Blue Heelers off to 2017 grand final | PHOTOS

The Bombala Blue Heelers Rugby League first grade team headed down the mountain to Moruya on Sunday to play Merimbula/Pambula for a place in the 2017 Group 16 grand finals.

In an exciting game Merimbula/Pambula led for much of the game before the Bombala lads took control of the ball and defeated the Bulldogs 16 to 12.

Here’s a gallery of photos from the game and the Bombala Blue Heelers match report.

Blue Heelers make grand final

On Sunday, the Bombala Blue Heelers First Grade team trekked down to Moruya on a very sun shining day to take on the Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs in a do-or-die match to see who would win the last grand final spot for next weekend.

Other results:

Ladies League tag:  Moruya Sharkettes defeated Bega Chicks 12-8.

Under 18s: Batemans Bay Tigers defeated Narooma Devils 28-4.

Reserve Grade: Candelo-Bemboka Panthers defeated Merimbula-Pambula Bullants 34-22.

First Grade

With Bombala’s line up forced to make some late changes the boys had a big task ahead of them if they were to secure a grand final spot this year.  From the whistle the Blue Heelers looked confident with fantastic safe takes from Bailey Jones and strong running from Jackson Standen.

Wame Belolevu was lethal in defence making bone crunching tackles. Bombala had good field possession early on the back of Merimbula/Pambula penalties. Despite this Bombala was unable to penetrate their line.

Loose ball carries and off side penalties meant Bombala piggybacked Merimbula into good field possession where they would prove too skillful to stop, finding the line eventually after 19 minutes of play.

At 0-6 the coastal lads certainly seemed to have the wind in their sails. It was again on the back of Bombala unforced errors that Merimbula capitalised on field possession to take further points taking the score to 0-12.

From here the Blue Heelers seemed to dig extremely deep. Carting the ball up with ferocious tenacity. It was from this momentum that Wame Belolevu would find himself 5m out from the line and was able to carry numerous defenders over the line with him to score for the Heelers.

They were finally on the board, with Blake Robinsons conversion the Heelers were back in the game 6-12. Blake Robinson’s kicking game was proving vital to allow the Heelers to get out of their own half. Eventually it was the exact bounce the Heelers were looking for, with both the Merimbula fullback and winger unable to snatch up the ball in time. Alex Rosten came blistering through with brilliant speed and ever so gracefully – swept up the ball for himself and sped away to score under the sticks for the Heelers. The score would lock at 12-12 which would be the score eventually at half time minutes later.

With the Bombala crowd invigorated from the late catch up points by the Heelers they all cheered their boys back on the paddock even louder in the second half. This half of football showed absolute passion, heart, dedication, blood, sweat and tears from the Bombala lads, not prepared to leave anything left in the tank.

While the unforced errors constantly put them under pressure their formidable defence was nothing but admirable. Eventually it was the awareness and lightening pace of Bailey Jones who would hit a hole able to off load to a supporting Andrew Guthrie. Guthrie still had plenty of work to do, but was able to head back in field, side stepping  multiple defenders and eventually finding the line for the Heelers. With the kick waved away the Heelers would take the lead by 4 at 16-12 for the first time in the match.

With a good half hour of football yet to come it was anyone’s game but the defence from both teams was unreal. Bailey Jones made multiple one on one try saving tackles as did wingers Alex Rosten and Boro Navori.

Blake Robinson and Paul Perkins were constantly busy defending strongly up the middle. Luke Ingram and Adam Rodwell were great in providing hard hitting runs as was Sami Buinimasi. While Merimbula-Pambula seemed to have the dominance in field possession for the rest of the half, the determination and resilience of the Bombala lads shone through. They held their four point lead right to the bell where the elation from the Bombala crowd meant tears of joy were evident everywhere.

The Bombala First Grade team now will join their Ladies High Heeler team with a grand final berth on Sunday in Bega.

Thank you again to all those supporters who made the long trip down to Moruya to cheer our boys home. Your support means the world to the team and truly helps them lift when needed. We encourage you all again, for one last time this year to please get down to Bega on Sunday to support both these teams as Bombala is the only club to feature two teams in this year’s grand final line up.

It is an early start for the ladies with kick off at 9.30am, please we hope you can all get down there nice and early to help see our girls finish the season in the top spot. Bombala also features 3 of its own in the next game at 11am in under 18s where Logan Brownlie, Charlie Peisley and Blake Stevenson play for the Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs against the Batemans Bay Tigers.  The first grade boys are the set to kick off at 2.45pm.

Game times:

9.30am Ladies League Tag:      Bombala High Heelers VS Moruya Sharkettes

11am Under 18s:                       Merimbula-Pambula VS Batemans Bay Tigers

12.45pm Reserve Grade:          Bega Roosters VS Candelo- Bemboka Panthers

2.45pm First Grade:                   Bombala Blue Heelers VS Cooma Stallions

A massive thanks goes out to all of the supporters and sponsors who have made this year possible for the Blue Heelers Club, especially major sponsors the Bombala RSL Club. See you all on Sunday, Go the Heelers!!!