Boulder spoiled the party earlier this season when they beat their co-tenants on the weekend Mines Rovers had chosen to celebrate their 120th birthday. After close encounters during the year and an eight-point win by Mines in the second semi final everything pointed to an even Goldfields Football League grand final on Saturday.
It was four points the difference at quarter time but there was something about the way the Diorites were playing that gave an inkling of what was to come. It was a bright Goldfields day with a tricky breeze probably favouring the Tigers in the first quarter. Glorious set shots for goal from Jay Collard and Delson Trott set the tone for Mines.
In the second quarter it became apparent that Mines – losing grand finalists in the previous two seasons – were on. Bulky Bevan Bennell worried the Tigers with his surprising pace and booted three goals for the quarter and he wasn’t the only one causing damage. The Diorites were popping them through from everywhere – long distances, tight angles, curling them with the breeze – a forced behind just before half time broke the sequence of nine straight goals and at the break it was 10.1 (61) to 5.2 (32). Boulder wasn’t out of it but they were in trouble.
Mines put the game to rest early in the third quarter with more of the same – quick ball movement, hard tackling, well organised defence and incredible goal kicking. The game was over as a contest but the approach of the Diorites didn’t change – the Tigers could do no more than give an honest contest in a game played in very good spirit.
Apparently Collard (left) has had an indifferent season – in the grand final he was brilliant – quick, evasive, tough and, importantly, bringing others into the game. There were no passengers for Mines but many really stood out. Jordan Wythes opened up the game with his brilliant running and kicking, playing coach Dion Fleay controlled the back line (and probably everything else), Bennell finished with five goals as did Trott, Torrin Rowe was athletic in the ruck and Ryan Vermeersch was a classy performer.
Fraser Softly did some good things for Boulder, Nathan Krakouer provided a spark at times as did Henry Papertalk but really it just wasn’t a day for Tigers.
The victory gave Mines Rovers their 43rd GFL premiership.
The Diorites also won the reserves premiership beating Kalgoorlie by 51 points in the grand final to remain unbeaten while Kambalda beat Railways by 32 points in the colts to win the club’s first premiership at any level since 1990.