Photo courtesy of Chris Ison - APN
Five-Eighth Blake Wallace starred as a near flawless Yeppoon Seagulls crushed Norths Chargers' hopes of ending their seven-year premiership drought.
With his Wollongong-based parents among the Browne Park crowd, Wallace scored four tries and booted seven goals as the Seagulls ran out 46-6 winners in the Rockhampton Senior Rugby League A-Grade grand final on Saturday evening.
The Chargers' night got off to the worst possible start when chief playmaker Dean Allen left the field in the second minute with a suspected broken arm.
In contrast, Wallace, who finished the match with a 30-point haul, started the Seagulls' night off in style by diving over beside the posts a minute later.
He laid on the Seagulls' next try with a deft grubber kick which caught makeshift Chargers' fullback Ashley Alberts out of position.
On the ensuing kick-off, Wallace received an awkward bounce but sliced through the opposition defensive line to run 80m and score, before adding the extras to put his side ahead 18-0 after 18 minutes.
"It was probably the greatest game I've ever seen Blake Wallace play," Yeppoon coach Jason Green said.
"Both of his parents have flown up from Wollongong for the grand final.
"It's just massive what this club is going through at the moment.
"The unity and conformity of a group."
Alberts closed the margin to 12 points five minutes later when a Russell Webber flick pass had him score beside the posts.
Wallace made it a first-half hat-trick when he stepped through three defenders to score next to the posts in the 28th minute to give the Seagulls a 24-6 half-time lead.
The Seagulls continued their dream performance in the second half with David Still, Christian Davies, Alex Choice and Wallace all scoring tries.
A relieved Green praised his players.
"I'm feeling relieved. It's been a long season.
"I've coached in some finals before but I don't think I've felt like I did this morning when I woke up," he said.
"(I'm pleased with) how hard they worked and they played to their potential.
"The most pleasing thing about today is that they went out today and they stuck to a plan, and they were consistent, and they were dominant, and they were effective. Simple as that.
"The theme for the whole week was us being ruthless in whatever we did, and attention to detail. We applied that and we applied it well."
Man of the match, Wallace, said the Seagulls were prepared for a Chargers' onslaught and could not have put in a better performance.
"We knew Norths were going to come hard", he said.
"We've played them this year, they've beaten us and they've always been tough.
"We knew they weren't going to give us much so we had to stick to what we knew and just get the roll off that. start hard and start fast.
"I think we saved the best performance for last."