THE Cooma Red Devils suffered a heavy defeat in their Grand Final encounter against Goulburn, losing to the homeside by 63 points.
Undefeated all season, Goulburn showcased their attacking prowess running out victors 69-6. Cooma, playing in their first Grand Final in many years, entered the decider with a attacking mindset, confident of springing an upset against their highly fancied rivals.
A Cooma supporters bus headed up the Monaro Highway to cheer on the Red Devils in their quest for premiership glory.
After a promising start to the match, Cooma took the lead 3-0 courtesy of a Ryan Morgan penalty goal.
Cooma's forwards made good meters on the back of strong runs from Ben Neilson, Mat Jameson, Brock Robinson and Jimmy Nichols close to the ruck, allowing the backs to get across the advantage line .
Goulburn were able to regroup and were soon able to respond with an unconverted try. Cooma's defence was strong and Goulburn were repelled on a number of occasions with strong defence from Leighton Bates, Steven Boate, Phil Johnson and James Strange.
Cooma had to do without their coach Sean Neilson who was an early casualty having to go to hospital after feeling unwell on the way to Goulburn.
With the weather closing in and the rain starting to fall, Cooma lost its intensity for a ten minute period and this allowed Goulburn to get across the advantage line and with their big forwards making good meters and being able to get quick ball, it allowed their backs room to move, with this Goulburn were able to score three quick tries.
Cooma regrouped and were able to make good meters on the back of strong runs from Ben Kelly, Matthew Moxon and Ryan Morgan and found themselves in good field position and again after receiving another penalty slotted another penalty goal.
With the rain really coming down and playing conditions difficult, ball control became very tough with the greasy conditions making it hard for both sides to hold onto the ball.
Cooma went into half time trailing 26-6. Cooma came out after half time and on the back of strong runs from Pat Egan, Will Nicholls, Andrew Rolfe and Matt Crowley who had replaced Tom Laddams who had picked up a knee injury, applied pressure to the Goulburn defence.
Goulburn were able to make easy meters and the points were able to flow for them as they were able to find holes in Cooma's defence.
Cooma persisted but they were up against a well drilled and very good football side who in the end showed why they were the competition front runners all year as Goulburn ran away with the game with the score 69-6 when the ref called full time and an end to the 2014 football season.
The Red Devils would like to thank all those supporters who travelled to Goulburn on Saturday and for the support throughout the year it is appreciated. They would also like to thank all the sponsors and people who do the work behind the scenes to make the club what it is, so from all the players thank you for your work and we will be back next year ready to have another crack at the title.