The Bounce beaming after classic grand final battle

Touch football

THE Bounce has upset the odds to claim this year's division one men's touch football title, beating the highly-fancied Suman's Engineering in a thrilling grand final at Collina on Monday night.

Clawing back from a one-point deficit at half-time, The Bounce strung three tries together at the start of the second half to secure a memorable victory and consign Suman's to back-to-back grand final losses.

Team captain Danny Graham said the surprise result even came as a shock to the players themselves, who only hit form at the business end of the season.

"Most of the season we hardly won a game," he laughed.

"But come finals time, we got people back and with a full team we started gelling.

"Anything can happen in the finals and we won a few games when it mattered and were lucky enough to get up in the big one.

"We've had this team together for five or six years now and we're all pretty good mates, and it shows.

"We muck around. It wouldn't have worried us if we didn't even make the finals.

"It's just a bit of fun but to win the grand final is even better."

It was a cracking match between two well-matched and deserving finalists - both steered by players with a wealth of rugby league experience in Graham, the former Waratah Tigers coach, and Simon Bonetti, an NRL premiership player.

And it got off to a suitably cracking start, with both teams scoring off their very first sets. 

The first half was an armwrestle but it was Bonetti who put Suman's Engineering ahead on the stroke of half-time to make it 4-3 and give his side the inside running.

But The Bounce had other ideas, squaring things up early in the second stanza through Ben Vitucci, who then played in Graham for the team's next try, which put them ahead 5-4.

Then man-of-the-match Jesse Forrester followed up with his second score of the night, handing The Bounce a two-point lead for the first time in the game.

That prompted a furious attacking flurry from Suman's Engineering, with Greg Bonetti getting through to make it 6-5 and set up a grandstand finish.

But it turned out to be the last try of the night as The Bounce's terrific defence held firm under pressure, keeping Suman's out and forcing crucial turnovers in attack just as it seemed they were back in with a shout.

John Pastro scored a double for Suman's in the first half while Glen Villata scored the team's other try.

It was the first win for The Bounce over Suman's this season, having lost 9-6 and then drawn 8-8 in their two earlier encounters.

The Bounce 6 (Jesse Forrester 2, Danny Graham 2, Samuel Gilbert, Ben Vitucci) defeated Suman's Engineering 5 (John Pastro 2, Greg Bonetti, Simon Bonetti, Glen Villata)

Best and fairest: Jesse Forrester (The Bounce)

HAPPY DAYS: The Bounce toasts to their division one men's grand final victory on Monday night.

HAPPY DAYS: The Bounce toasts to their division one men's grand final victory on Monday night.


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