|NEAFL Northern Conference|
VULTURES SOAR TO AFLQ VELOCITY SPORTS CUP PREMIERS
The Vultures took the lead at the 12-minute mark of the opening term and never relinquished it, winning 16.12 (108)-10.10 (70).
The day was a triumph for midfielder Ash Evans, won crowned a magnificent personal season by winning the Joe Grant Medal for best afield.
Evans finished second in the Grogan Medal, won the Syd Guildford Trophy, and starred on the big stage to play key role in the victory.
His hard running and sure handed skills set up numerous goals, and he ran just as hard at the finish as he did at the start.
Evans shaded young teammate Rohan Bail for the medal, the speedy wingman-forward kicked four important goals before three-quarter-time and using every possession effectively.
Robust midfielder Gareth Bowes and inspirational skipper Mick Stinear were also outstanding, contributing to the Vultures gaining a substantial bigger number of inside 50s than the Sharks.
But Southport were resolute, with key defender Ben Caputi in stopping numerous of those forward thrusts and wingman David James providing a constant link in the midfield.
The Sharks did particularly well not to be blown away considering the man judged best afield in last year's premiership win Dane Carmody injured an ankle 10 minutes into the opening quarter and never returned.
Not long after the brilliant Danny Wise - who had spent much of the week in a hyperbaric chamber rehabilitating a bad ankle - was also incapacitated, leaving the Sharks seriously down on running power.
They simply could not get enough ball to a forward line which functioned well at times.
Dan McEntee was strongly on the lead and in the air at centre-half-forward and tried his heart out to the final siren.
Brother Ben kicked three of his side's four goals to halftime and booted his 100th goal of the season 20 minutes into the final term when a desperate Ben Merrett snap out of a pack landed on McEntee's chest unmarked 15m from goal.
But by that time the result was all academic.
Mt Gravatt veteran Darryl White, who was hobbling noticeably almost from the outset, booted three last quarter goals to ensure his side's victory.
White had been particularly solid at half-back in the first and third terms, his chase down of three players running along the defensive 50m arc and eventually forcing a turnover occurring at a crucial stage of the third term.
The Vultures had always looked to be in control.
They by 14 points at quarter-time and 26 points at the main break, but two goals in the opening five minutes of the third term put the Sharks right back in business.
Mt Gravatt got an instant steadier from Bowes, but the game see-sawed for 10 crucial minutes without either side kicking a goal through the middle stages of the third term.
Two goals in four minutes to Bail and Bowes again set up a matchwinning 33 point lead at the final change, and the Sharks simply didn't have the running power to make any indent into the lead.
Mt Gravatt had a lot of good players, which was further testament to Southport's resilience.
Vultures defenders Andrew Scott and Brendan Riordan were outstanding, while skipper Gareth Dosser made several crucial hard ball gets.
Josh Vearing provided enormous drive as per usual, Anthony Van Rooyen was lively in the midfield at as a deep forward and Tobi Spencer did some good things.
Brock Turton came up for his 100th game after missing a month due to ongoing arthritic hip problems, and celebrated his third premiership - two with the Vultures and one with the Lions Reserves as a top up player.
He looked rusty at times, but he was particularly clean with his ball-handling, and his hard-ball get to set up Bail for a goal on halftime was important.
Young full-forward Nate Roffey was the unluckiest man at Dittmer Park, being left out of the selected side due to a bout of the flu and a sore knee.
The Vultures' only weakness was the lack of a strong marking focal point, with Bill Cleary kicking two goals but being well held by Caputi.
Southport skipper Darren O'Brien worked desperately hard against the odds, defying a painful groin condition to kick a miracle snap goal from the boundary at the start of the third term to give his side some momentum.
Well performed finals player Jason Burge provided dash at different times, but the Sharks' heart was no match for the Vultures polish in the finish.
Last Modified on 25/02/2008 17:12