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Bull Sharks make history with double premiership

Courtney Sexton
Courtney Sexton celebrates the seniors win 

The Bull Sharks are the first club of the QAFLW era to claim seniors and reserves premierships in the same year after defeating Aspley and Coorparoo at Brighton Homes Arena on Sunday.

It was also Bond’s first senior premiership at state league level and afterwards the club song echoed across the Brisbane Lions’ training ground and then long into the night back at The Canal.

The reserves’ win was particularly sweet because it was the first time they had defeated Coorparoo all season.

Senior women 

The Springfield Central ground was packed with supporters eager to witness the season decider. 

Bond’s first scoring shot was a point and it was Aspley who settled quickest, kicking the first goal of the game and putting Bond on edge for the remainder of the quarter. 

While Bond couldn’t manage to convert a goal of their own, they held control and went on to score an additional three behinds before the quarter-time siren blew. Bond’s score stood at 0-4 (4) to Aspley’s 1-0 (6). 

Bond found their stride in the second quarter. 

Ava Usher led the charge, kicking the Bull Sharks’ first goal which ignited a spark within the team.

They pushed forward to score an additional two goals while clamping Aspley’s goal kicking ability and at the main break the score was 3-5 (23) to 1-2 (8). 

Whatever Aspley’s coach said to his charges inside the rooms, it worked. While Bond opened the scoring in the third quarter, Aspley responded promptly.

The third quarter concluded with Bond leading 6-5 (41) to 2-2 (14).

The Bull Sharks put great stock in their fitness and the entire playing group went into the last quarter confident in their ability to run over the top of their rivals. 

Nyalli Milne set the tone for the final term with a remarkable goal from nearly 50 metres out. 

The game opened up and Bond’s attacking ability was too much for the Hornets to counter and by the time Tara Harrington slotted a goal, the margin had swollen to 49 points.

The final siren sounded shortly after with the scoreboard reading 10-6 (66) to Aspley’s 2-5 (17). 

Seniors premiership
The 2023 QAFLW Seniors Premiers 

Standout performers

After an outstanding performance in the ruck and in her many selfless assists, Havana Harris was named the AFLQ’s Best on Ground. 

Havana Harris
Best on Ground Havana Harris 

Coach Lovell also recognised the work of Ava Usher, Tara Harrington, Nyalli Milne, Courtney Sexton, Charlotte Taylor, and Christie Landwher.

Kiara Bischa also played an exceptional game in the Bull Sharks’ backlines, keeping Aspley’s key forward and the competition’s leading goal-scorer from converting any goals. 

What they said

Head coach and Bond Director of AFL Andy Lovell praised the club’s united effort, emphasising the collective effort that brought them to this pinnacle.

“There’s been a bit of a mantra around the club: teams win matches, but clubs win premierships,” Lovell said. 

Reserves women 

Having not beaten Coorparoo all season, the Bull Sharks were eager to get their vengeance in the game that mattered most. 

While both sides initially struggled to convert their efforts to a score, Isabelle Lowe cracked the first goal of the game midway into the first quarter.

It was a low-scoring start, but Bond were happy to have kept Coorparoo at bay and the quarter time score stood at Bond 1-0 (6), Coorparoo 0-0 (0). 

The Bull Sharks’ momentum continued into the second quarter with Tshinta Kendall’s early goal strengthening their position.

At half-time, the score was 3-0 (18) to 0-0 (0).

Bond's previously flawless kicking accuracy had a momentary lapse in the third quarter, resulting in their first behind of the match. 

However they quickly regained their footing, turning over Coorparoo’s kick in and converting it into another goal. 

Coorparoo managed to break their scoring drought with a goal early in the third quarter, but Bond swiftly answered with another of their own.

The third quarter closed with Bond leading 7-3 (45) to 1-0 (6).

Tshinta Kendall’s goal within 90 seconds of the start of the third quarter kept the pressure on Coorparoo but they responded with their second goal and quickly followed it up with another.

But Coorparoo’s late efforts were too late to turn the game. 

As the final whistle blew, the Bull Sharks emerged victorious 9-7 (61) to Coorparoo 4-2- (26).

reserves premiership
The 2023 QAFLW Reserves Premiers 

Standout performers

Shannon Nolan received the Best on Ground medal following her outstanding performance in Bond’s midfield.

Coach Gough Greer highlighted the efforts of Tshinta Kendall in Bond’s forward lines and Sophie Balcombe’s defensive prowess. 

What they said

Greer was elated after the win.

"I'm just over the moon with the way that the girls worked throughout the year to build up to the Grand Final,” he said. 

“We had good form going into today, so to get the result was amazing.

“I honestly never thought that in my first year as a head coach we could get into a Grand Final, let alone win one, so I'm incredibly happy to get that result."

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