The In Safe Hands Cup Brisbane Rugby League grand final was played out at a wind-swept Bishop Park on Saturday in front of an estimated 3000 fans with Valleys claiming the silverware in an entertaining match against Redcliffe.
Minor premiers Redcliffe started the better and it only took them five minutes to cross the line after a quick spread of the ball to the right saw Shaun Rees put the first and only try on the board for the first half.
With the try converted by Kyle van Klaveren, Redcliffe had a 6-0 lead.
The Valleys defence was strong, characterised by a play from fullback Joe Bond who returned to the line-up for this game.
He was not afraid of the big men who were attacking the Diehards line and Rulan Nutira felt his resistance when he was put on his back.
An attempted short line drop-out from Valleys went out on the full and van Klaveren put two more points on the board from right in front for Redcliffe to further their lead to 8-0.
Valleys had their first real chance of points when five-eighth Haydan Lipp put a cheeky chip over the line defence and Bond pounced.
Streaking 40m, he was pulled down 10m out. They produced a quick pass through the hands to the left, but winger Tom Collins was caught ball-and-all, resulting in changeover.
At halftime, the score remained 8-0 in favour of the Dolphins.
To start second half, that man Bond again made an appearance five minutes into the restart, with a slick cut-out pass to unmarked winger Stacy Everitt who went over to put the Diehards on the board.
Swirling conditions proved too much for prop Troyden Watene’s conversion attempt, hitting the right upright.
Five minutes later Watene was in the action again; busting through the defence.
From there, a miraculous pass inside found Lipp 30m out and he sent the Blue army on the hill into a frenzy by scoring right in front. He converted his own try and Valleys were in front for the first time 10-8.
A handling error by Valleys 20m out gave Redcliffe the chance to hit back and flyer Curtis Johnston was away.
A foot race between him and Bond ensued for 40m, and they eventually came together 20m short of the chalk.
Unluckily for Redcliffe, a quick play-the-ball attempt resulted in a knock on – much to the relief of Valleys who were struggling to get back on side.
Luck went their way again for their second try which came after an intercept from Lipp.
The hill exploded as he motored over, but good cover defence pushed him out wide; adding a degree of difficulty to the conversion for Watene.
However, this time Watene was able to send the Steeden curving back though the sticks and Valleys went further ahead 16-8.
With 10 minutes to go in season 2017, Redcliffe hit back after sending the ball through the hands from right to left.
Sonny Monroe threw a speculator pass back inside and Josh Beehag was there to toe the ball into the in-goal and it sat up long enough for him to run through and to put downward pressure on the ball for a try.
They try went unconverted when van Klaveren’s kick bounced off the upright to leave the score 16-12 to Valleys.
That was the way it remained at fulltime and Valleys had won their first A Grade premiership in 27 years.
In Safe Hands Cup BRL A Grade grand final
Valleys Diehards 16 (Haydan Lipp 2, Stacey Everett tries; Haydan Lipp, Troyden Watene goals) def Redcliffe Dolphins 12 (Shaun Rees, Josh Beehag tries; Kyle Van Klaveren 2 goals)
Halftime: Redcliffe 8 leading Valleys 0
Player of the Match: Joe Bond (Valleys)
In Safe Hands Cup BRL A Grade awards
Player of the Year: Kyle Van Klaveren (Redcliffe)
Coach of the Year: Daniel Green (Redcliffe)
Top Point Scorer: Kyle Van Klaveren (Redcliffe)
Top Try Scorer: Bernard Mosby (Ipswich)