to cause a turnover and soon found the goals through Gold Coast SUNS Academy product Timakoi Bowie.
Bowie doubled-up minutes later with some creative work inside 50 as Redland NEAFL utility Harrison Kerr extended the Cats’ lead to 22-points with a goal of his own.
Their scoring continued just as the game opened up and by the time the siren sounded to signal the end of the quarter, Broadbeach has established a handy 28-point lead after holding the Lions goalless.
The Cats’ goal-fest was thwarted early in the fourth by Jayden Verdoon but a flurry of Broadbeach majors all but sealed the win for the blue and white hoops.
The Premiership win caps off a remarkable year for Rolfe, who also claimed the best and fairest for the QAFL Reserves competition as well as the leading goal kicking. Speaking after the game, the Cats’ star forward was overcome by emotion after adding another feat on his 2018 campaign.
“The club is going places and it’s good to get some rewards for all of the efforts we’ve put in.”
“It hasn’t even hit me yet to be honest. I’ll go home tomorrow and have a sit down and really think about it. I play for this moment right now, the premiership, and I’m just over the moon.”