Cup win for Redbacks
A WIN in the Cardinal Cup in Lismore has boosted the Redbacks confidence for 2012.
In hot, steamy conditions in Lismore at the weekend, the Warwick Credit Union Redbacks outplayed Lismore and Jimboomba to be crowned 2012 champions.
Jimboomba and Lismore play in higher-ranked competitions where they are reigning premiers in their divisions. The games in Lismore were the last before the Redbacks March 24 opener at Gold Park and the game against Highfields at Roddie's Oval on March 31.
The Redbacks earnt a grand-final spot after a bone crunching and sometimes heated semi-final against Jimboomba, virtually falling across the line with a five-point win 7.5. (47) to 6.6. (42).
With only five minutes to go in the final quarter a snap from full-forward Aaron Lawlor claimed the lead for the Reddies.
From that point, tight defence of Tony Chandler, Andrew Bardsley, Kerin Politch, Robbie Stewart and the running, bustling games of Jason Wright and Tyhe Clarkson won out.
Going into the grand final with only 21 players was a mountain to climb. With a lot of credit to support staff, the walking wounded on Saturday came through with recovery swims, smart diet and plenty of sleep to be ready for the game.
Totally prepared to put their bodies on the line, support each other and have belief in themselves and teammates, they won 17.13. (115) to Lismore's 5.9. (39) to win the now coveted Cardinal Cup.
Youngsters Harley Beckhouse and Ryan Grady were outstanding and Bryce Bodsworth stamped himself as a genuine contender for centre half-back. Dale Randall, Alex Cutmore, Ray Lawer and Jason Hoole played solidly.
The overall defence set up was far too strong for Lismore with Chandler and Kerin Politch amassing kick after kick.
A close first half had the game up for grabs, but the third quarter is the premiership quarter.
A seven-goal stanza to one point proved the old adage to be true. Within seconds of opening the final quarter a Brendan Iles clearance to Jason Wright and a quick snap put the game out of doubt.
Player of the carnival Iles proved yet again why he is classed as the best footballer on the Downs and Aaron Lawlor's contribution in attack gave him the leading goal scorer's award.