The league leaders of their respective competitions suffered hiccups in their Premiership tilts. Lions were upset at home in round 12 by Rochedale while SWQ Thunder proved to be a bogey team for the FNQ Heat with the far-northerners going down 2-0 nil in Toowoomba.
Another tennis score for Holland Park Hawks in an entertaining trip to John Fredericks Park against Capalaba. The match tooed and froed with the Hawks coming way 6-4 winners in the highest scoring Premier League match of the year.
It was back to the FFA Cup again with mixed fortunes for our Queensland sides. Despite having their first home tie in the competition, FNQ Heat again failed to get their way out of the round of 32 going down 3-0 to Newcastle’s Edgeworth Eagles. Surfers Paradise Apollo’s magic run came to an end, defeated by Canberra Olympic.
Good news for two other Queensland clubs with Brisbane Strikers claiming an easy 6-0 win over Rovers Darwin in the top end. But the biggest result of them all came at Perry Park for Redlands against the current A-League Champions. Everyone expected Adelaide United to easily progress to the next round and while it took a while for them to break Redlands down, a second half goal was looking good enough for win. Not to be though with the NPL side capitalising on an uncharacteristic Eugene Galekovic mistake to send the match into extra time where Paul O’Brien would seal the biggest upset in the short history of the competition.
Both remaining Queensland sides would bow out in the round of 16 with Brisbane Strikers putting up a credible performance against Melbourne City with Tim Cahill making his debut for the club while Canberra Olympic eliminated a second Queensland team with Redlands unable to continue on their run.
In mid-August, a major decision that would ultimately shape the complexion of the Brisbane Premier League top four. Holland Park Hawks were deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player leading to their place in the finals to not be so sure and having to play a virtual playoff against Rochedale in the final round.
It would also be an exciting end to the NPL season. FNQ Heat had a date with destiny against Brisbane Strikers in a first versus second match that would go on to decide the Premiership. Despite a valiant fight from the Heat, the Strikers prevailed and became the fourth different Premiership winners in the competition’s history.
In the final round Redlands, Brisbane City and Olympic, who had their fortunes turned around under new coach Terry Kirkham, all in the running to take the fourth finals berth. City’s draw with Strikers would ultimately see the Redlands take a spot in the post-season.
It was a year for tight competitions. In Brisbane’s Capital Leagues, Grange Thistle’s match against Southside Eagles was washed out first time round and knowing they needed a win in the rescheduled match to secure promotion, Thistle did exactly that to return to the top flight for the first time in 20 years, with Souths also joining them.
The Gap claimed Capital 2, the final weekend also determined Capital 3 with a series of results seeing Virginia crowned Premiers, Toowong promoted after many years of being oh so close while Tarragindi just missed out. In Capital 4, St George Willawong and Caboolture met in a Premiership playoff with the home side prevailing in a thrilling match in front of a large Sunday night crowd.
Mitchelton had their best year in the senior competitions for many-a-year. With the men finishing second on the ladder and the women claiming the Brisbane Women’s Premier League, both sides travelled to The Gap for the Elaine Watson Cup and Canale Cup Finals. Both were victorious, against Annerley and Capalaba respectively, becoming first time Cup winners for the club.
More controversy in the NPL ranks with Gold Coast City being stripped of a home semi due to the poor condition of their Mallawa Complex home ground. The match was played in Cairns instead and FNQ Heat prevailed to qualify for their first ever Grand Final while in the other semi, penalties were required for fourth placed Redlands to defeat the Premiers Brisbane Strikers.
Completing a trio of famous victories for Redlands in the space of a month at the spiritual home of Queensland football, the Red Devils took out the Grand Final over the Heat.
In the women’s Grand Final, Olympic stunned The Gap early with two goals inside the midway point of the first half through league leading scorer Kirsten Jamieson. The Gators staged a fightback, breaking level by halftime and then going onto complete a perfect season with 22 wins from 22 outings in a 4-2 win.
It was then time to turn attention to Brisbane Grand Final day.
In Capital 2, Acacia Ridge thwarted The Gap‘s bid to claim a double with a late Juan Jaimes penalty sealing a 1-0 victory.
Grange Thistle and Southside Eagles were unable to find goals in two hours of football, Thistle going on to take the Capital 1 Grand Final in penalties.
While in the Premier League, Lions finally shook off their Grand Final hoodoo accounting for Mitchelton.
Better luck for Mitchelton in the Women’s Premier League match though, going on to claim the Champions, Cup and Grand Final treble.
More Grand Finals played out around the state. It required two takes for the Sunshine Coast Premier League to be decided after rain played havoc with the initial encounter. Kawana taking the spoils against Woombye.
On the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise Apollo capped off a great season in a 3-2 win against Murwillumbah.
Frenchville and Clinton played out an epic 11-goal thriller in Central Queensland, Frenchville eventually prevailing 6-5.
In Far North Queensland, Stratford ended Mareeba’s recent domination with a 2-0 victory.
Mackay Wanderers defeated Mackay Magpies 2-0
In North-West Queensland, Atlas defeated Parkside in a penalty shootout. West Wanderers defeated Gatton 2-1 in South-West Queensland while Across the Waves defeated United Warriors by the same scoreline in Wide Bay.
Only one Grand Final yet to be decided and that’s in North Queensland where Rebels will meet MA Olympic this weekend.