Bulimba Valleys have secured a fifth-straight grand final win with a gruelling 26-16 win over West Inala Panthers in the Brisbane Second Division Rugby League Open 1 Southside competition at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.
This incredible record set by the Bulldogs whose bond can only be described as a brotherhood.
Despite being played in appalling conditions; this game was always going to create a lot of interest.
Standout Bulldogs hooker Josh Few got Bulimba on the board in the eighth minute with a burrowing scoot from dummy half to score. He converted his own try from in front of the sticks to dash out to an early 6-0 lead.
The Panthers however returned serve in the 16th minute, when lightweight halfback Graham Mason produced a near-perfect pass to find Dwayne Conlon in support and the fearless second rower crashed his way over to level the scores.
Bulimba did nudge ahead in the 26th minute though, when inspirational captain Tai Betham produced one of his trademark charges to plant the ball down under the sticks.
The Samoan powerhouse is arguably one of the most devastating forwards in the competition.
Bulimba increased the scoreline to 18-6 after second rower Reece Purcell intercepted an over-ambitious pass from Inala’s Mason and he raced 50m to see the Bulldogs establish some much needed breathing space right before the halftime hooter.
With both teams down to 11 men on the field after an earlier altercation saw some in the sinbin; some positional changes were needed by both coaches.
Bulimba coach Aaron Fisher’s astute rejigging of his side saw him bring on workhorse lock/five eighth Luke Bell who crashed into the corner after filling in on the wing.
At 22-6, Bulimba looked almost home and hosed, but outstanding Panthers halfback Mason, captain Daniel Costello and prop Peter Teremoana were Inala’s pick of the bunch and revived their side for a late fightback.
Mason’s quick thinking found a gap in the Bulldogs defensive line and burst through the middle before lobbing a wobbly ball over the top to centre Jay Critchon who bolted down the sideline and score a fantastic Panthers try.
Bulimba’s legendary defence again was exposed in the 67th minute, as Panther’s hooker Patrick Noonan spotted a gap out of dummy half and he punished the lazy Bulldogs defence to further close the gap to 22-16.
But Bulimba’s halfback Adam Ogden stepped in and sold a ridiculous dummy to the Panthers pack and raced around to score the winning try.
Final Score: Bulimba Valleys 26 West Inala Panthers 16.
Bulimba celebrate their win
In the Open 1 Northside game, Moreton Bay Pride’s incredible season continued with the club taking out the grand final with a hard fought 8-0 over the Dayboro Cowboys.
The halftime scoreline was 0-0 and it wasn’t until he 65th minute points were scored through Pride’s Karanga Karanga, who sliced his way over to score a fantastic try.
Prides’ Ewan Coutts, Sam Patelesio and powerhouse second rower Junior Peni were rock solid for Moreton bay.
Coach Arthur Brown was superb throughout season 2016, setting the tone for an even stronger side in 2017.
Moreton Bay Pride will go close to take out club of the year with what they have achieved in 2016.
Cowboys workaholic second rower Ruben Sullivan, tough as teak Daniel Harris and fullback Daniel Prentice-McLeod all showed a lot of heart in a losing side.
The Cowboys fans can also take a bow as the little country town’s folk came in their droves to support of the most recognisable clubs in the Brisbane Second Division.
Premier Grade action was a point’s fest with Albany Creek Gaters securing a dramatic 42-40 win in extra time over Brighton Roosters to see of the most see-sawing games in the Brisbane Second Division competition this season.
Gaters colossus Anthony Gadd starred for Gaters with a four-try haul and kicked the winning penalty goal.
For the Gaters, the unstoppable and hardworking Gadd was by far best player on the field, captain Nathan Sologinkin and the fierce Morris Hodges all played starring roles.
Brighton Roosters – who were the success story of the Premier Grade competition this year – bowed out graciously.
Brent Boyd, Gavin Causer, Jamie Maliko and Taio Rio can hold their heads high, as can coach Nathan Hughes in his first year of coaching.