Raidettes tough it out to claim second grand final
GLADSTONE rugby league fans can celebrate the success of the area's toughest women after the Raidettes secured their second consecutive grand final win 10-6.
The action was fast and furious, and the Raidettes put their bodies on the line as they fought for the trophy against Yeppoon.
The Raidettes maintained their perfect record in women's rugby league grand finals, overcoming a valiant Yeppoon Seagulls side in a tight affair at Marley Brown Oval on Saturday night.
The local women were down at half-time, but clawed their way back to claim a gritty 10-6 victory and ensure their 100% record in grand finals continued, with a shot at a hat-trick on offer next season.
Raidettes' coach Glenn Butcher said the game was a nail biter, with his side defending their line in the closing seconds to deny Yeppoon the chance to lay their hands on the winning medals.
"We were down 6-4 at half-time but we came back and got a converted try through Chelsea Baker and that was enough to get us over the line," Butcher said.
Kristal Johnson was named the player of the grand final, and Butcher singled out his front-rowers as being instrumental in the gutsy win in front of a vocal crowd.
"The crowd was fantastic for the local girls, there would have been about 400-500 people there it was great and the girls are celebrating hard," he said.
Butcher said the commitment shown by his side was summed up by Johnson, who soldiered on after an early injury to lead her side to glory.
"Kristal copped a large cut on her eyebrow in the first 15 minutes ... it was a pretty decent cut," Butcher said.
"She went off in front of the crowd with blood streaming down her face but she got it covered up and went back out to help the team."
Butcher said inspirational forward Trish Pengelly and Scooby Wherewera were outstanding in the closely-fought contest, and his charges celebrated into the early hours of Sunday morning.