Brisbane North Cougars are Samsung QSNL Division 2 champions after completing an epic comeback to deny a determined Suncoast Lynx 54-47 at University of the Sunshine Coast on Sunday 25 June.
The Cougars went into three quarter time five goals down on the scoreboard, but showed all of their experience and heart to reel in the lead and deny the Lynx a maiden Division 2 crown.
Centre Claudia Fitzpatrick was at the heart of her side’s epic comeback, linking beautifully with her goalers Loren Todd and Tilly Sinclair who showed cool nerves to steer their side into the lead.
The Cougars made a flying start to the match, turning over early ball to open up a three-goal advantage inside the first four minutes.
But the Lynx settled quickly to re-establish themselves, with midcourt duo Macy Gardner and Eden Cassidy buzzing around the court at breakneck speed to tee up energetic shooting pair Laura Morton and Emma Cook.
Defensively the Lynx were just as strong, with Cassidy at one stage throwing herself headfirst at a loose ball to win possession.
A late rally by the Cougars saw them claw one goal back, but the Lynx held strong to take a 14-12 quarter time lead.
The Cougars came out flying to wrestle back a two-goal lead early in the second frame, with Fitzpatrick brilliant as her shooters Todd and Sinclair found their range.
Just as the Cougars looked to have found their rhythm, the Lynx exploded back into the contest to level up off the back of big defensive plays from wing defence Emma Peacock and goal keeper Emily Gilbert.
But Brisbane North came back strongly to pressure the Lynx late, prevent a final possession goal and take a 26-24 half-time advantage.
The Lynx put their foot on the accelerator throughout the third frame’s opening ten minutes to open up a five-goal lead.
The fluidity of attacking quartet of Gardner, Cassidy, Morton and Cook was again eye-catching and they were ably assisted by the pressure of Gilbert and defensive circle partner Rosie Gale.
They held steady and resisted a late Cougars raid to head into the final quarter 40-35 up.
The Lynx kept their five-goal lead intact before Brisbane North fired up with eight minutes remaining.
They reeled off a bevy of goals to recapture the lead, turning the screws on their opponents as their bench screamed support from the sideline.
A two-goal advantage quickly became four with three minutes to play, as defenders Remi Kamo and Sarah Morton applied huge pressure and shooter Sinclair cashed in with a relentless array of long bombs.
The momentum continued as the Cougars coasted home to a 54-47 victory.