Bond AFL’s decision to back their reserves players over academy prospects was vindicated by their stellar performance in the preliminary final on Saturday.
Their outstanding 18-point victory over Aspley secured a place in the curtain-raiser to their senior counterparts on QAFLW Grand Final day at Brighton Homes Arena on Sunday.
The seniors had the weekend off after booking their spot in the premiership decider with a qualifying final win over Southport, so all eyes were on the reserves who got the job done with a 8-3 (51) to 4-9 (33) win over the Hornets.
They now meet Coorparoo in the Grand Final while the seniors face Aspley who beat Southport in their preliminary final.
How it unfolded
Both teams showed signs of nerves as they grappled to find their rhythm in the sudden-death encounter.
While the ball predominantly resided within Bond’s offensive half, a series of fumbled marks provided Aspley with the opportunity to mount an attack.
The Hornets managed to break the ice at the 12-minute mark, scoring the first goal of the game, and their solid defensive structure posed a challenge to the Bull Sharks’ progress.
A behind for Bond followed by a quick turnover and goal had the quarter-time score at Bond 1-1 (7) to Aspley 1-2 (8).
Aspley had a spirited start to the second quarter but Bond rallied with two swift goals of their own.
Finding their stride, Bond orchestrated some excellent runs with much smoother entries inside their offensive 50.
By half time Bond were leading 4-1 (25) to 1-4 (11).
Bond continued their dominance into the third quarter, slotting the first goal of the quarter in the opening minute and adding another at the eight-minute mark.
Bond’s defence kept Aspley goalless for the second consecutive quarter, bringing the three-quarter time score to 6-3 (39) to 1-7 (13).
The Hornets breathed life into the contest with an early goal in the final quarter which prompted the Bull Sharks to elevate their defensive pressure to safeguard their substantial lead.
After numerous back-and-forth scoring opportunities, Bond secured one final goal to seal the victory.
What they said
“We knew that it was going to be a grind but all of the girls brought their best game and were all up for the fight,” coach Gough Greer said.
“The support from our senior girls on the sidelines made all the difference.”
In other games
The reserves men also took a win in their first qualifying final against Burleigh 48-35.
The men now progress to qualifying final two against the Coolangatta Blues at The Canal.
The seniors also play at home against Carrara with the winner advancing straight to the Grand Final.