Late field goal bounces over
Part two of the Herald Cup would see a dramatic Matt Seamark field goal in the dying minutes as the deciding blow between these two fierce bayside clubs. In a match that had a semi-final atmosphere to it, it was not short of rivalry moments.
With the Dolphins already with one hand firmly on the cup after 38-6 victory back in March, Wynnum would need to come into Dolphin Oval looking to secure two-points rather than silverware, sitting 10th in a very congested competition ladder.
Wynnum Manly would start to win the wrestle early, a couple of repeat sets highlighting a pack-mentality by the Wynnum defenders.
The Seagulls would come close to capitalising on the early weight of possession, Hayden Crowley almost giving the travelling supporters a reason to cheer but a forward pass would see Redcliffe successfully hold out.
The Dolphins would jab back when Joseph Bradley almost made opposite centre Mitchell Buckett pay for a defensive error, bursting through the right side before the Seagulls cavalry arrived.
The first 25 minutes would feature stout tryline defence from both units, both answering attacking questions successfully until a penalty gave Redcliffe a set from halfway.
Five-eighth Zach Strasser used the opening to launch a short side attack down the left edge that led to a beautiful Daniel Bridge offload for winger Curtis Johnston to finish for the first and only points of the half.
The physicality would lift for the final minutes of the opening half, but the score would remain unchanged.
Bomb hits mark
It didn’t take long for Wynnum to find a way over the line in the second half. Exploiting an early error from the Dolphins, halfback Seamark sent up a bomb targeted to the towering Buckett who would claim it and muscle his way over for a Seagull try.
The game would return to the arm-wrestle for the next 15 minutes before Redcliffe began incorporating some multi-phase football that found success in the form of a Jonus Pearson try down the right wing.
Off you go
The physical intensity of the contest raged throughout the 80, both teams exchanging bone-rattling hits and ground-shaking runs, before reaching a boiling point in the 72nd minute when players from both sides became involved in an altercation had players marched off the field for the remainder of the game.
Two minutes later, Wynnum would level up the score at 10-10 when centre Mitchell Cronin would cross in the right corner, setting up the grandstand finish the match deserved.
Luck of the bounce
But the Seagulls wouldn’t wait any longer than the ensuing set to take their opportunity. The collective metre-eating runs by Magnus Stromquist, Tanu Wulf, Mitchell Moore, Peter Gubb and Cronin got Wynnum deep inside Dolphin territory before Seamark would shot off a field-goal that would dramatically hit the crossbar before bouncing over to inch his team ahead with four minutes left.
The Dolphins would fight valiantly for an equalising chance but Wynnum would repel the home side to claim victory, 11-10.
In a worthy consolation however, Redcliffe would of course reclaim the Herald Cup from Wynnum, winning 48-17 in aggregate, taking the Cup for the first time since 2013.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 11 (Mitchell Buckett, Mitchell Cronin tries; Mathew Seamark goal; Mathew Seamark field goal) def REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 10 (Curtis Johnston, Jonus Pearson tries; Darren Nicholls goal) at Dolphin Oval.