Palm Beach Currumbin 15.13 (103) def. Broadbeach 13.14 (92)
Morningside 16.17 (113) def. Mt Gravatt 15.7 (97)
Electric Cats fall short
Broadbeach came out of the blocks against Palm Beach, in the beach battle, playing some of the most exciting footy seen this season. They moved the ball with incredible speed and the likes of Connor Nutting and Kelly Kaugla seemed too fast and nimble for the Lions defenders. As a result, the Cats racked up five goals to one in the first quarter.
Palm Beach were always going to rally though and their experienced heads started to find the footy and get involved, despite heavy defensive tackling pressure from the Cats. Amazingly, the game went up a notch in intensity as Josh Woolley and Thomas Thynne started creating some run and Jarryd ‘Yak’ Douglas hit the scoreboard. The Lions slowly reeled in the speedy Cats and at three quarter time the lead had eroded to ten points.
As Palm Beach continued to press for the lead, Broadbeach’s David King and Jesse Esam were nothing short of spectacular in the back half, spoiling and competing with everything they had at ground level. Particularly Esam, along with Jason Sharp, showed a willingness to play on all day that was important for the Cats’ drive out of defence.
It was the Lions leaders that stepped up in the last to drag them over the line, among them Jarryd Douglas, who went at the footy like a man possessed in the final moments to give Palmy a chance. Skipper Jesse Derrick and the composed Jake Dignan both slotted goals to bring them within striking distance, then Jake Borrows somehow managed to snap a goal from a free kick hard up against the boundary to snatch the lead.
The Lions move on to Labrador next week, for a chance at a grand final berth, while Broadbeach walk away having lost the battle, but definitely not the war.
Surviving the comeback
Even though the scores were tight at quarter time in the Panthers versus Vultures clash, Morningside just seemed to be able to score a little too easily. Then in the second quarter the floodgates opened and the Panthers went to work, putting on eight goals to four in the term, including six straight.
The difference was the key position players at either end, Morningside’s Riley Buntain proving too difficult to get past, while up forward Kent Abey was just too big and too strong. The big forward monstered his opponents, sometimes two at a time, on his way to a five-goal haul for the day.
When the two teams went in at half time, Morningside held a 40-point margin and it looked like it was only going to get uglier for Mt Gravatt. Then the third quarter started and the Panthers kicked the first two, further lengthening their lead and demoralizing the Vultures; but then something changed.
Mt Gravatt started winning their footy at the source, something they’ve been good at all year and it started to reflect on the scoreboard. It was their hard-working midfielders in Neate, Stone and Green than managed to push forward and put the Panthers under some scoreboard pressure with six unanswered goals to finish the quarter.
Green was particularly important in the turnaround, playing a defensive role, but still managing to kick two goals, collect 20 disposals and lay seven tackles for the match.
At the last change it was clear the Vultures were back in the contest and they continued to apply the pressure, Brendan Telford managing to hit the scoreboard twice and bring the them back to within 12 points. Unfortunately for Mt Gravatt they left their big run too late and ran out of time, as Joshua Mazoletti put the last nail in the coffin with a late steadying goal for the Panthers.
Ashley Evans was the leading disposal getter on the ground with 24 touches, while co-captains Nathan Kinch and Matthew Logan were influential around the footy, both collecting 22 disposals.
Morningside now look to next week, to their impending clash with the red-hot Cats in what looks like another cracking finals contest.
By Sean Melrose