GROUP SEVEN RUGBY LEAGUE
Heart-broken Warilla were just four seconds short of their own grand final fairytale.
Up until Brad Davidson's last ditch field goal, the second half of yesterday's grand final had all the ingredients of an epic victory for the Gorillas, who fought back from 12-6 down at half-time to take a 13-12 lead with eight minutes to go.
They maintained their one-point buffer until just seconds from full-time, when Davidson's miraculous field goal wrenched the premiership trophy from their grasp.
His golden-point field goal minutes later sealed their fate.
Gutted skipper Aaron Henry was almost lost for words after the loss.
"What can you say," Henry said.
"We had it and two field goals to them and it's cruelled us.
"We knew we could come back and we got in front but yeah, just gutted mate."
Henry was outstanding in a beaten side, throwing the final pass in traffic for both Gorillas' tries but it proved little consolation.
"I'd change any of that for that trophy mate."
In a game with several clutch moments, the Gorillas produced some big plays of their own, particularly fullback Craig Nolan who converted his own try to level the scores at 12-12 with 15 minutes to play then nailed a wobbly field goal to take a 13-12 lead with eight minutes left.
Nolan admitted after the match that he thought his snap field goal had won the match for his side.
"We were in front with four seconds to go so, yeah, I did," Nolan said.
"We did work for it [field goal] but I wasn't going to take it.
"It was going to be Jesse [Dee] but they rushed him so I said 'give me the ball I'll take a shot'."
Coach Peter Hooper said he was heartbroken for his players.
"It's heart-wrenching mate, not for the coaching staff but just for the players," he said.
"They work so hard all year and it comes to that.
"There's not much you can do. We let ourselves down in some key areas in that first half but I had full faith in what we could do in the second.
"We did it in the major semi but it just wasn't to be today."