Bond Uni QWAFL Wrap

 

Elimination Final:
Wilston Grange 10.6 (66) def. Coolangatta Tweed 1.4 (10)

Gorillas stun Bluebirds
Wilston Grange have continued their meteoric rise up the QWAFL ranks to be one of three teams left standing. The Gorillas were sluggish out of the blocks on Saturday afternoon, but after settling their nerves extended their lead at every break after quarter time. In doing so, they’ve knocked out their chief rivals Coolangatta who were campaigning for back-to-back flags.

The Gorillas simply outmuscled Coolangatta around the stoppages on the day, winning the clearance count convincingly. However it was the backline combination of Kate Lutkins, Hetti Malone and Heidi Thompson who stood tall when it counted to repel almost every Coolangatta attack. They caused numerous turnovers in their defensive half to then rebound off half-back and cut the Bluebirds defence to pieces in response. Tahlia Randall was excellent through the midfield for the Gorillas while Jacqui Yorston provided some crucial defensive pressure when the ball was in the hands of the opposition.

After matching it with Grange to lead by one point at quarter time, the Bluebirds lost touch as the game wore on and were unable to hit the scoreboard for the rest of the match. Georgia Breward put up a valiant effort in the midfield alongside Kara Membrey, while Leah Kaslar and Beth Pinchin played a solid game in defence. However at the end of the day the Gorillas were the better side and have earned their place in the preliminary final.

Qualifying Final:
Coorparoo 10.2 (62) def. Yeronga South Brisbane 7.15 (57)

Clinical Coorparoo edge Devils
A clean and efficient Kings outfit held their nerve on Saturday night to cling on for a tense five-point win over Yeronga. Coorparoo had 10 less scoring shots than the wayward Devils, who squandered their opportunities in front of goals to put up seven goals and 15 behinds as opposed to the Kings’ 10-goals-two.

It was a rapid start to the match for Coorparoo, who leapt out to a 20-point lead at quarter time thanks to their straight shooting netting them six goals straight. Jessica Wuetschner was an absolute force in front of the sticks, bagging a hat-trick in the first quarter alone on her way to a five-goal game. Tahlia Hickie was named best afield for Coorparoo with the Queensland Under 18 representative playing a mixture of forward and on the ball. Emma Zielke, Cleo Davis and Ally Anderson got the job done through the middle of the ground and were able to provide the clean entry inside 50 which led to such accurate finishes in front of goal.

The Devils did extremely well to overcome a daunting 25-point deficit at the main break, coming home strong in the final term to add 18 points without conceding a score. They ultimately had the chance to seize the game in the dying minutes with multiple attempts on goal which fell on both sides of the post, with a couple of kicks even colliding with the woodwork. The usual suspects in Sam Virgo, Emily Bates and Renee Cowan were standouts for the Devils, but it was Emma Aeschlimann who impressed the most. The game could have gone either way and if this match was indeed a precursor to the grand final in two weeks time, there’s plenty to be excited about when it rolls around.

What happens next:
The win sees Coorparoo granted an advance token to the Grand Final where they’ll meet either Yeronga or Wilston Grange on Sunday August 27. The Devils and Gorillas will battle it out this Saturday at Leyshon Park for that second spot in the big dance with everything on the line. In the two instances they’ve faced off this year it’s currently one win apiece, setting up an enticing showdown for the second-last QWAFL game of 2017.

By Josh Cheadle
Twitter: @JoshCheadle20

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