Red Hot Chilli Steppers claim A Grade touch crown

A Grade premiers, Red Hot Chilli Steppers after their grand final win
Phat Athletes file photo

The Open Mixed Touch grand finals last Thursday night at Ward Oval didn’t disappoint with the games having everything a grand final could hope for.

Both the A Grade and B Grade matches were fast paced, exciting games, with the “underdogs” eventually winning both matches.

The Red Hot Chilli Steppers stepped up to claim the A Grade crown with their win coming in overtime over the Concrete Cowboys.

The Chilli Steppers fought back from a two point deficit at half time to tie the scores at
4-all at full time which then forced the match into extra time to determine the winner.

Gerald Mackay had opened the scoring for the Chilli Steppers in the first half but they still had plenty of work to do after Bridgette Negfeldt and Zac Broughton scored first half tries for Concrete Cowboys which gave the Cowboys an important 3-1 lead at half time. (Female tries are worth two points.)

Second half tries for the Chilli Steppers scored by Brennah Aumua and Jack Brown and one for Concrete Cowboys’ Frazer Talu, resulted in the scores locked up at 4-all at full time.

It then went to a drop off in extra time with the fields reduced to just four-a-side for a further two minutes of play.

Two quick tries by Aumua and Kayla Hasson sealed the victory for the Chilli Steppers who finished with an 8-4 victory.

Chilli Steppers’ Tom Plater was named Player of the Grand Final.

The B Grade grand final underdogs, Phat Athletes, had saved their best performance of the season until the final game and were a great match for the favourites, Rusty Snails.

Both sides scored four tries each in the match, but the difference was that one of Phat Athletes’ tries was scored by a female player which helped them to claim a one point win,
5-4, at full time.

Rusty Snails looked on track to break their grand final hoodoo curse (it was their third grand final appearance without a win) when they had a one point advantage at the break following two tries scored by Jesse Murphy and one to Ben Dormer.

A try each by Jay Egan and Todd Fugar kept Phat Athletes in contention with the score just
3-2 in the Snails’ favour at half time.

Murphy crossed for his third try of the match in the second half and Phat Athletes added two more tries to their tally with Zoë Egan and Player of the Grand Final, Adam Doherty, helping to seal the win for Phat Athletes.

End of season presentations followed the games with Brennah Aumua (Red Hot Chilli Steppers) and Kai Taylor (Concrete Cowboys) named the competition’s Best & Fairest Players of the season with Taylor also named the leading male try scorer with a tally of 16 tries for the season.

The female top try scorer title was shared by Nikki Gilbert (Rusty Snails) and Maddie Bruce (CATS) after both finished the season with nine tries.