The Gosnells Hawks Football Club Thirds came from a seemingly hopeless position at half time to snatch victory by three points on the final siren in the E4 Division of the Perth Football League’s Grand Final last Saturday when Russell Fuller marked and kicked accurately from 30 metres to put the Hawks in front for the first time against an undefeated Kalamunda. Similarities between this game and the last premiership won by the club in 2009 is that the league team coached by Jeff Chapman also recorded victory over an undefeated Kalamunda on the same oval but in the third period of extra time.

Kalamunda started the game strongly to lead 5 goals 6 behinds (36) to Gosnells 1 behind (1) at half time. Coach Steve Davis made several positional changes and gave words of encouragement to his players at the half time break. The Gosnells Hawks responded with Josh Chapman kicking 2 goals in the third quarter while holding Kalamunda to only 2 points.

Kalamunda started the final term with a 24 point advantage. Quarters are only 18 minutes in length and if the Hawks were to mount a challenge then early goals would be important. Chris Kessell was strong at the back and when Richard Marsden stepped up and snapped truly from the pocket at the 14 minute mark of the term the whole team lifted.

Players were first to the contest, hitting targets and with improved skills all of which were missing early in the game and with Michael Handgraaf dominating the ruck contests the Hawks took control across the centre and at the bounce downs.

Further goals to Brett Endersby, Ashley Pescod and Kyle Wood saw the Hawks only 3 points behind but with less than a minute left on the clock. The Hawks won the bounce down and passed the ball to Fuller who marked and converted on the siren.  Final scores Gosnells Hawks 7.2 (44) Kalamunda 5.11 (41).

It was a typical Grand Final of Australian Rules Football where every possession was important, played with passion, skill and composure. The amazing win was appreciated by the many Gosnells supporters that attended the Richard Guelfi Reserve, Balcatta.

The medal for the best on ground was won by Gosnells Hawk’s player Marley Nelson.

The third men’s senior team known as “the Thirds” was formed in 2013 and coached by club stalwart Stuart Bates for the first five years. Stuart passed away due to illness last year aged 53. The team was created to fill the void due to an excess of players including fly in fly out players, retired senior players and players who just wanted to have a kick with their mates and not be subject to the professional training and behaviour associated with the league and reserve teams.

Stuart would have been proud of his former chargers on the way they responded after half time to record victory in the Grand Final. His team is now a very important part of club structure.

Gosnells Hawks Thirds Home in a Thriller