DEFENCE: Columbia’s Josh Nichols goes in to tackle Tim McClelland on Saturday. MORE PHOTOS PAGE 20.
DEFENCE: Columbia’s Josh Nichols goes in to tackle Tim McClelland on Saturday. MORE PHOTOS PAGE 20. James Loose

Columbia fights to claim semi victory over Diggers

MINOR premiers Columbia have advanced to the reserve grade Fraser Coast League grand final after a win over the Diggers division 2 side in an all-Gympie major semi-final on Saturday.

In wet conditions at One Mile Ovals, the game was locked at 0-0 at half time after an uneventful first period.

"The game wasn't really going anywhere, and Diggers were pressing us really well," Columbia captain Joel Bond said.

"We had a couple of chances, but were turning the ball over too much.

"I said to the boys at the break that we needed to change the way we were playing, which we did in the second half.

Jason Lord finished with a double, taking his season tally to 26 goals, seven in front of the competition's next highest scorer, and Doug Rose scored a cracker after coming off the bench to complete the 3-0 victory.

"They only had one player on the bench and we had a full squad, which probably had a bit to do with it, but it was a really good team performance from us," Bond said.

"The field was in excellent condition considering how much rain we'd had, so that didn't really affect the game too much thankfully."

Diggers will go on to play the winner of tomorrow night's other semi-final between United Warriors and Kawungan Sandy Straits 2 this weekend, while Columbia will rest up in preparation for next Saturday's decider.

"Complacency is the big thing for us heading into the final, we just need to make sure we turn up mentally and we should be fine," Bond said.

"We play a certain style of football and stick to it, although we had to change it a bit on Saturday because of the pressure Diggers were putting on us."

Bond is in doubt for the final with a hamstring, and other than Leigh Hunter, who suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the year, Columbia will field a full-strength squad.

Gympie Times


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