Red Lions Post Their First Div 1 AP Cup Victory

When the UQAFC was promoted to Division 1 few would have expected the new kids on the block to claim their first scalp as early as round 2. April 27th will go down in history as the club’s first Allied Pickfords Cup Senior win as they held out Noosa to take the chocolates by 1 point in a hard-fought match.

Coming off a spirited loss last week against Maroochydore the boys were keen to put up a good showing in what were near perfect conditions. The coach asked for effort in his pre-match address, and boy oh boy did he get it.

In what was a tight, low scoring first quarter there was plenty of aggression shown from both sides. Coach Matthew Stewart’s much loved ‘MVP’ statistics were through the roof with the boys entering the quarter time break 8 points down.

The arm wrestle continued throughout the second quarter, young gun key forward duo Rhys Tagell and Jono Gorham began to put on proverbial clinics in front of goal, ripping down marks and converting their chances. Despite this the boys trailed by just under two goals at half time.

The opening of the third quarter proved to be pivotal in the context of the game, the likes of Sean Powyer, David Doherty and Tom Warby’s pressure on the ball carrier was something to behold, but it was captain courageous Michael Stewart that really set the tone. In a mesmerizing opening 10 minutes of the 3rd quarter, the skipper amassed 7 MVP stats, smashing all previous records. Zac Southern continued his run and carry, breaking the lines with dash, and new gun recruit Adam Stevonson’s experience and cool head in a crisis was shining through. Despite the effort on display from our boys, Noosa kept coming and never once rolled over.

The scene was set for a last quarter that could only be described as one of the most thrilling ever seen at Oval 7. The last quarter was a shoot out, a goal for goal affair. Inspirational centre half back Louis Straker was subbed off with a shoulder injury, and along with the loss of Jordan McDonald earlier in the day, we were left with only two on the bench. Rotations went out the window as our boys had to tough it out with minimal rest.

With 1 minute to go in the game, despite our ferocious attack on the ball carrier, we found ourselves 5 points down. Enter Jarrod Prackelt. Let’s face it, the kid loves these situations. Having plucked a mark just on the 50m arc, the crowd hushed knowing that it would take a mighty effort to convert from that distance. Even his mum, his most staunch supporter, said he wouldn’t kick it. Prackers had no such fears. As soon as it left his boot he knew exactly where it was going, straight through the middle! The UQ crowd erupted, the siren went soon after, and the boys had their first win in Division 1: UQ – 10.13. 73 defeated Noosa – 10.12. 72.

Peter Herring