STRIKER Charlie Keenan was the catalyst for Clinton’s 3-1 triumph over Boyne Tannum FC in Gladstone’s First Division football grand final on Saturday night.
The mohawked Clinton frontman was at his menacing best against his former club with an assist and two goals that sent the green army lining the stands at Wolves into raptures.
Keenan has been in serious goal scoring form in the latter half of the season and has been an integral part of his team’s recent success.
“That pretty much goes with the rest of the year he has had with us, so we couldn’t ask for any more from him,” Clinton’s Andrew Pelling said.
The prolific forward opened up a 1-0 early lead for the men in green, but the ledger was squared soon after when a regulation save was spilled by Clinton’s Ian Parry into the path of very grateful oncoming BTFC traffic.
Nathan Brooks was a constant threat to the Clinton backline and narrowly missed two golden scoring opportunities that may have changed his otherwise struggling BTFC side’s fortunes.
Brooks’s midfield partner and form player of the competition Dominic Tanner was never given the space to dominate, which allowed Clinton to dictate terms for the majority of the match.
Second-half goals to Scott Rouse and Keenan put the result beyond doubt, which was a satisfying result for Pelling and his men.
“Two in a row is fantastic,” Pelling said.
“We stuck to our game plan which was to close down their midfield and it paid off in the second half.”
Heavy rain leading up to the grand final had left the Wolves field damp, which appeared to have an adverse effect on BTFC’s usually quick, crisp style of play.
Clinton adapted to the conditions better than their beguiled opponents; they held the ball up well in the front third of the field and generally looked to play the flanks rather than straight up the middle.
“We sort of spoke about trying to get the ball out wider rather than go straight up the middle where it was pretty mushy, so we pushed it out wide instead, and that’s where a lot of chances came from,” Pelling said.
The two sides have played out some enthralling fixtures this season, but BTFC appeared flat in the second half and never looked likely to get back in the game when they went a goal down.
“We thought it was going to be a fair bit tighter. After we got one up we thought they’d come back and keep coming for the whole 90, but once we got the third goal they sort of gave up,” Pelling said.
Versatile striker Scott Rouse was awarded best on ground for his effort, which included a goal, while BTFC’s Dominic Tanner was rewarded for his consistency with the first division player of the season award.