A QUICK Warwick goal took the wind out of Ballandean's sails early in their fiery encounter at the Stanthorpe team's home field at the weekend.
Warwick's Dominic Benz stepped up to take a free kick from the left flank in the second minute, skidding the ball through low and hard to nestle in the bottom right corner, much to the baffled keeper's dismay.
Ballandean rallied to create some opportunities, setting up a desperate scramble in the box.
Every man was in, but the chance went begging with no-one able to get the finishing touch.
It was the Wolves who struck again when a Benz corner found the head of Cameron Davey, who nodded it into the net.
The punishment continued for Ballandean, as Benz slotted Warwick's third goal off another free kick - this time lobbing the ball from deep outside the box.
Ballandean knew they had a tough assignment ahead as they retired to the sheds for half-time.
The local side returned to the field determined to put on a good show for the home crowd, hot on the Wolves' heels at every turn.
But despite a valiant effort from Ballandean, they were unable to grapple possession off a slick Warwick outfit, and the final score remained 3-0 to the Wolves.
Ballandean spokesman Neil Newman said his team was hard-pressed to recover from Warwick's early advantage.
"It's been our trouble all year putting back-to-back games together," he said.
"Full credit to Warwick - we knew what to expect from them and they played well.
"If we had strung more passes together, the entire match might've been different."
Newman congratulated Ballandean on one of its strongest seasons in recent years.
"I think overall the season's been quite good," he told the Border Post.
"I guess we lacked the consistency to compete against the likes of United and Warwick, but on a good day we were a real threat.
"We've beaten every club during the season. We're definitely looking forward to a better year again next year."
Newman wished teams all the best in this week- end's finals. The Wolves will come up against United in Saturday's grand final.
Grand finals draw
All games will be played at International Club.
- 11am: Junior colts - Inter Club v Ballandean
- 12.30pm: Senior colts - City v United
- 2.15pm: Women - United v Tenterfield
- 4pm: Men - United v Warwick