Where it went wrong for Coolangatta in QAFLW final

 

Coolangatta Tweed's dream run toward their first Bond University QAFLW Premiership since 2016 is over after the Bluebirds stumbled at the final hurdle, succumbing by 45-points in the decider against Yeronga South Brisbane.

The Bluebirds were quick out of the gates with the first two scores of the afternoon but couldn't sustain their run as they were humbled 1.1.7 to 8.8.56.

It was a disappointing end to the year for Coolangatta, who has enjoyed their best season since their 2016 Premiership triumph under the guise of Nicole Graves.

Instead, it were Yeronga South Brisbane who earned the honours on the day - a result earned following a definite performance built upon a kick-happy game plan which diced apart the Bluebirds across the ground.

The Devils' win marks the second consecutive year where a fourth-placed team has lifted the premiership trophy as the QAFLW continues to flex its unpredictability.

Little separated the two sides early in the contest, with neither inside 50s nor easy disposals coming cheaply as the midfielders toiled to edge their respective sides ahead.

 

Coolangatta QAFLW player Courtney Ugle. Picture credit: Russell Freeman.
Coolangatta QAFLW player Courtney Ugle. Picture credit: Russell Freeman.

Early, it appeared as though Coolangatta were the better side, creating the first genuine attacking movements of the game. That sentiment continued as the Bluebirds hit the scoreboard though Paige Parker, who continued her reputation as a big game player having been named best on ground in Coorparoo's 2019 triumph.

Yeronga soon willed their way into the contest and finished the term strongly as South Australian pair Lucy Bellinger and Lexia Edwards both converted their opportunities to give the Devils the edge heading into the first break.

That quarter time margin would mark merely the beginning of the end for Coolangatta as Yeronga's strong run continued. Lauren Arnell found herself in plenty of space when she marked the ball inside 50 before converting her opportunity to extend the deficit.

That was before a miracle snap from Devils' livewire Courtney McDonnell on the boundary set the crowd at Bond University into bedlam.

McDonnell's boundary snap was merely the latest in the Bluebirds' woes who ran into half time after being held scoreless in the second.

Yeronga South Brisbane after being crowned QAFLW champions in 2020. Picture credit: Russell Freeman.
Yeronga South Brisbane after being crowned QAFLW champions in 2020. Picture credit: Russell Freeman.

The third term followed a similar theme to its preceding term with Yeronga again proving too strong out of the middle and in defence.

It was left to Bluebirds forward Holly Mirfield to salvage something late in the term her sliding doors moment proved too much in front of goal as her shot drifted right of a much needed goal.

Early majors to Edwards and McDonnell all but ended any hope of a comeback miricale to put the game in doubt.

Jordan Zanchetta was adjudged best on ground for the Devils after her standout performance in the Devils' engine room - capping off a remarkable double for the Brisbane Lions midfielder having also claimed the league best and fairest in the lead up to the Grand Final.

Jade Pregelj produced a commanding performance in the defensive half for the red and black to all but nullify Coolangatta's Leah Kaslar in the contest while Emily Bates and Courtney Bromsage were also busy for the Devils.

Lucy Turney, Courtney Ugle and Kate Surman were among Coolangatta Tweed's best performers.

2020 Bond University Grand Final

Coolangatta Tweed: 1.1 (7)

Yeronga South Brisbane 8.8 (56)

Goals: Coolangatta Tweed: P. Parker. Yeronga South Brisbane: L. Edwards 2, C. McDonnell 2, L. Arnell, L. Bellinger, Z. Farquharson, S. Virgo.



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