The 2016 Chinchilla Bears.
The 2016 Chinchilla Bears. Contributed

Bears unable to secure back to back premierships

FOOTBALL: The Chinchilla Bears (proudly sponsored by Johnson Quality Builders) played in their football grand final on Sunday against Highfields.

The game was played at West Wanders home ground alongside the rest of the South West Football division's finals.

The Bears were ready for a tough game on Sunday and had no doubt Highfields would come out fighting right from the start of the game.

Both teams fought very hard in the first half, Highfields had a chance mid-way through the half to take the lead, but Bears goal keeper Dan Harmon managed to pull off a couple good saves to keep the score sheet clean.

Mark Johnson had some tough chances for the bears in the half too but was unable to capitalise, and he wasn't the only one Matt Clarke unfortunately miss the mark in the first half too.

The Bears looked to be the most dominant team for most of the half. At the half time break neither team had managed to take the lead.

Bears coach Brett Bowman said at half time the team had some great passages of play and were looking confident, but needed to snare that goal and put the pressure on.

With the start of the second half the Bears made quick use of the ball as they have shown in the past, with some quick passing between the midfield and managed to spread out the Highfields players giving them the chance to play the ball up towards Mark Johnson but was again shut down by a scrambling Highfields defence.

The bears managed to hold out the Highfields attackers with the strong mid field of Dan Lowder, Neil Stevenson, Ross Cardillo and Joe Hobbs for the better part of the half, but it would be a unfortunate mistake by the Bears goal keeper Dan Harmon, whilst coming forward to a shot from Highfields central mid fielder, Harmon had quickly see what was happening and moved into position to take the shot, with the ball dipping late Harmon managed to get to the ball but was unable to control the ball when he hit the ground, the bobble was enough to see the ball trickle over the goal line and give Highfields the lead 1-0.

After Highfields had slotted their goal they were very focused on defending their goal then pushing a few extra players into the back line.

Bear centre back Stew Hope was pushing the bear boys forward as much as possible to give them the best opportunity to even up the score.

The Bears had a couple of good chance of consecutive corners, one of which young gun James Cardillo managed to get his head to the ball but just put it wide on the goal, it would not be long and again the Bears were taking another corner and putting immense pressure on the scrambling Highfields team, the Bears had a chance to snare their goal but with Highfields smothering the ball and deflections going everywhere like a pinball machine the Highfields team somehow managed to keep the ball out of their goal and send it back down the field.

The game would finish with Highfields up 1-0 and winners of the 2016 Division 1 South-West Queensland football comp.

After the game Bears captain and goal keeper Dan Harmon said the side played well.

"We played well today, I'm very proud of how the team has played all season long, It has been a privilege to play alongside these guys this year,” he said.

"Back to back winners would have been great but it wasn't to be in the end, there is always next year.”

Young Jonty Calleja was tired and devastated, but said it had been a great season all up.

Ross Cardillo said after the trophy presentation: "Even though the final result was disappointing the season as a whole was very successful with the team having 7 players debuting for the season.”

The Bears still have one game left this season now the annual Mittelstadt cup, which is played between Dalby and Chinchilla for both the Bears and Honey Bears, on October 15.