The In Safe Hands Cup field has been whittled down to three teams after last weekend’s major and minor semi-finals.
Swirling conditions did not favour either side as both kickers from the Dolphins and Valleys tested the back three in their Week 2 finals match.
At the 11-minute mark, an unsuspecting wrap-around between left centre Ryley Kajewski and Hayden Hansen saw Hansen crossing in the left corner for the first try of the match.
Five minutes later, after two off loads from Dylan Smith and Rajan Opetaia-Halls; and a lovely pirouette and chip kick Chris Aiton, Valleys scored away when Callum Klein to pounced on the ball, getting a fingernail on it for an 8-0 lead.
It took a play from the competition’s leading point scorer Kyle Van Klaveren to get his side back into the game and after the smallest of gaps opened; the fullback busted through.
The chasers closed in after 50m, so he turned to his support; who then managed an off load to Curtis Johnston who exploded to the right corner.
Van Klaveren was involved again for their next try when he found a wider gap 10m out to touch down and put Redcliffe in front for the first time 10-8.
Troyden Watene, who had been contained until the 48th minute, fired a cut-out pass to winger Stacey Everitt who put in a kick forward for himself – and he repeated that move twice again before touching down with millimetres to spare to put Valleys back in front 14-10.
In a see-sawing match, Redcliffe prop Taylor Brown was the next to crash over close to the line, and then a Valleys error left 80m for Joe Bradley to race down to score.
However, from there it was all Redcliffe and when Van Klaveren busted out of a Watene tackle before passing to Hayden Hansen in support, the contest was over.
Five-eighth Mitch Wilson kicked a field to make the final score 29-14 to Redcliffe. The Dolphins will have the week off, while Valleys will play at home next week in the preliminary final against the Panthers.
The Panthers took on a Wynnum Manly outfit who were soundly beaten the week before against the Diehards, at Kougari Oval with both teams feeling the pressure of sudden death.
The home side crossed first from close range when hooker Corey Davis placed the ball over the line.
A cross-field kick from Ben Cronin was knocked on by Wests, with Hayden Crowley scooping it up before weaving his way over to put the Gulls up 12-0, which remained the halftime score.
What was to follow on the other side of the break was semi-final football at its best.
Wynnum Manly extended their lead when Cody McIntosh barged his way over, charging onto the ball from 10m out.
The Panthers first points came from the razzle dazzle of winger Paul Ulberg who took the ball on his side’s 30m line before beating three Wynnum defenders and setting sail for the tryline.
Luke Strasser then busted through the Seagulls forwards and provided an offload to Kennedy Pettybourne who went over. With the conversion, the score was 18-12 to Wynnum Manly.
Panthers hooker Shaun Tupou then burrowed his way from dummy half to score and it was all tied up at 18-18.
Wynnum Manly went ahead 24-18 when Davis crossed for his second.
Panther’s big man Josh Afoa thought he’d scored for his side when fell over the tryline; only to be called back as the referee had called held.
But swift movement to the right from winger Adam Wickins who turned the ball back inside to a flat footed James Sharkie saw the Rangers rep travel 12m with three defenders to beat before finally scoring. The Kane Zalewski conversion had scores level again, at 24-24.
He was the star soon after when with three minutes remaining slotted the crucial field goal to send his team into next week’s preliminary final at Emerson Park.
FINALS SERIES - WEEK 2
September 2, 2017
West Brisbane Panthers 25 (Kennedy Pettyborne, Paul Ulberg, Shaun Tupou, James Sharkie tries; Kane Zalewski 4 goals and a field goal) defeated Wynnum Manly Seagulls 24 (Corey Davis 2, Cody McIntosh, Hayden Crawley tries; Paora Kemp 4 goals).
Redcliffe Dolphins 29 (Kyle Van Klaveren, Curtis Johnston, Joe Bradley, Hayden Hansen, Taylor Brown tries; Kyle Van Klaveren 4 goals, Mitch Wilson a field goal) defeated Valleys Diehards 14 (Stacey Everitt, Callum Klein, Hayden Lipp tries; Troyden Watene a goal).
Next week’s games: Preliminary Final
Valleys Diehards v West Brisbane Panthers – Emerson Park Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 4pm