The Coolum Colts finished the season as the Red Rooster Cup champions after a strong 24-20 win over minor premiers Yandina in the grand final at Maroochydore on Sunday.
The Colts were outstanding as they came from an early 10-nil deficit to lead 14-10 at half time, thanks to tries from Josh Compton and man of the match Darren Polla-Mounter.
Both were converted by captain Nathan Ratcliffe, who also added a penalty goal right on half time.
After the break, Compton scored a virtual carbon copy of his first try.
The robust centre used deft footwork and slight of hand to get on the outside of his opponent and burst 40 metres down the sideline to score in the corner.
Ratcliffe’s sideline conversion gave the Colts a 10-point lead with 20 minutes to go.
Shane Hartshorn scored another try, with 12 minutes to go, giving the Colts a 24-10 lead.
The Colts then dug deep and held off a strong surge from last year’s runners-up as they threw all they had at the opposition.
The Coolum boys repelled the Yandina attack until the final minutes, but Yandina did cross out wide with three minutes to go.
Yandina were not to be denied and scored again right on full time. But it was too little, too late, with the Colts claiming the Red Rooster Cup in their inaugural season of senior football.
After accepting the winners’ trophy, Colts captain and coach Nathan Ratcliffe said “we were up for the game today”.
“We had nothing to prove and played a well-structured game,” he said.
“We went out with the plan to dominate in the forwards and play it tight.
“We knew that Yandina would come at us hard and if we stayed with them we could grind out the win as we had done all season.”
Darren Polla-Mounter won the Mal Meninga medal for player of the match.
After the victory club president Quinton Stevenson said since being granted entry into the seniors last October, players did not know what to expect in the first season.
“With the season now over, we have the Wide Bay Challenge cup, which the Colts won in March, and the Red Rooster Cup premiership trophy sitting side by side in the trophy cabinet,” he said.
“This is a credit to the boys, and particularly captain coach Nathan Ratcliffe, who has led from the front all season organising the boys, and because of that has the respect of all his players.
“He, as well as the players and executive of the club, can now take a bit of time off to bask in the glory before we start planning for next season’s title defence.”
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