Troy boys and slammin' Sam bow out
COMPLETING a hat-trick of Bundaberg men's premierships was a perfect club swansong for Brothers United stalwarts Troy Law and Troy Maude and Australian under-19 star Sam Daff.
United had been unable to put it all together all season and finished a distant third on the ladder, but the finals brought out their best and after big minor-semi and preliminary final victories, their class prevailed as they outgunned West Lynx 13-4 in the grand final.
Coach Brian Bailey, who returned to the position this season, described it as a “great win”.
“We had struggled to get players on the park all year but everyone was available for the final series and it was a great result overall,” Bailey said.
Bailey said pitcher Stuart Gesling was “awesome”.
“Stuart had been the stalwart on the mound all year but he missed out in the preliminary final but he returned and pitched the whole game and repaid my confidence in him,” he said.
“Also Troy Maude caught well and hit our first home run and brought a runner home, we were 4-0 up after the first dig, and it was just a great team batting display.
“We stayed in front even though they've got a great young pitcher, Lyam McKay, who has represented Australia with Daff, but we got on top of him.
“Troy Law got a couple of home runs and had a great game on second base, Daff also had a home run and a great game at short stop, big Les Kuorikoski smashed another home run – he is just brute force – and young Trevor Prossliner also struck a home run – his first for the year.
“For a few, it was their last game for United – Troy Law, who's been with the club since he was a T-baller 15 years ago, has got a back complaint and can't play any more.
“Also Troy Maude, who was also a junior of United, now lives in Bowen but has been driving home when he can, but he can't keep doing it, and Daff has moved to Brisbane to further his career, so it's the best possible way for them to bow out.”
The Ladies A Grade final also capped a triumphant return season for West Panthers coach Ian Cottrill after his side sprung a monumental upset in crushing minor premiers Moray Eels 15-4.
He had also been at the helm of West's only previous A Grade premiership in 2004.
“Last time I coached five years and we made four grand finals in a row and won one, but I've always loved the game and after three years off, I missed it and wanted to come back,” Cottrill said.
“I told the girls at the start of the season I've got a three-year plan – to play well this season and improve and make the final next year, but now the pressure is on me to repeat this.
“I've got aspirations now of getting my Level 1 coaching certificate back, then Level 2, so I can take a team to a state carnival.”
The victory helped wipe away the disappointment for club stalwart and inspirational senior player Angela Rohdmann, who was also coach of their Lynx men's side which was beaten by United earlier in the afternoon.