A season like no other has Tea Tree Gully take out the premiership in a classical grand final over a gallant and courageous Sacred Heart Old Collegians by 6-points
By Justin Gerschwitz
Tea Tree Gully v Sacred Heart Old Collegians – Norwood Oval Tea Tree Gully v Sacred Heart Old Collegians – Norwood Oval Tea Tree Gully are Division 2 premiers after a nail-biting six-point victory against Sacred Heart OC at Norwood Oval. The minor premiers, Tea Tree Gully, came into the contest as favorites. However, Sacred Heart have shown this finals series and at times during the season, that they have what it takes to beat the best in the competition, and this was always set to be a thrilling contest. A strong first quarter saw Tea Tree Gully build a nine-point lead at the end of the first term and the early signs were promising. Tea Tree Gully again controlled the contest in the second term, gathering plenty of opportunities in front of goal and making it count on the scoreboard as Sacred Heart had trouble containing their damaging forward line. Tea Tree Gully went into the half-time break with a 26-point lead and it looked like the game might be out of reach for Sacred Heart, but they had other plans in mind. A half-time rev up speech must have done wonders for Sacred Heart as they outscored Tea Tree Gully by five goals in the third term to trail by just seven points at three-quarter-time. The stage was well and truly set for a tense last quarter and it delivered. Goals in the final quarter proved hard to come by for both sides and the intensity went to another level. Thomas Bielby kicked home Tea Tree Gully’s only goal in the final term to extend their lead to 17 points. Sacred Heart were not ready to lie down yet and quickly responded through consecutive goals by Sean Keen and Shaun Tapp within minutes of each other to reduce Tea Tree Gully’s lead to six points. In a tense final few moments, Tea Tree Gully held strong to deny Sacred Heart’s charge and claim the Division 2 premiership in a season full of uncertainty. Tea Tree Gully’s Dylan Schoenmakers and Brodie Latham kicked home two crucial goals each while Thomas Bielby’s last quarter goal proved the difference maker. Blake Penney starred for Tea Tree Gully in a dominant performance while Cameron Tiggemann also played a crucial role in one of his best games for the season. Sacred Heart fought valiantly throughout their finals campaign and played great footy on their way to earning a grand final berth from third position on the ladder. Tea Tree Gully proved too good for the rest of the competition and are deservedly the Division 2 premiers in what has been a very challenging year for all clubs.