Match of the round:
Saturday 4:45pm – Coolangatta Tweed Vs. Coorparoo (Peak Oval, Coolangatta)
It all comes down to this, the final round of QWAFL regular season matches. Coolangatta and UQ are the only two sides left with a chance to lock in a finals appearance; the Bluebirds in a stronger position with their destiny in their own hands. A win or draw against Coorparoo sees last year’s grand finalists hold on to fourth spot as they move out of reach of UQ, however a loss opens the door for the Red Lions to overtake on percentage if they have a big win themselves.
Coolangatta will have to fare without electrifying midfielder Hannah Sexton, who will miss due to a broken finger, and Charlie Duke with an ankle injury. The big in for the Bluebirds is Zoe Lattanzi who will resume her outstanding season at half-back, while Tahlor Sullivan is also back in the side. Coolangatta had another injury blow during the week with confirmation ex-Lion Nikki Wallace is out for the rest of the season with her own ankle injury suffered a couple of weeks ago.
Coorparoo will have some key personnel on the sidelines as well, missing Emma Zielke and Jessie Taylor, while proven ball-winners Britt Gibson and Kate Deegan are both in doubt with work commitments and injury respectively. The Kings will still be fielding their strongest possible team regardless, as they aim to build momentum into finals and fine-tune any minor discrepancies. This one could go either way with a few big names missing from both sides, but should be a fantastic contest to give us a glimpse of what’s to come in the next couple of weeks.
Wilston Grange have been the big movers and shakers in 2017, surprising many when they knocked off Coolangatta in round four, then Yeronga in round 12. This week they come up against the Devils once again, and despite already securing a finals berth, would gain a huge amount of confidence with another big scalp. If they’re to repeat history again on Saturday, they’ll have to do it without captain Courtney Daniec who is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered two week ago. Yeronga will be hungry to make amends for earlier in the season and with top spot on the ladder still within reach of the Devils, expect to see no punches pulled tomorrow.
Crunch time for UQ:
Sitting in fifth position on the ladder currently, UQ have a huge match ahead of them in a last-ditch effort to crack into the top four. The Red Lions are currently on 26 points with a percentage of 116.46%. To catch Coolangatta, who are in the box seat on 30 points with a percentage of 146.75, they’ll need a huge win over Maroochydore. Even if the Red Lions win by 100-plus points on Saturday, their destiny is still out of their hands with a heavy defeat to Coolangatta also required to swing the scales back the other way. It’s a tall task for the luckless Red Lions, but if there’s any time to make a move, it’s now.
Women’s Cup up for grabs:
For their last game of the season, Maroochydore will be helping to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the naming of the Sunshine Coast with the inaugural 50th Anniversary Women’s Cup. The Cup is one of 57 official celebration events funded by the Sunshine Coast Council to commemorate the important day in Queensland’s history. The club has a great family day planned for the local community, with an opening ceremony and plenty of activities included. All proceeds for the day will also go toward the White Ribbon Committee on the Sunshine Coast which aims to end male violence against women. With an early start of 11:45am for the QWAFL match, it’s a great opportunity for anyone in the area to get down to the Multisports Complex and send the women out for the last time in 2017 in style.
Round 17 Matches:
Saturday August 5
11:45am – Maroochydore Vs. UQ
Venue: Oval 1 – Maroochydore Multisports Complex
4:45pm – Coolangatta Tweed Vs. Coorparoo
Venue: Peak Oval – Coolangatta
4:45pm – Wilston Grange Vs. Yeronga
Venue: Bendigo Bank Oval – Wilston Grange
By Josh Cheadle