A topsy-turvy season for the Hawks ended with a loss to a classy University side on Saturday at Rockville, Toowoomba.
In hindsight it was possibly a predictable end.
The Hawks had flown from the clouds to make the 2017 after nail-biting victories over Kingaroy and Coolaroo during the finals.
They were underdogs in both matches.
The Kingaroy game was a spectacular turnaround in form.
Many pundits had the Burnett side favorites for the flag after they had trounced all Toowoomba sides in their own mid-season form reversal.
While no team had come close to them at home.
Only a few weeks previously the Hawks had produced an underwhelming performance going down to them easily.
But on the return visit they showed plenty of aggression and pressured the home-team out of the game. Even after falling almost three goals behind in the final quarter.
Sadly that was lacking on Saturday.
Not that there weren’t glimpses.
Once again the Hawks were undone by a slow start.
It was an arm-wrestle for most of the quarter and with 15 minutes down neither side had scored a major.
The Goondiwindi backline did a outstanding job turning back attack after attack but it was Uni who finally broke the deadlock.
They then kicked away scoring four for the quarter, the last on the siren.
It was to become a worrying trend.
Goondiwindi could only manage one point.
The Hawks began to fight back in the second with two goals one a superb effort by Michael Lynn from tight in the pocket.
But as in the first, University hit back, scoring their last for the quarter, again, on the siren.
The third quarter was one of those frustrating moments in football matches where it almost happened for the Hawks.
More aggression, more desperation and a lead that was anything but insurmountable gave the green-and-gold contingent hope.
A running goal from the injured Brenton Jardine lifted spirits but the effort took a toll, and the limping full-forward was in hindsight symbolic of the grand final.
Like the previous quarters, two quick late goals, one after the siren, put Goondiwindi on the backfoot again.
And while they came out full of fight in the final quarter, it was all too much to ask, with Uni full of running and confidence.
Goondiwindi showed plenty of ticker to not fall away in the last which says plenty about the possibilties for 2018.
The Cougars ran out winners12.11 (83) to 6.3 (39). with Goondiwindi undone by the inconsistency which had plagued them all year.