Coburg Superules Premier Reserves have been crowned premiers in 2019 after a narrow 2-point victory over Parkdale in a low scoring affair at Casey Fields on Sunday.
Over a short period, a healthy rivalry has developed between the two clubs and this match was another classic, similar to the heart stopping “kick after the siren” win for Coburg in the 2018 Semi-Final.
From the opening bounce the two best credentialled teams of 2019 went at it with gusto and purpose in blustery conditions, Parkdale opting to kick with the wind in the first term.
For the Lions Carlo Federico was first to stand up and was superb in the opening stanza with some strong marking in the defensive half to keep the Vultures at bay.
At the end of first quarter it was stalemate with both teams only managing 2-behinds.
In the second term Coburg, aided by the breeze, got their running game going and began to make inroads peppering the goals. Majors to Owen Kortlang and Mick Noble saw the Lions take momentum and a 15-point lead into half time.
Any thoughts Coburg had of running away with the game in the second half dissipated as quickly as weather conditions. The rain came down and then Parkdale surged, kicking two goals early in the quarter to peg back the margin to 2-points.
Coburg’s Adam Lewis, who this season had won the League Goal Kicking, then marked 40 metres out on a 45-degree angle. In the pouring rain, the small forward slotted a clutch goal under extreme pressure to give the Lions back the advantage. It proved to be the most important kick of the day.
However, Parkdale not to be denied, pinched a goal late in the third quarter to once again trim the margin back to 2-points to set up what was to be a thrilling last term.
The final quarter was an arm wrestle with both teams fighting hard for every inch of territory and making uncharacteristic mistakes under pressure and ultimately in front of goal.
It became a game of stoppages which in many respects suited Coburg’s appetite for contested footy. When Parkdale attacked, time after time the cavalry led often by Paul Turner arrived to kill the contest and reset. The Lions showed true desperation and commitment to grind out a nail biting 2-point victory.
When the final siren sounded, Coburg 3.7-25 had defeated Parkdale 3.5-23. With it came a sense of both celebration and relief. It was a gutsy performance that went a long way to erasing the heartbreak of last season’s grand final loss.
Ruckman Carlo Federico was a warrior on the day and thanks to his heroics he won the medal for a best afield performance.