TUNGAMAH capped a sensational season by winning the Picola Football League’s South East grand final at Rennie on Saturday.
The Bears had a 26-point victory against Waaia in a high standard game of fluctuating fortunes.
Tungamah was beaten just once during the season but its grand final margin was 30 points less than its emphatic second semi-final success against Waaia.
The win capped a superb season for the club with eight football and netball teams in grand finals.
The Bears’ claimed the reserves premiership against Shepparton East and the thirds toppled Waaia but the fourths lost narrowly.
There was icing on the cake with two netball flags.
The senior match had an unusual occurrence when one of the goal posts snapped at the base during a torrid third quarter causing about a 10-minute delay.
A steel post was put in the ground to support the post and play resumed.
Tungamah coach Damian Payne said the interruption to play was a blessing in disguise for his team.
“Waaia had a bit of momentum at that stage,” he said.
The Bears’ inaccuracy in front of goal was worrying with Payne saying: “It could have really hurt us.”
He acknowleged the spirit of Waaia which fought out the contest right to the end.
“They just would not go away. Every time we had a lead they just kept pegging us back,” he said.
Payne said he did not consider the premiership won until the last couple of minutes.
The Bears managed just four goals from 13 scoring shots in the first quarter but still had a 19-point lead.
As the game progressed, the margin increased to 21 points midway and 34 points at the final change.
But Waaia kept coming and kicked five goals in the last quarter compared to the Bombers’ three from nine scoring shots.
It was prominent forward Mark Meyland who kept Waaia within reach and he finished with seven goals.
The elusive left-footer is noted for his accuracy and making the most of opportunities.
“He does not miss many chances. Ironically Scott Sanderson played on him and was one of our best,” Payne said.
The Bears, by contrast, had plenty of goal kickers with forward flanker Joe Doyle leading the way with three majors.
Payne, centre half-forward Matt Clarke, wingman Brady Hayes, forward pocket Duane Haebich and midfielder or forward flanker Chris Powell kicked two goals each.
Centreman Daniel Ellis produced a best on ground performance for Tungamah and was acknowledged by getting the medal for the outstanding player in the game.
His Waaia opponent Brendan Stevens was likewise a top contributor.
League best and fairest winner Nick Doyle was another who rated highly for the Bears along with back flanker Bohdi Butts and Chris Powell.
Wingman Robbie Bradbury, back pocket Darcy Botterill and Luke Henery were others to play well for Waaia.
Meanwhile, Strathmerton had a runaway 90-point preliminary final victory against Blighty in the North West league at Yarroweyah.
The Bulldogs were ruthless from start to finish — with a winning 10-goal lead midway through the match.
Josh Evans led the way with seven goals.
But Jerilderie will be a far more difficult proposition with the Demons winning by 17 points a fortnight ago.