THE Mareeba Bulls Under 13/14 all girls team became the first champions of the 2019 season with a scintillating performance to win the grand final against the Stratford Dolphins on Saturday morning at Endeavour Park.
The game was a tight affair in the first 25 minutes of the match with both teams trying to find their rhythm and get accustomed to the occasion.
It was then that the girls found their mojo as Amy Simonato slotted home a penalty to give the bulls a slender lead. The game then opened up and so did the flood gates.
Faith Walker and Jashana Jackson both added to the score to take the Bulls into a 3-0 half fine lead.
Stratford began the second half strongly and pulled a goal back to make it 3-1, but the young girls were not going to give this one up as they struck back immediately and took control of the match through Faith Walker who added another two to her first half goal to win the match 5-1 for the bulls.
Faith Walker was the standout on the day scoring a hat trick and collecting the “Most Valuable Player” of the finals award.
Later on Saturday afternoon the Mareeba Bulls youth under the watchful eye of Coach Luch Avolio clinched a berth in this year’s grand final in sweltering conditions at Tiger Park with a hard fought 2-0 win against the Edge Hill Tigers.
Milan Quintieri slotted home a penalty and Angelo Musso put the game beyond the Edge Hill Tigers late in the second half to book the team a spot in the grand final on Saturday, October 5.
“The boys knew they had to play well today to win, we really wanted that week off before the final so we could rest up,” said coach Luch Avolio.
“We played and won ten straight hard games with this one, the boys believed in themselves and put it in their minds that they could do it and they left it all out on the park today.
“At training these next two weeks we will bring up the intensity a little and stick to the basics and rest up before the final.” said coach Avolio.
The Mareeba Bulls Reserves with Dennis Allen at the helm did it tough against the Stratford Dolphins on Saturday night.
Both teams struggled to dominate with numerous fouls and yellow cards the order of the day until the old war horse Damien Wildman again proving his worth to give Mareeba the lead.
The match took a dreadful turn in the second half with a sickening injury to Stratford Defender Raphael Milo who was taken to hospital with a suspected compound fracture.
When the match resumed an hour later it was Stratford who equalised through a soft penalty.
With less than a minute left in the match Luch Da Rocha sealed a late win with a scintillating shot from outside the area to secure a finals berth.
“It almost went terribly wrong, but a credit to these boys who have already collected the premiership for this year and are now into the final, they really put it in tonight,” said coach Dennis Allen.
“We’ve had about 35 players play in this division throughout the year and they all need to be acknowledged. The injury to Raphael was very unfortunate but we had to put that aside and concentrate on the task, that was a great shot from Luch to win the match.
“We don’t want to lose momentum going into the final so our training will be fairly intense, but the boys are up to it and are looking forward to the final in a couple of weeks.”
After a stellar season, the Mareeba Bulls ladies side unfortunately missed out on a grand final spot after going down 3-2 on Sunday against the JCU Strikers.
The Men’s second division will play off for a finals berth against Atherton Eagles this Friday night after defeating Leichhardt 1-0 last Friday.