WONGARBON Coke Bottles star Haydon Gibbs-O’Neil wasn’t really going out on a limb when he predicted this year’s City of Orange Touch Association division one men’s grand final to be another close encounter.
Taking on the Kennards Thunder Chuckers in last Friday night’s grand final, Wongarbon had drawn twice with their opposition and lost once before edging them by just the one touchdown in the major semi-final a fortnight ago.
All things being equal again, there was no reason to believe the competitive nature of last Friday’s finale would be any different.
And it wasn’t.
Locked at 2-all late into the rain-drenched decider, the Wongarbon Coke Bottles emerged victorious courtesy of a late touchdown by Keegan Harding, gifting the thrilling match at Jack Brabham Park the climax it deserved.
Wongarbon held on, with the final score line 3-2.
“We got a lucky try at the end there,” Gibbs-O’Neil said looking back at Harding’s effort.
“Considering how wet it was, I was surprised at how quick the game was. I thought it’d a bit sloppy.
“Everyone really had a go. Micky Dillon, Keegan ... I couldn’t really single anyone out. Everyone had a go.”
Wongarbon defeated Kennards 5-4 in the major semi-final to be the first side to progress through to the division one men’s grand final.
Kennards then edged Scott Board Concreting 7-6 in a thrilling preliminary final to qualify.
For Gibbs-O’Neil and his younger brother Jayden, the win was made all the sweeter by having their older brother Sandon in the Kennards Thunder Chuckers side.
“It was great being able to beat them,” Haydon said.
In the other division one COTA decider played last Friday night, Sportspower completed a dominant touch football season with a win over the Jungle Cats in the women’s division one decider.