HERVEY Bay Bombers played the sort of footy that won them a premiership last year, but couldn’t keep it up for long enough to upset Across The Waves.
Waves 15.7.97 to 11.10.76 victory was built on the back of a dominant second and third quarter.
Led by the effervescent Mat Fleming at full forward, the minor premiers clawed back from a 16-point quarter-time deficit to take a five-goal lead into the final term.
Fleming, who has been in and out of the team this year, looked right at home in the goal square.
He booted four, Brett Williams got three while Tim Riseley and Kieran Perry managed two each.
Best on ground honours went to Fleming, but he was quick to deflect praise to his team-mates.
“We worked hard right across the park today and it was a good win,” he said.
“Bombers played some pretty good footy early on, but we didn’t let it get to us and we were able to turn it around.”
Jareb Cowan, Riseley, Daniel O’Keefe and rookie Curtis Janke all lifted their workrate in the second quarter and countered the resilient Bombers with some great service to the forward line.
Janke in particular wowed the crowd with some breathtaking pick-ups and brave work at the stoppages.
His coach John Williams says he is “a freak” considering how well he has adapted to a brand new sport this season.
“I’ve never seen anyone take to the game as quickly as he has. Some of the things he’s doing are just incredible.”
Waves will now wait for their grand final opponent to be decided after Brothers easily accounted for Bay Power yesterday afternoon.
Brothers will have the advantage of the small Maryborough field, with the big-kicking Justin Sheehan capable of delivering deep into the forward line from the centre square.