GULLS BOOK GRAND FINAL BERTH WITH FOUR-POINT WIN
Pindan Premier Grade – Preliminary Final
Cottesloe 26 defeated Wests Scarborough 22 at Kingsway Reserve, Landsdale
Cottesloe has held off a fast-finishing Wests Scarborough to qualify for next Sunday’s Pindan Premier Grade grand final against Nedlands.
At one stage the Gulls held a 23-point lead over Wests Scarborough before holding off a late charge to run out 26-22 victors at Landsdale today.
Having exited the past couple of seasons via a preliminary final, Cottesloe coach Ian Fowler was happy to see his side progress to next week’s season decider.
We’ve worked hard all season and we didn’t want to go straight out,” he said. “We got jumped last week and never recovered, so we were really focused on getting a good start and working our phases and maintaining possession.”
Fowler credited his side’s defensive effort that kept Wests Scarborough try-less for the first hour as a key to the victory.
“I was really proud of our boys’ defence; it took time and effort for them to score and we didn’t make it easy.”
Wests Scarborough boss Dwayne Grace was disappointed his side left their best rugby for the final 20 minutes of the game.
“Cottesloe took their chances and played better in the first half,” he said. “I’m really proud of the boys, we’ve had a great season; it was a big move for us up to Scarborough and we’ve created a really good culture, so it’s a shame it has to finish like this.”
Wests Scarborough burst out of the blocks with an opening flurry inside Cottesloe’s quarter and appeared certain to score had an offload from No.8 Pierre Roberts found one of two unmarked players instead of the touchline.
It proved costly when Cottesloe forced turnover ball and Nate Howard broke the line to open up play before offloading to Ryan Louwrens, who scored under the posts.
While Sean Martin and Teava Terangi traded unsuccessful attempts at goal, it was Cottesloe prop Ollie Hoskins who was next on the scoresheet when he capitalised on strong go-forward ball by the Gulls to cross under the posts and open up a 14-0 lead at the half-hour mark.
Grace injected the Emirates Western Force duo of Pek Cowan and Sam Wykes into the match just before half-time, however, Wests Scarborough could only muster a Terangi penalty goal for the first term to trail by 11 points at the interval.
While Wests Scarborough returned determined to make up the deficit, however, forced passes proved costly with the minor premiers continuing to apply pressure. When Louwrens toed through a loose Boars ball the race was on to retrieve it, with several players running past a bouncing ball before Cottesloe centre Tobias Hoskins plucked it from mid-air to score underneath four defenders.
Cottesloe inflicted further pain a minute later after Wests Scarborough again coughed up possession inside their 22m allowing Emirates Western Force centre Junior Rasolea to cross and stretch out the lead to 23 points.
A luckless Wests Scarborough then found new life when Conan Houkamau’s converted try dragged the deficit back to 16 points after the hour mark.
Heavy-duty second rower Josh Beer crossed – after twice being held up over the try-line –to provide Wests Scarborough a glimmer of hope before Jayden Hayward crossed for another and converted from near the touchline to bring the Scarborough club within four points.
With the glimmer suddenly a blaze and the comeback of the year on the cards, Cottesloe’s Ed Melville missed a late penalty goal with a minute left on the clock, Wests Scarborough was set the challenge of travelling the length of the field to keep their 2013 season alive.
However, it wasn’t to be as Wests Scarborough only made it as far as halfway line before the ball was deemed unplayable from a ruck, with referee Graham Cooper’s full-time whistle sending Cottesloe to the grand final.