FINALS TIME !!!!!!! On Saturday our Redcliffe Tigers U/14's were playing for a spot in the Grand Final against Alexandra Hills. We had played them twice during the season and took the honors both times, but we weren't about to take them lightly as teams need to lift the bar even higher to win any final. The boys had prepared well and looked ready for the contest.
Conditions were terrible, constant rain and drizzle but despite this the ground was in good condition. We lost the toss and had to kick against the wind in the first quarter and the message was to work hard defensively and get numbers to the contest. Siren goes and a clear tap by the their ruck and they cleared the ball way to easily and drove the ball forward. We survived the attack but weren't clearing the ball cleanly but Alexandra Hills kept pressuring and seemed harder at the contest and finally they got over the top and scored the first goal of the game. Our boys needed to rally and fight against the breeze. Alexandra Hills again won the centre clearance and put our defenders under pressure. Their midfield was clearly getting on top but we were holding up in defence. Finally we got the ball moving and we started to run harder and get numbers to the contest. The boys were working hard and were rewarded with the next goal, a great effort against the wind. We went in at 1/4 time trailing 1.0.6 to 1.2.8.
During the break some moves were made and a clear message to pick up the work rate and get the ball moving quickly, conditions weren't good for handballs in close. The boys faced the big challenge of coming from behind and Alexandra Hills had definitely brought their A game.
Siren sounded and the contest in the middle was much better. Boys got the message and were fighting hard and tackling in numbers. Despite the tightness of the contest now, we were starting to control the game and it wasn't long until our boys scored the first goal of the 2nd quarter... great team work, boys now up. Next centre bounce was the same, tight contest and despite them moving the ball forward, our defence was superb under pressure and continuously repelled every attack and then allowed us to lock the ball in our forward half. Eventually the pressure we were applying was too much and we kicked another 3 goals for the quarter to open the game right up. It was a great display of a team working hard and sticking to their roles and at half time the scores were Redcliffe 5.2.32 to Alexandra Hills 1.3.9.
The boys had made their statement and the message was to NOT rest on what had just been done and to stay focussed and expect the opposition to come out firing.
Third quarter started and it was contest after contest, both sides throwing everything at it. Our boys slowly got the ball moving forward and started to control the quarter against the wind until a silly error, instead of kicking the ball within 10 metres of goals, kicked it 50 metres the other way......... coach ripping out what hair he had left on his head. Alexandra Hills said thanks very much and took full advantage of our error and got over the top of us and scored the first goal in the quarter against the flow of the game. This gave Alexandra Hills self belief again and you could see them lift. They were back in the contest and were working harder in the middle and again used the ball well and got through our defense and scored a second goal. Game was right on now... the boys needed to regroup and hold strong for the next 5 minutes of the quarter. To the boys credit they held up well and made it to the final break without anymore damage being done. The 3/4 time scores were 5.3.33 to 3.5.23.
The message was direct at 3/4, rise to the challenge, work hard and never give up in any contest.
Final quarter started and both sides were competing hard, with our boys seemingly getting more numbers to the ball and allowing us to make up valuable metres going forward. Despite the lack of scoring we were in control of the game now and finally the boys got the vital first goal of the final quarter. Yet again our boys were up and about, sensing a victory and from then on clearly controlled the game with Alexandra Hills unable to get it past our wall across the centre. Was great to see the team keep their structures and despite a few near misses by our boys the game was all ours now and soon after the final siren sounded and our boys were celebrating a much deserved win and a spot into the GRAND FINAL. The final scores were Redcliffe 6.5.41 to Alexandra Hills 3.5.23.
It was a great win in tough conditions and again we showed that good sides find a way to win. Congratulations on your achievement boys but stay focused as the one game that counts is the one we want to win. Keep on working hard as a team and everything will fall into place.