Captain takes charge for win
COMPOSURE under extreme pressure from Gympie Cats under-14 captain Joel Perry-Warren proved decisive in victory over Maroochydore Gold at the weekend.
The young Cats side hit the Bruce Hwy for the away game and toppled the competition frontrunners in Round 5 of the Division 1 Sunshine Coast/Gympie competition.
At the final siren, the Cats signed off on an epic win 7-14 (56) to Maroochydore's 8-6 (54).
The Gympie boys hit the final quarter of the game trailing, but had positioned themselves close enough to snatch the win.
As the battle raged on and goals were traded at either end of the oval, 30 seconds remained on the game clock and Gympie needed to score to nudge ahead and snatch the win.
Up stepped the steely Perry-Warren.
With steady nerves and determination beyond his years, Gympie's captain nailed a long-range assault on goal.
It was a heart-in-mouth moment as the ball departed the captain's boot and sailed towards the uprights.
As the umpire signalled goal and the game clock ran out, Gympie players erupted in spontaneous celebration.
A dejected and broken Maroochydore could only hang their heads wondering how their long-held lead had slipped through their fingers.
Perry-Warren had previously gained possession of the ball in the do-or-die passage of play from the centre.
"The side was well aware of the urgency of the situation," a club spokesman said.
"We needed another goal and we had to get the ball forward to have a shot at goal.
"Joel had just scored prior and was able to nail a long- range kick."
Perry-Warren finished the game with three goals, two of which came in the dying moments of the final quarter to swing the game Gympie's way.
The Gympie Cats U14 outfit is now sitting fourth on the ladder following the weekend's win and within striking range of climbing higher.