The Cooma Red Devils second grade side came away second best in their grand final against Goulburn Dirty Reds on Saturday.
In a closely contested match in the fight for the 2012 premiership title, Goulburn proved better on the day to win 10-3.
Cooma started the game with great intensity and controlled the opening exchanges but were unable to get any points on the board. Goulburn used the wind and kicked clear from their own half and started to put pressure on the Cooma line but Cooma’s defence held strong.
Penalties were costing Cooma and this allowed Goulburn the chance to put points on the board but their kicker was having an off day with the boot and missed two early penalty goals. Cooma withstood this continued attack and when they finally got their hands on the ball were able to make good metres through the backs off strong runs from Phil Johnson, Tom Laddams and Credence Bartlett.
Cooma posted the first points of the afternoon when Nathan Boate kicked a penalty goal to give Cooma a 3-0 lead. Goulburn returned fire and for the rest of the half were camped inside the Cooma 40 metre line. Only great defence from Dean Perry, Tom McGuire, Matt Gibbs and Brett Jones stopped Goulburn from scoring. The Devils held tight and when Matt Gibbs was sent to the sin bin it looked like the task at hand was going to be even greater but Cooma held strong and kept turning the Goulburn attack away. Goulburn scored just before half-time to lead at the break 5-3.
Cooma felt they were a good chance in the second half and with the wind at their backs felt like it was their game to win. Cooma had a couple of good attacking raids on the Goulburn line but penalties kept allowing Goulburn to get out of their own half and turn Cooma around and apply the pressure back to Cooma.
With an ever increasing penalty count against Cooma frustrations were building in the side and when Aron Rogers spent time in the bin it was starting to look like a big task at hand. Cooma held strong and again didn’t let in any points in with a man down. Goulburn put the game to bed when they scored in the last minute to win a close game 10-3.
Points this week 1 point all the supporters who travelled down to watch, 2 points all the players for a great effort and season and 3 points and players player Jimmy Nichols who drove the bus and put up with everyone.
The second grade side put in a good effort throughout the year to make it to the grand final and hope to go one better in 2013.
A reminder that presentation night is next Saturday night so get your tickets and let’s close out the season in style.