ROSEBUD came from 14 points down early in the last quarter to win the 2015 Nepean League premiership by 20 points on Saturday.
After the Eagles scooted away to their biggest lead of the afternoon, care of a Justin Allsop snap in the opening five minutes of the last quarter, Rosebud then dominated the next 30 minutes of the match to run out 13.14 (92) to 10.12 (72) winners.
In a see-sawing battle that saw momentum swing many times during the afternoon, Rosebud refused to be beaten in the final term and its leaders stood up.
While the Eagles appeared to be trying to shut the game down after skipping to the 14 point lead, the Buds were looking at ways to score goals and get themselves back into the match.
Skipper Ryan Spooner led the charge. He willed his side across the line and brought every team mate along with him.
The premiers had a whopping 23 inside 50 metre entries in the last quarter, compared to just five for the Eagles. Rosebud completely dominated.
Jason Bristow, who was the best player on the ground with 34 possessions, including 11 in the last quarter, fittingly kicked the sealer with his first goal of the match.
Keegan Downie was absolutely superb and just shaded for best on ground honours. The 19-year-old was a wonderful target in attack, booting three goals and also spent some time in defence in the second quarter when Somerville got on top.
Rosebud started in sensational fashion, working its way back into the contest after Somerville dominated the first 10 minutes and booted the opening two goals of the game.
Rosebud booted six of the next seven goals in the opening quarter to waltz into the quarter time huddle with a 19 point lead. Rob Forrest was magnificent early, having seven first quarter possessions and booting two goals.
Greg Bentley, who finished with 18 touches, had six of those in the first quarter and Bristow also had eight possessions in the opening stanza.
However, Somerville gained the ascendancy in the following two quarters and kicked six of the next eight goals of the match to lead by eight points at the last change.
Josh Westerman shut down Forrest. Tommy Shaw was working tirelessly up and back from the forward half of the ground. Luke Rowe started to clunk a few marks and hit the scoreboard. Todd Farrelly continued his domination of Tom Baker (two goals). Ben Sedewick was making life very difficult for Lachy Armstrong.
Justin Farrelly started to break even with Ben Dwyer in the ruck after being beaten early and Scott Simpson asserted his authority with some very heavy, bone-crunching tackles.
With the likes of Jedd Sutton, Justin Allsop, Leigh Stewart and Cal Dixon winning plenty of the footy, the Eagles looked the hot tip leading into the last quarter.
It certainly looked even better for them in the last when Allsop got on the end of a ball inside 50 and nailed it from 30 metres.
At that stage, the scoreboard read Somerville 10.10 (70) to Rosebud 8.8 (56).
That’s where the celebrations ended for the Eagles’ players and supporters.
While the Eagles went into protection mode to maintain the lead, Rosebud came charging.
Dwyer again started to jump higher and stronger in the ruck. Bentley, Forrest, Brad McDonald, Rhys Bancroft and Bristow started to force their way forward of centre through sheer will and strength and the back half, led by the dashing and powerful Nick Boswell, began to repel all Somerville attacks.
Matt Baker, Jack Jarman, Chris Zurek and Daniel Wilson, who collectively worked tirelessly all day down back, also grew a leg and made it difficult for their opponents.
Seb Kremich had a fantastic battle with Billy Rolfe all afternoon and broke even in the end after Rolfe had a bit of it early.
At the other end of the ground, the likes of Tom Stoffells and Glen Peterson started to get busy when the ball went inside and Downie was going for everything in the air, either bringing it to ground for his smalls or marking it.
Dale Stephens had an impact on the match on a number of occasions, utilising his blistering pace, while Brenton Davidge provided sensational support in the ruck for Dwyer. The Buds certainly lost nothing when Davidge went into the middle.
While the likes of Cade Williams and Kurtis Corrin didn’t have big numbers, their influence when required supported this Rosebud culture of “team first”.
Somerville played into Rosebud’s hands when the game was there to be won. It got in front in the second and third quarter because it took the game on. The Eagles took risks, moved the ball quickly and gave their forwards an opportunity.
However, when they got out to 14 points, they went defensive, slowed the game down, didn’t run and carry, didn’t take risks and did nothing to change the momentum.
Rosebud has proven that they are the best in the business at these tactics. It’s the way they like the game to be played. The result was 11 scoring shots to three in the final term.
Rosebud deserved to be premiers. They were the minor premier and went straight into the grand final after a second semi-final win.
The entire club deserves to be congratulated. Following the Nick Jewell resignation, the club could have gone off the rails.
While it’s certainly been tough from an off-field perspective, the club has remained vigilant. The on field team has certainly not buckled at any point.
There is only one reward for hard work in footy clubs and that is premierships.
In 2015, Rosebud Football Club are the deserved premiers.
In the reserves, Devon Meadows won its first ever club premiership with a 13.14 (92) to 8.7 (55) victory over Somerville.
Somerville booted the first five goals of the game before the Meadows responded with 13 of the next 16 majors.
Forty-one-year-old club legend Craig Hunter booted three goals while 19-year-old Luke Duhig was judged best afield.
In the Under 19s, Dromana continued its fairytale finals run, beating Rosebud 15.11 (101) to 9.12 (66).
Stars Sam Fowler, Billy Quigley and Sam Guerts dominated for the Tigers while Ethan Johnstone was judged best afield.
It was Rosebud’s second loss in two seasons.