QAFL Wrap Up: Round 14

Results:

Mt Gravatt 12.14 (86) def. Broadbeach 12.12 (84)

Palm Beach Currumbin 22.16 (148) def. Wilston Grange 9.9 (63)

Sandgate 5.7 (37) def. by Labrador 25.5 (155)

Surfers Paradise 9.12 (66) def. by Western Magpies 20.10 (130)

 

Stone cold under pressure

Thirty-one minutes had expired when the Vultures managed to scrap the ball forward for a last ditch effort to regain the lead and Zach Stone wobbled the winning goal through on his left.

It could be considered a great escape by the Vultures, as two goals to Dienjes and one to O’Shea had the Cats up by eight points and looking the goods late in the last quarter.

The contest was tight all day and each side at stages looked like they were ready to break away, only to be reeled in by the opposition. Jayden ‘Creepy’ Crawley kicked three and was dominant on the lead and in the air at center half forward for the Vultures, while at the other end Ryan Dienjes had an outstanding last quarter for the Cats, bagging three.

In his second QAFL game, Papua New Guinean recruit Kelly Kaugla put on a clinic, showing both pace around the pack and sheer strength over the footy. Not only did he win the ball around the ground, but he was dangerous around the goals and kicked well when he took his set shots.

Vulture contested ball beasts Zach Stone, Joe Murphy and Frazer Neate were on top in close quarters and allowed Mt Gravatt to dictate terms for much of the thrilling contest.

Considering the Vultures lost to the Cats in their round six clash by only eight points and these two look likely to face off at some point in the finals, QAFL fans could be in for more of the same.

 

The unpredictable Western Magpies

After a 48-point loss at the hands of Broadbeach in round thirteen, the Western Magpies turned around and delivered a 64-point win over Surfers Paradise. Granted, the Demons are a different proposition to the Cats, but the D’s have proven to be a handful at home this season and only a couple of weeks ago managed to get the best of Broadbeach.

Brenton Saunders had a day out, kicking seven, but it was Charlie Pershouse who did the real damage, getting on his bike and providing a target higher up the ground for the Magpies midfielders. Pershouse also brought some fantastic tackling pressure and workhorse style efforts in the Magpies forward half.

Rene Lefeuvre was the ideal small forward for the Demons, on a day when the going was tough for spearhead Danny Green. Lefeuvre has often looked dangerous this year but perhaps hasn’t got the reward on the scoreboard, until the weekend’s three majors.

 

McDonald’s bag

Fresh to the Lions lineup, Bradley McDonald capitalized on their midfield dominance and bagged six, getting out on the lead and giving the Gorillas defenders headaches.

Burge and particularly Cornish were in full flight against the undermanned and young Wilston Grange, but the contribution from young gun Zac Harrison was just as influential in the 148 to 63 victory.

Harrison shapes as an important contributor in the build up to the finals; if he can continue to be that extra ball winning midfielder for the Lions, they’ll have more tricks when Derrick, Burge or Cornish can’t get to the contest.

 

Tiger cub

While Bryce Retzlaff was feasting on the Sandgate defense and notching up his ten goals, taking him to 52 goals for the season, 17-year-old Cooper Portelli’s stocks continued to rise.

Portelli had an outstanding under 17 series for Queensland and looked right at home against the bigger QAFL bodies, collecting plenty of the footy through the midfield in the Tigers 118 point win. The youngster just has a knack for finding the footy, is a pretty good kick, and as a tall midfielder looks like the prototype player for the modern game at the highest level.

Corey Mullins was also impressive for the Tigers, the youngster showing his smarts around the contest and using his skills by hand and foot.

Heading into the game the Hawks had a strong focus on youth and their young players didn’t disappoint. The hard-nosed Cody Stackelberg got his hands on the footy and first gamer Ben Hogan held his own against the Labrador tide.

 

 

By Sean Melrose

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