SUCCESS: Columbia captain Joel Bond.
SUCCESS: Columbia captain Joel Bond. James Loose

Columbia takes out reserve grade in first year

AFTER only joining the competition this year, Columbia has won the reserve grade Fraser Coast League title, with a win over fellow Gympie side Diggers in the grand final on Saturday.

The minor premiers went into the match in Hervey Bay as strong favourites, having lost just one match this season, and gained the early advantage just two minutes into the match when Jason Lord was brought down in the penalty area and Liam Watson converted the spot kick for a 1-0 lead.

The goal put them on the front foot, and it wasn't long before golden boot winner Lord scored to give Columbia a comfortable 2-0 lead heading into half time.

"It was extremely windy up in Hervey Bay, and in the first half it was more in our favour than theirs, which I think Diggers struggled with a bit," Columbia captain Joel Bond said.

"In the second half we could hardly get out of our half of the field because of it, but the damage had already been done really and we just focused on controlling possession, and managed to snag another goal."

Liam Watson's second-half header sealed the 3-0 victory, with his two goals helping him to the player of the final award.

"I think in every position on the field we just had someone with a bit more experience and composure," Bond said.

"Liam and Daniel Mills got through a lot of work in the midfield, and Jason Lord was excellent up front."

The win capped off a remarkable first season for the black and gold's, winning 20 out of their 24 matches.

"I think mateship has definitely been the key to our success," Bond said.

"Most of us have played together for years, and we're all really close as a team.

"Because of that, everyone comes to training and puts in the effort on game day.

"There's no egos in the team, and we all play for each other."

Already having a team in the A-grade Fraser Coast League, Diggers fielded almost a youth team in reserve grade, and exceeded all expectations to finish second on the ladder and reach the final.

Gympie Times


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