Back-to-back flags for clutch Central

FOR THE TRUE BELIEVERS: Central Whyalla again overcame their underdog status in a Grand Final, romping home to defeat Weeroona Bay and claim back-to-back A Grade premierships.
FOR THE TRUE BELIEVERS: Central Whyalla again overcame their underdog status in a Grand Final, romping home to defeat Weeroona Bay and claim back-to-back A Grade premierships.

In a Grand Final which looked destined to go down to the wire, Central Whyalla found an extra gear when it mattered most, piling on eight final quarter goals to claim back-to-back premierships.

The Roosters once again proved their ability to play some clutch football, but were strongly challenged by a Weeroona Bay outfit determined to win their first flag in 25 years.

After two tight quarters Central led by eight points at halftime, and another back-and-forth term saw the Roosters' lead shaved to four points. The stage was set for a grandstand finish.

But with fresh legs Centrals were able to take control in the fourth, ending Bays' dreams of a drought-breaking premiership and claiming their second consecutive flag by 36 points, 16.7 (97) to 9.7 (61).

Clifford Pickhaver-Tupe was Best On Ground while Joshua Maddigan had a stand-out performance up froward, bagging four goals for Centrals. Marko and Lachie Tansell were also in great form, as was Captain Daniel Marshall.

It's a tough pill for a young Bays side to swallow, having been in the game for three quarters but running out of steam when it came to the final term.

Jake Beinke was best afield for the Tigers while veteran Captain Rowan Mitchell turned in a terrific performance but will no doubt be feeling the pain of losing his third Grand Final.

Lee Ringland booted two goals for the Bays, as did Anthony Jenkinson.

It was a unique season for Central Whyalla, going into this year as reinging premiers things started off well with a shock smashing of league benchmark West Whyalla.

But as the season progressed and Coach Mark Turner struggled to field a full team due to injuries and player availability, the Roosters found themselves struggling to beat quality opposition.

They were unable to beat West again after their round one win, and fell to Weeroona Bay in all three meetings. The Roosters eventually finished fourth, but played their best footy all year in the finals.

For Weeroona Bay, despite their painful loss in the Grand Final, this season will be considered a great success. The Tigers finished second after winning just one game last year, and made their first Grand Final since 2018.

While the pain will no doubt be raw for the young Bays side right now, there's no doubt they will be a contender in the years to come.

Weeroona Bay 3.0 (18) 6.2 (38) 6.7 (43) 9.7 (61)

Central Whyalla 2.3 (15) 7.4 (46) 7.5 (47) 15.7 (91)

Central Whyalla

Goal Kickers: J. Maddigan 4, C. Huish 2, M. Woolford 2, B. Colson 2, K. Gale-Jones, J. Rigley, M. Tansell, D. Colson, S. Collison

Best Players: C. Pickhaver-Tupe, J. Maddigan, M. Tansell, L. Tansell, D. Marshall, K. Colson

Weeroona Bay

Goal Kickers: L. Ringland 2, A. Jenkinson 2, C. Waugh, F. Sinkinson, A. Rogers, S. Jackson, J. Beinke

Best Players: J. Beinke, R. Mitchell, R. Starkey, M. Zbierski, B. Delgiacco, S. Jackson