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Bears crowned champions after outstanding year

CHAMPIONS: The Chinchilla Bears took out Willowburn in the grand final at the weekend.
CHAMPIONS: The Chinchilla Bears took out Willowburn in the grand final at the weekend. Julia Baker

THE Chinchilla Bears men's football team are the Toowoomba Football League Champions after knocking off Willowburn in the grand final on the weekend.

The Bears went into the match as favourites, with the game being played at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba.

The Bears suffered an early setback though after losing holding midfielder Mat Clarke to a hip injury.

They took the lead not long after, as Chris McEvoy took a superbly executed kick, which saw sticker Chris Cobb placing the ball firmly in the back of the net to put chinchilla up one nil.

In the 26th minute Chinchilla received a corner which saw Joe Hobbs cross a well-placed ball to find the head of Mark Johnson who put away a classic header to make it 2-0.

The Bears third goal came in the 51st minute after Cobb scored his second.

19 minutes later Johnson bent a free kick into the top corner to make it 4-0.

Johnson finished the game with a hat trick in the 86th minute with a great chase down from a cross to the right hand side of the Willowburn box goal line and one of the best finishes of the season.

Johnson was also named player of the grand final.

Chinchilla continued to dominate until the final whistle, only giving Willowburn a small number of scoring opportunities in the second half.

Bears keeper Stuart Hope did a particularly outstanding job between the posts.

Coach Bret Bowman was thrilled with his sides game.

"It was a great all-round effort by the team with every member having each other's back and maintaining focus for the full 90 minutes,” Bowman said.

"It was great to see the leadership of our captain Mark Johnson and the more experienced members of the team encouraging and supporting the younger players.”


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