The mighty Brothers Leprechauns motto - “The Fighting Irish” - could not have been further from the truth in their spirited 26-10 win over Albany Creek Gaters on Saturday.
The butcher stripes were all class and fought tooth and nail, to book a place in this weekend’s Premier grade grand final against minor premier Bulimba Valleys.
Led by inspirational Brothers captain Adam Crear, Brothers took it to another level in this game to send a warning to Bulimba that they will go in fighting with everything they have in the decider.
Crear’s phenomenal work rate in this game was something you would expect of a captain as he took it to the Gaters in what was one of the most awe inspiring captain’s knocks I have witnessed.
The Brothers pack on the back of some mighty surges upfield saw the first try created by dynamic halfback Eli Wickham who showed off his explosive speed to burst down the edges and find an unmarked Kent Ross who slid in to put Brothers on the board.
Crear’s exceptional kicking tally was further amassed with a terrific conversion to make it 6-0.
Gater’s were simply struggling to match it with the Leprechauns as the Brothers forwards were causing mayhem up the middle. A second try for the Leprechauns was looming as the Brothers attack had made it to only one metre out from the Gaters line and were attacking hard.
Club stalwart Ben Munro showed why he is as important to this side as he burrowed his way over at close range to go in again for Brothers.
Crear adding the easy conversion had the Leprechauns with their noses in front at 12-0.
Brothers’ pack in Crear, Pritchard, Steins and Swift were dominating Gaters with their fierce old school attack. But the backline consisting of Wickham, Strasser and Leedy were having a field day as well with their expert set plays orchestrated by Coach Shane Rout.
Gaters Representative players Junior Crawford and Brent Boyd were digging deep in their bag of tricks to try and break the Brothers rock solid defence, but over thinking the plays was leading to frustration that would eventually see another Brothers try with four minutes left in the first half.
Powerful centre Jerome Leedy who is a household name in this competition, always adds entertainment value. His Trojan like sideline bust saw him crash over to score a fantastic solo try to further increase the Brother’s scoreline.
At 16-0 and with only 30 seconds left on the clock, Gaters had made some handy meters through a sidestepping Boyd and after a towering bomb it appeared that Crawford had Gaters first try as he brilliantly caught the ball in the in goal only to drop it trying to plant it down and seeing the referee rule a no try.
In the second half, an absolute revving up by coach Dean Crowe saw Gaters come out a rejuvenated squad. Hitmen Josh Carpenter, Taio Rio and Arick Tukafu rolled the sleeves up and came out all guns blazing. Hit after hit, the Gaters forwards had a new found resolve dinting not only the Brothers players but their pride as three man gang tackles were the order of the second stanza.
Your man of the afternoon though Adam Crear, was again entrusted to win this game at any cost for his side. His determined run from dummy half showed up the tiring Gaters defence and he scored a powerhouse try to see the Leprechauns blow the score out to 20-0.
But Gaters never say die attitude had the Leprechauns frustrated for the back end of the second half. Quite simply, they wouldn’t go away. They were like a mozzie in your ear with the light off.
Crawford, Boyd and fullback Gavin Causer had found their second win and were now toying with the Brother’s defence. Three consecutive Boyd forward passes broke the hearts of both players and supporters as all three passes would have seen Gaters go in for back to back tries and break the deficit.
As Brothers were letting their guard down in patches, Gaters pounced. Would it be too late for a comeback? Five-eighth Boyd who’s electrifying speed off the mark saw him weave his magic to go over for Gaters first try in a spirited effort.
At 20-6, Brothers needed to score next to seal victory and ensure their place was safe in the qualifier.
Try scoring machine Daniel Crear’s powerful turn of pace saw him split the Gaters defence and the winger went into score in the corner to enhance the Leprechaun’s lead by 26-6.
But as with big games, there is always a try that will stand out. If you were too look up razzle dazzle in the dictionary you would find a photo of Brent Boyd.
Starting on the Gaters 30m line, fullback Causer stepped his way through some brittle Brothers defence to face off with his opposite number only to chip over the top and find Boyd in support who juggled the ball, stepped inside the Brothers winger to go in and score what was easily the try of the game.
With the hooter sounding and the conversion waved away, Brothers can hang their heads high in what was a gritty old fashioned win and enough to prove why they are worthy opponents in the big one.