THE Cockburn Cobras have made a triumphant return to footy finals.
Two years after being sin-binned for giving a player petrol money, the amateur side thumped cross-city rivals Cockburn Lakes by 11 goals last Saturday to take out the grand final at Gil Fraser Oval.
To ease Lakes’ derby pain, their reserves side had beaten the Cobras 77-64.
“The league was the one we wanted to win, with the back story,” Cobras vice president Sam Pengilly told the Herald.
Back in September 2017, the Cobras’ league and reserve teams were banned from playing finals by the WA Amateur Football League over the petrol money, and faced a fine of up to $40,000. Many feared it would wipe the club out.
Eventually the WAAFL settled on $2000, but the league team’s disqualification was carried over into 2018.
Mr Pengilly said this made it hard to motivate players.
“There were a lot of good players playing for no points,” he said.
“Last year was character-building, that’s for sure.”
But Mr Pengilly said with finals an option this year and strong coaching from Chris Harris, the club rapidly turned things around.
“This year we one 15 out of 16 games and finished on top of the ladder,” he said.
The Cobras came out hard in the grand final and had four unanswered goals by the first break. The final score was 16.11.107 to 6.4.40.
by STEVE GRANT