Bond’s QFA sides have put themselves in a position to match the feats of the club’s premiership-winning women by booking Grand Finals berths on Saturday.
Making the most of their home ground advantage, both Bull Sharks men’s sides brought their A-game to The Canal for the QFA qualifying finals.
The reserve’s clutch 11-point victory over the Coolangatta Blues set the tone for the day before the seniors backed it up with a textbook 26-point triumph over the Carrara Saints.
How it unfolded - senior men
Right from the outset the senior men showcased their intent, securing the opening goal within a mere 70 seconds of the first centre bounce.
With the return of key forward Jack Tilley, Bond's offensive line-up became an imposing force, causing considerable trouble for Carrara’s defence.
Additionally, Bond’s unrelenting midfield pressure ensured that the ball predominantly remained in Bond's territory throughout the quarter, leaving Carrara struggling to break free.
As the first quarter concluded, the score stood at Bond 4-5 (29), Carrara 1-0 (6).
In the second quarter, Carrara managed to put some early points on the board followed by a goal roughly five minutes in.
Despite Carrara’s efforts, the Bull Sharks’ dominance continued as they upped their pressure and maintained their lead.
The halftime scoreboard had Bond in front 6-6- (42) to 2-3 (15).
It was an uncharacteristic third quarter for Bond as Carrara kept them from scoring any goals.
The Bull Sharks were fortunate that Carrara’s kicking inaccuracy led to a string of behinds that otherwise could have drastically changed the direction of the match.
The score at three-quarter time had Bond leading by 19 points.
As the teams entered the pivotal final quarter, Coach Luke Mansbridge urged the Bull Sharks to dominate the contest and return to their usual style of play.
Jack Tilley emerged as a standout performer taking critical marks that led to three additional goals on the Bull Sharks’ tally.
As the final siren blew, the scoreboard displayed a 9-12 (66) to 4-10 (34) victory to Bond.
Despite their round 16 thrashing at the hands of the Blues, the Bull Sharks entered their encounter with confidence and control.
While the ball spent the majority of its time inside Bond’s 50-metre line, inaccurate goal kicking and a late quarter comeback from Coolangatta saw them clinch a four-point lead at the first break.
Bond were resurgent in the second quarter and although they missed several shots they managed to regain the lead.
As the halftime whistle blew, the score stood at Bond at 2-6 (18) to Coolangatta 2-1 (13).
During the third quarter Bond employed a fast-paced style of play and managed to outmanoeuvre Coolangatta.
Additionally, the Bull Sharks’ defensive structures limited Coolangatta's options, forcing them into tight spots.
Whilst the Bull Sharks’ inaccurate goal kicking continued to prevent them from capitalising on their opportunities, they were able to take a seven-point lead into the final break.
In the final quarter the game became a seesaw battle with both teams fiercely fighting for control of the ball.
As the outcome hung in the balance, it was the Bull Sharks who managed to summon their inner strength during crucial moments.
As the game drew to a close, the final scoreboard read Bond 7-11 (53) to Coolangatta’s 6-6 (42).
A word from Lovell
Bond’s Director of AFL Andy Lovell has had an astounding first season with the Bull Sharks.
“It’s an incredible feeling to have all four of our sides into their respective grand finals,” he said.
“It’s a reflection of all the hard work by so many people in and around the university and the footy club, but at the end of the day, the hard work’s not done yet – we still want to win them!”