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Great Flinders Football League
& Great Flinders Netball Association


Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Cougars capped off a stellar season by overcoming a very gallant Eyre United team to take out the 2021 Senior Colts Premiership. In a high standard, see-sawing contest the result was not finalised until the final kick of the day, a match winning goal within the last minute of the match.

The match commenced in front of a building crowd, Cougars kicking to the northern end, which was favoured slightly by the fresh Westerly breeze. It was all Eyre United early however, Foster prolific in the ruck and onballers Stratford and Pugsley driving the ball forward repeatedly. Fatchen was proving a handful up forward breaking the ice with his first goal following a couple of strong marks. Ethan Pugsley followed soon after with a fine roving goal, gathering the loose ball and arcing round and kicking truly for Eyre United’s second major. Eyre United had won all 3 centre clearances at this point but in what was to become a common theme for the day, the momentum shifted in the second half of the quarter as the Cougar playmakers in Hill, Henry Turnbull and Kerr begun getting their hands on the ball. It wasn’t long before key forward Charlie Turnbull capitalised on their good work, taking a strong contested mark on the goal line, and putting through Cougars first. Hammond and Max Turnbull each chimed in, both kicking fine goals, and it was now Cougars who were on top. Reuben Hill was dominating for Cougars at this stage both through the midfield and across half back, displaying a great mix of class and poise with ball in hand but also hardness and desperation at the contest.

The second quarter began as the first one left off, Cougars kicking the first goal through Charlie Turnbull following some nice work from classy young midfielder Aaron Kerr. However, it was now Eyre United’s turn to control the match. There was a noted increase in physical pressure by both sides as players threw everything into the contest, but it was the Saints who prospered with goals to McLean, Phillis and Fatchen. The Saints tall timber midfield trio of Stratford, Turner and Foster were in everything, and both defences were holding strong under the pressure. Cougars struck back with a goal shortly before half time and it really was anyone’s game.

Both coaches urged their players to run the ball and attempt to attack along the ‘top’ side to avoid tricky shots on goal from the eastern side of the ground.

Each team traded momentum throughout the third term, each team scoring the solitary goal as both defences held firm. Some fine individual efforts by the Masson’s and Will Franklin for Eyre United were matched by Paddy Denton, Conner Gale and Yarra Mickan for Cougars. Senior players were noticeably tiring so it was the quarter where the second and third tier players stood tall and advanced the contest to another level.

With only two points separating the teams at 3 quarter time the stage was set for heart stopping finale. The crowd was not disappointed. Again, momentum swayed throughout the final term. Charlie Turnbull kicked his fourth goal of the game to edge Cougars in front, but it was Saints ruckman Elijah Foster who asserted his influence on the match, contesting both aerially and at ground level pushing his side to the brink of success. An inspiring run-down tackle by Declan Phillis followed by an undisciplined 50m penalty saw the young Eyre United forward kick truly and the Saints faithful dared to dream. It was a tense few minutes as senior players from each team traded blows. Will Turner, Brody Stratford and the elusive Pugsley brothers gave it their all for the Saints whilst Henry, Charlie and Max Turnbull, Reuben Hill and Aaron Kerr did like wise for Cougars. With seemingly only minutes remaining Cougars players scrambled the ball deep into the forward area, and from within a mass of players the footy emerged, crossing the goal line via the boot of an ecstatic Saxon Rogers. Cougars were in front!

The ensuing centre bounce would be pivotal. Two magnificent, desperate tackles by big hearted Brody Stratford were finally rewarded but as he took the ball to drive his team forward the final siren sounded.

Cougars had hit the front within the final minute of play and just held on in what was one of the tightest grand finals for years.

Huge congratulations to both clubs, it was hard, fair junior footy at its best and each team’s top performers have all been mentioned above. A special mention must go to Eyre United’s Brody Stratford for being adjudged best on ground by the adjudicators on the day.

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