WYNNUM-MANLY have gone down 16-10 to Norths in a hotly contested Queensland Cup decider at Redcliffe.
There was no fairytale ending for the Seagulls, who earned their spot in the grand final after a comfortable win against Tweed Heads last week on NRL Grand Final day.
A miracle Norths try in the 73rd minute was enough to ice the game for the minor premiers, who lost just two games during the regular season and finished six points ahead of Wynnum after 17 rounds.
The Seagulls were in the game right up to the final siren despite going 10-0 down after about half an hour, as Norths controlled possession.
Young flyer Selwyn Cobbo scored on the cusp of halftime to reduce the lead to four, before journeyman David Mead broke through again for the Seagulls with less than 20 minutes remaining.
The game, which was played in strong winds, looked destined for golden point before man of the match Michael Molo scored in the dying stages.
It came on the back of several frantic offloads and a deft kick into the in-goal from five-eighth Connor Broadhurst.
The Wynnum defence scrambled in the lead-up to the try, but it proved to be the telling blow despite some enterprising play from the Seagulls as time ticked away.
Former Gold Coast Titans players Leivaha Pulu and James Roberts scored tries for Norths, who ended a 23-year premiership drought with the 16-10 win.
It was another disappointing visit to a grand final for Wynnum, who went down to Burleigh Bears in the 2019 decider at the same venue.
NRL regular Mead told Channel Nine he was proud of the team's performance throughout the season.
"There was a couple of us coming back from the Broncos to help out during the year, but outside of that, the guys that trained full-time at Wynnum did a great job throughout the year," he said.
"To Norths' credit they started the game strong and I think that first set they rolled up past 50 metres pretty easily and they held the ball pretty well in that first half.
"That took a lot of gas out of us and they came out to win the game in the second half."
Wynnum-Manly last won a Queensland Cup grand final in 2012 when they downed arch rivals Redcliffe 20-10.
It was their second title in as many years, having beaten Tweed Heads 16-10 the previous season after finishing sixth.
The club plays games at Redlands periodically, usually during Indigenous round and at places like Thornlands and North Stradbroke Island.
The Wynnum Colts team won the 2021 premiership, downing Townsville 17-16 in a nail-biter.
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