Ding Dong The Witch is Dead

DING dong the witch is dead! After 22 years and a truly bizarre sequence of events at fulltime, Wynnum Manly has finally beaten Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval.

In one of the more amazing results in the history of the Queensland Wizard Cup, battlers Wynnum led grand final favourites Redcliffe 40-6 before two late tries made it a more respectable 40-18.

It was the Seagulls? first win at Dolphin Oval since August 10, 1984, and only their fourth victory on the peninsula since 1971.

The last time Wynnum had won at the Dolphins? home ground, its team contained the likes of Wally Lewis, Gene Miles, Greg Dowling, Colin Scott, Gary Coyne and Brett French.

On the weekend the closest thing to a household name in the Seagulls? side was Steve Irwin, the former Brisbane Bronco who shares his moniker with the world-famous Crocodile Hunter.

The rangy three-quarter did a more than handy impersonation of Miles in his heyday, scoring four tries and setting a club record of 28 points with a further six goals.

It was the type of performance that Wynnum had promised to deliver all season, but had so far failed to.

Irwin helped set-up captain Jimmy Ahmat for the opening try of the game, but his elder statesman more than repaid the favour. Ahmat featured in the lead-up to Irwin tries in the 35th, 42nd, 54th and 61st minutes.

Running into a stiff breeze Redcliffe trailed just 14-6 at halftime and the expectation was that the Dolphins would come home with a wet sail. That never eventuated however, as the competition heavies completed just three of their first 11 sets in the second stanza.

Curiously, kick-offs proved a particularly difficult task for the Dolphins and in three telling errors, they booted out on the full, were found offside from the restart and then knocked-on when receiving a Wynnum kick.

The stake through the heart came nine minutes from fulltime when Wynnum backrower Darren Bain weaved through some ordinary defence to score a long-range try and bring up 40 on the scoreboard.

Like most fans who headed to the ground expecting a win for Redcliffe, normally measured ABC commentator Gerry Collins was found describing the result as a ?humiliation?.

One player who didn?t deserve to be amid the embarrassing shellacking was hooker Michael Roberts, the Queensland Residents representative who played a part in two sensational tries. On the first occasion Roberts put prop Nick Walker into a gap with a dart and no-look pass at top speed. In the second instance Roberts went alone two minutes after fulltime in truly freakish circumstance.

With teammate Shannon Fish posting a converted try just seconds before the hooter, referee Justin Eastwood was forced to order Wynnum to kick-off. After debating the call, the Seagulls punted out on the full, giving a penalty to the Dolphins. Then off the tap, Roberts faked to kick infield before bamboozling the defence with a chip-and-regather, ending a match that will live long in the memory.

WYNNUM MANLY 40 (Steve Irwin 4, Jim Ahmat, Kerry Smith, Darren Bain tries; Steve Irwin 6 goals) d REDCLIFFE 18 (Nick Walker, Shannon Fish, Michael Roberts tries; Greg Bourke 3 goals) at Dolphin Oval.

This article is courtesy of the QRL for more Queensland Wizard Cup news visit www.qrl.com.au