Bears on song to claim hockey title
PETER Herden would not have predicted how his day would end when he woke up on Saturday morning.
The City Bears and McAuley White coach had the same job as he did on any other weekend this year, which was to direct his teams to victory.
Unlike every other weekend this was grand final day, and Herden was shooting for a rare double.
He struck gold in the Women's A-grade grand final, with McAuley beating arch rivals Grafton High Blues 2-0 to claim the premiership.
What unfolded over the next few hours was nothing short of a fairytale.
"Where do you start?" Herden said.
"Let's say it was a very happy day for me. I'm still celebrating."
Bears faced their arch rivals Barbarians Hagars in the Men's A-grade grand final, a team that had already won two in a row.
That big game experience should have made Barbs favourites, but the game ended as far from that as possible.
Bears came out firing and opened the scoring after four minutes courtesy of a tomahawk from Mark "Apollo" Pollock.
From there, it was carnage.
"Everything we planned for, everything we worked on, went to plan," Herden said.
"We have always had a pretty good rivalry but I did expect the game to be decided by only one or two goals."
It is fair to say the Bears' 3-0 advantage shocked even the coach.
The Bears powered home, avenging their 2011 grand final loss to Barbs in emphatic fashion.
Herden praised Barbs' effort, and described how he orchestrated their downfall.
"Barbs played the game in good spirit and we have to thank them for their sportsmanship," Herden said.
"We had a plan to beat them and it worked.
"They're very good at counter attacking so even though we were up by three they could easily have scored four in 20 minutes.
"We shut that down and focussed on controlling possession. They were a little flat but everything clicked for us.
"I don't think we could've played better."