Blues Make it Cup Premiership Number Eight
In the Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Grand Final played at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground on Saturday, a stirring fightback from Newcastle City, in which they kicked 9 of the 10 goals across 2 and a half quarters of football, has seen the Blues upset favourites and Minor Premiers Terrigal Avoca to take out the Grand Final by 22 points. Final scores were Newcastle City 9.11.65 to Terrigal Avoca 5.13.43.
Terrigal Avoca kicked the first 3 goals of the match to lead by 20 points with 10 minutes to go in the first half. Then, a rapid series of events completely changed the match and gave City great momentum going into the main change:
*Firstly, Panthers ruckman Sam Ellis, with a running shot 20m out, dead in front and with no-one on him, hit the post for a behind;
*Secondly, City Coach Tim Cotter rolled the dice and moved star half-back Conor Haswell into the forward line. Haswell produced his regulation speccie, then kicked a wonderful snap from deep in the pocket and got City’s forward line going;
*Finally, City ruckman Chris Jackson took a kick from 45m out just as the half-time siren sounded. Hamish Thompson was adjudged to have held behind play, and, unbeknownst to many at the ground, kicked a goal from 15m out well after the siren to leave City just one point behind at the main break.
City came out after half-time like men possessed, kicking 6 goals to none in the third quarter to basically secure the Premiership in a dynamic, compelling and at-times brilliant “Premiership Quarter” blitzkrieg.
Mobile forward Cade Triffitt kicked 3 goals in the third quarter, with outstanding veteran backman Luke Rawnsley adding a rare major from the 45m arc. The Panthers, who had been in complete control in the first 40 minutes, simply had no answer to City’s brilliance as they were kept to just one Mark Skuse goal in the third quarter.
The Panthers kicked 2 goals to none in the final quarter but it was a case of too little, too late as City put men behind the ball in the last 15 minutes to secure a famous victory.
Young star Reed van Huisstede was adjudged best on ground and was awarded the McBain Medal on a day where his high marking was a feature. Aidan Watling, Haswell, Rawnsley, Cam Keast and Ethan Durbridge provided great support to van Huisstede. Keast, providing great ruck support to a still-recovering Chris Jackson, hit the pack hard all day and won several crucial ruck contests as he battled with Ellis, Jasper Davis and veteran Pete Van Dam.
Stephen Batten completely sacrificed his own game to tag Panthers Coach Chris Bishop all day, negating Bishop’s influence in a master stroke from City Coach Tim Cotter. Mac O’Malley performed a similar role on James Webster, Webster’s class seeing him fight off O’Malley, particularly in the second half.
Kurt Fleming was terrific across half-back for the Panthers. Other players to shine on a tough day for Terrigal Avoca were Webster, Ellis, Corbin Bond, Jarrad Flint and Will Delahunty.
Triffitt was City’s only multiple goalkicker, with 3 majors inside 10 minutes in an extraordinary third quarter from the Blues. Mark Skuse was the Panthers only goalkicker with two majors.
City finished off the season superbly well, with a great second half of the season and a wonderful finals campaign, in which they accounted for Killarney Vale then arch-rivals Cardiff on their way to another Grand Final victory, Matt Enright’s 8th Grand Final win with the Blues is an amazing effort worthy of note, his career in Navy Blue coinciding with City being the dominant BDAFL team of the 21st century.