Hawks set to fly into Warwick

Redback's Steven Grogan and South Burnett's Jack Mines with the Brooks family.

By Tyhe Clarkeson

The Warwick Gardens Galore Redbacks are set to take on the highflying Goondiwindi Hawks at Warwick in the AFL Darling Downs clash on Saturday.

It will be a welcomed return to the homebase for the Redbacks after trek to take on the South Burnett Saints at Lyle Vidler Oval for the annual Ben Brooks Memorial game.

Their previous encounter in round five saw the Saints dominate with a 102-point win, giving the Redbacks plenty of motivation to prove themselves and improve they did cutting the winning margin to 45, 10-14 (74) to 4-5 (29) in the round 11 clash.

The improving Redbacks started strong, winning plenty of footy through the middle and putting early pressure on the Saints’ defence.

Nicholas Donges seemed to kick the first goal of the game with a snap over his shoulder, but the decision was overturned after celebration, as it was touched on the line.

The Saints quickly capitalised, rebounding directly for their first goal. Erik McConnell crumbed the ball to kick his first goal for the Redbacks, and Cam Goulter slotted his set shot to level the scores by the first break.

In the second quarter, the Saints pressed hard, adding another two goals.

Nicholas Donges led well with three shots on goal, all falling agonisingly close. Jack Drewery channelled his inner Akermanis with a left-foot snap over his head, keeping the Redbacks within striking distance at halftime, down by just eight points.

The Saints scored the only goal of the third term, and a nasty head knock to Ben Pressnell ended the quarter prematurely, with the Redbacks unable to make an impact on the scoreboard.

Ryan Clark kicked his first goal since round three, pouncing on a loose ball and drilling it through the big sticks.

However, the Saints rallied in the final term, outscoring the Redbacks five goals to one.

Despite the loss, the Redbacks’ leadership group, including Tyhe Clarkson, Steven Grogan, Anthony Rixon, and Jack Drewery, showed exceptional courage and determination. Rixon was outstanding in defence, playing a key role on Fletcher Brown.

Clarkson made significant impacts through the middle and around stoppages. Drewery, a true utility, excelled in the forward line, defence, and midfield with his booming left boot.

Captain Grogan was awarded the Ben Brooks Medal for his strong performance, displaying grit and a never-give-up attitude right to the final siren.

The Wynd brothers, Chris and Matt, also contributed well, with Chris showing a strong attack on the contest and Matt leading and creating scoring opportunities for the Redbacks.

Goals: McConnell, Goulter, Drewery and Clark one each.

Best: Clarkson, Grogan, Rixon, Drewery, C Wynd, M Wynd.