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Following 97 minutes of grand final football, minor premiers Burleigh Bears have defeated Easts Tigers 22-18 to win the 2004 Queensland Cup at Brisbane?s Lang Park today.
With the scores locked up at 18-all at full time, the match was forced into golden point extra time with victory going to the next scoring side. With two interchanges allowed, both teams played themselves to a standstill before Burleigh forward Shane O'Flanagan broke the deadlock with a try in extra time.
Burleigh dominated the match early on when Adam Hayden and stepped through to score. Hayden was on hand again to put Nick Shaw into a gap and after nine minutes, the Bears held a handy 12-0 lead.
Easts were next to score through Trent Young before Burleigh back rower John Flint found room down the left side to score. At half time, Burleigh were in front 16-6.
Easts came out firing in the second half forcing a number of errors from the Bears. This culminated in a try to centre Steve Renouf in the 52nd minute, the former Bronco finishing off well to score out wide. A sideline conversion from Michael Pearce brought the Tigers to within four points.
Renouf looked to be in again a few minutes. But replays showed him falling just short of the try line before losing the ball. Burleigh then went on the attack before being rewarded with a penalty goal from right in front, fullback Reggie Cressbrook doing the honours and seeing the Bears out to an 18-12 lead.
Easts then went back on the attack, throwing everything at Burleigh who held their line with some tremendous defence. With less than two minutes remaining, Burleigh found themselves in good position and appeared to have the game won.
But a failed field goal attempt gave possession back to Easts who responded with a charge up the middle of the ruck. Winger Steve Beattie then pounced on a chip kick, running 50 metres to score 10 metres in from touch. With the fulltime bell sounding, half back Dane Campbell lined up difficult conversion attempt, slotting the ball through the uprights and sending the game into golden point time.
The grand final then went into uncharted waters for both teams and for a while, it became a field goal shoot-out. Both lines however were equal to this with charge-downs and strong defence negating the attempts.
As the match approached 15 minutes of extra time and with no interchanges left for either coach, it became a war of attrition. A 60 metre field goal attempt from Easts? Steve Beattie was more to get the ball down the other end, both teams now exhausted with players battling to stay on their feet.
With nothing left in the tank, the Tigers found themselves down a man down in the defensive line. The Bears mounted a raid and O'Flanagan crashed over next to the posts, ending the match and winning the grand final for Burleigh.
Burleigh Bears 22 Defeated Easts Tigers 18
Half time: Burleigh 16-6
2004 Queensland Cup Grand Final Saturday September 18. Kickoff: 3:00pm Lang Park Referee: Tony Makoud