BROTHERS have booked a grand final meeting with Swifts but they couldn't have cut it any finer.
Brothers beat Goodna 26-24 in the preliminary final at the North Ipswich Reserve yesterday after leading 26-12 with 15 minutes to go.
At that point many Goodna fans had begun leaving the ground, certain the game was over.
However Goodna, inspired by Andrew Walker and Frank Matiu – who crossed for two converted tries in quick succession – set up a thrilling finish.
In the final seconds Goodna was on the attack and centre Max Seumanatafa looked almost certain to score but the final pass went astray and the Eagles' season was over.
Brothers had started the match in perfect fashion when Goodna made a hash of the kick-off and, from the scrum, centre Shane Gibson strolled through a huge gap to score.
Goodna hit back through Corey Kirk to give the Eagles a 6-4 lead, but Brothers had the better of the first half, largely due to Goodna's lack of discipline.
The Eagles repeatedly gave away penalties early in the Brothers tackle count for play-the-ball infringements.
The lead changed twice with a try apiece before Brothers scored just before the break to lead 14-12.
Goodna captain Craig Wehrman voiced his displeasure and was sin-binned for 10 minutes.
Goodna began the second half with renewed focus and went close through Alastair Tauaa and Seumanatafa but it was Brothers half-back Jason Connors who seemed to have sealed the deal for his team.
With 16 minutes remaining Connors darted down the blind side and quick hands from Gibson put Ross Sauer clear to score.
Five minutes later Connors put Fili Notoa through for a 14 point lead that looked to have secured them the win, before Goodna's late comeback ended in vain.
Brothers coach Heath McQueen was fuming after the match, claiming his team were again the target of head high tackles.
"We had nine penalties for head high tackles and no-one gets sent off," he said.
He was much happier with his team's performance.
"They've got an ex-international (in Andrew Walker)," he said.
"But he hadn't played us in finals before."
McQueen admitted to some nervous moments before his team got home.
"I was very worried," he said.
"I'm not one of those coaches that stays calm.
"I can't just sit there. I was up and down pacing."