The rain stayed away. The sun was shining. Gosnells Recreation Ground was in pristine condition. An opportunity to go back-to-back. The stage was set.
The E2 Grand Final got off to a slow start. Both teams were lined up ready to sing the national anthem, although alas, the IT equipment failed (surprise surprise) to produce the goods (some would same very appropriate for E2 grade amateur football). We got there in the end after both teams patiently enjoyed the experience.
TA’s vs. Bassendean E2 Grand Final.
And we were away.
The first quarter was one to forget for the men in blue, green and white with a number of wasted opportunities in front of goal. Fremantle 2013 esk feels. Bassendean on the other hand, took their changes. A 21 point advantage to Bassendean at the quarter time break. The TA’s outfit with a bit of work to do.
The arm-wrestle continued in the second quarter, although we started to hit the scoreboard and stem the bleeding. A late goal from Scott Moore before the half-time break, had us 15 points down at the break. A few defensive efforts from Toby De Lacy helping to keep us in the game at the half.
In 5ths Nation tradition, the oranges came out at the half-time break (nostalgic from our Auskick days) and our Head Physio, Mandy, got to work. 11 x hammy rubs and 6 x calf rubs helped get the team up and about.
More importantly, there was belief in the change rooms. We were still in the contest despite being a long way from our best in the first half.
The second half got underway. Bassendean were kicking to the scoring end in the third (slight breeze) and we held up well in defence, although a late goal on the siren pushed Bassendean’s lead to 15 points at the last break.
We had an opportunity to come from behind in the last quarter of a Grand Final with an attacking mindset. And that we did. The midfield, led by Quentin Lynch and Ben Pearse went into Beast mode and we starting to get on the top at stoppages around the ground. Simon Gregory Franich flicked a switch and kicked three in the last to put us 9 points in front with 5 minutes to go.
And this is where the game took a twist.
Bassendean kick a goal late in the last.
A two-point ball game. 2 minutes 30 seconds left on the clock. It was anyone’s game as the ball went back to the centre. Game On.
In a very bizarre set of circumstances not many have seen in their entire footy careers, the Bassendean captain called for a head count in what appeared as a last-ditch effort.
The players came into the middle of the ground in what can only be described as a ‘long 4 minutes of confusion’ as the umpires lined each team up and ‘counted’.
22 players each. Unsuccessful move from the Bassendean captain. Q Schtickkkk gets a free kick and 50m penalty due to unsuccessful bid by Bassendean). He goes back and slots once from 55m and ices the game.
Back-To-Back for the 5ths Nation.
A sense of relief and elation by all.
Stayed tuned for the next chapter…
The Three Peat Challenge…
Best: Lynch, Franich, De Lacy
Goals: Franich 6, Moore 3, Lynch, Dixon 1