Springfield win caps 'remarkable journey'
IT WAS a fairytale finish to a fairytale season, and coach Matthew Hay deserves much of the credit.
The Greater Springfield Sports under 15 girls coach went above and beyond the call of duty in the team's first season together, and it paid immediate dividends.
GSS defeated rivals Beenleigh 8.9-57 to 5.9-39 to take out the Division 2 grand final.
Club president Luke Playfair was glowing in his praise of the first-year coach, in helping lead the team to a premiership in their inaugural season.
"He's been instrumental to that side, everything he has done for them has been absolutely brilliant," Playfair said.
"The level of knowledge he brings, the culture he has built and how he communicates with the girls - and the support off the field as well - he deserves a mention."
GSS knew they were in for a challenge, against a side Playfair labelled "the competition benchmark".
And Beenleigh set the tone early, bringing physicality to the contest and jumping out to an early lead.
But inaccuracy came back to haunt them, as GSS steeled themselves in the second quarter to regain the advantage.
The two sides traded goals for much of the second half, with Beenleigh coming to within four points.
But with the game on the line, GSS flexed their goal-scoring muscle to kick away at the death for an 18-point win.
"We knew through the finals series we'd see them again in the grand final, they were the benchmark," Playfair said.
"There were really difficult periods through the middle of the game, the girls had to settle their nerves a bit.
"But we seemed to want it more and it certainly showed in the last quarter.
"Honestly I wish I had words to describe it. Being the first ever premiership that we've won, there's a lot of emotion from the top down.
"Everyone feels a part of what they've achieved, but we only played a small part. What the girls did as a group was remarkable.
"For the girls, now that they've tasted success they'll want more. They'll want to be challenged as well.
"We have our work cut out to make sure we can continue to build this side."