'Stormtroopers' win first title
By DAREN MONCRIEFF
THEIR coach called it an 'amazing game of football won by a courageous football team'.
And that describes perfectly the Northern Rivers Storm's thrilling three-point grand final win over Coomera Magpies on Sunday.
The Storm won the AFL Gold Coast Juniors Division 2 flag over the Magpies in a cliffhanger, 13.7 (85) to 11.16 (82).
Storm coach Ean Jones could also have added the word 'perfect' to his side's game because they went in with an attacking mindset backed-up by a strong defensive game plan.
The Storm burst out of the blocks and slammed home four goals to lead by 24 points at quarter-time. But the Magpies fought their way back.
Throughout the contest, Angus Graham Division 2's 2007 best and fairest (see below right) used his height to the Storm's advantage by effecting numerous spoils on Coomera's forwards.
Brock Phyland at full-back was strong in defence and the Storm's midfield brigade of Liam Stafford, Jake Hayes, Ahri Tallon and Connor Sanders won heaps of ball out of the middle.
All that hard work, however, almost came to nought when, late in the final quarter, Coomera levelled the scores. And then the final siren sounded.
The lead changed several times in extra time until the Storm won a free kick right in front of goal.
The resultant goal put the Storm back in front by three points and the extra time siren sounded seconds later with the ball in the Magpies' forward line.