Wilston Grange 6.5 (41) def. by Mt Gravatt 22.21 (153)
Broadbeach 19.7 (121) def. Western Magpies 10.13 (73)
Palm Beach Currumbin 19.14 (128) def. Surfers Paradise 10.9 (69)
Morningside 17.18 (120) def. Sandgate 7.9 (51)
Back to business
Considering the reigning premiers sat this round out, it was an opportunity to get a look at who might be able to challenge the Tigers when it really matters. Some QAFL heavyweights announced their return to form as the QAFL finals approach, while others looked off the pace.
Papua New Guinean Hapeo ‘Hapex’ Bobogi made his debut for the Broadbeach Cats on the weekend, in their 49 point win over the Western Magpies. Hapex was impressive on the wing for the Cats, notching up plenty of the footy and injecting extra pace and x-factor into the Broadbeach lineup. The exciting Cat showed plenty of zip around the packs and booted three goals.
Fellow PNG debutant Kelly Kaugla was also impressive on the opposite wing, leaving the Cats with some serious weapons as the finals draw nearer. While both talents will be playing in the International Cup over the next few weeks, they’ll be back for the ‘pointy end’ of the season.
Cats skipper Nathan Quick relished an opportunity up forward and netted two majors, while for the Magpies high flying forwards Val Pope and Jakob De Winter each kicked three.
Vultures circling on finals
A big win over Wilston Grange on Saturday, launched the Vultures back in to fifth position on the QAFL ladder and should have their eyes set on a 2017 finals berth. In house, like most clubs, logic says they’ll be trying to focus on ‘one week at a time,’ but the rest of us can begin to take the lid off, after wins over Palm Beach and now the Gorillas.
The dynamic down at Vulture land appears to have changed and things are running more smoothly in recent rounds, maybe it’s the introduction of big man Andrew Smith, who’s becoming the long option they’ve been crying out for. Another possibility, is the return to form of their skipper Joe Murphy and the continued improvement of rising star contender Zach Stone.
Murphy and Stone are a great one two combination in the Vultures midfield, they love getting their hands on a contested footy and like to kick the ball long from the contest. They were at their best against an undermanned Wilston Grange outfit on the weekend and along with Frazer Neate, thoroughly won the midfield contest.
Jonah Licht had a game to remember for Mt Gravatt, ending up with seven goals, a number of which were booted from long range. Licht has a cannon of a foot and put it to good use as he roamed across centre half forward.
It was a different story altogether for Wilston Grange, whose season so far probably hasn’t turned out the way they’d planned. The Gorillas sit on four wins for the season and are missing a few key personnel, but they’ve shown this year that they’re a capable side and there’s still enough time for them to have a positive end to the year.
George Hannaford toiled away in the midfield, beside fellow ball winner Mark Desousa, while Harry Milford again showed flashes across half forward. Key spearhead Matthew Trewhella had an interesting game, playing higher up than usual, leaving the goal kicking to Blake Nelis, who bagged three.
Most sides in the QAFL are in awe of the Labrador forward line at its best, when it includes both monster forwards Barry Hall and Bryce Retzlaff, but perhaps there’s a new double barrel forward line in town.
Morningside’s Alex Mitchell, as he has been threatening to do in recent weeks, managed to get himself a nice bag of goals against the Hawks. Mitchell worked hard on the lead and displayed vice like hands above his head, the result being five goals to his name as the Panthers won big over the Hawks.
Beside him was the recently returned Kent Abey, another tall Panther forward option, who provides an extra element to the Morningside attack. Abey is a big body and is great at bringing the ball to ground if he doesn’t mark it and kicking goals when he does. The big Panther and Morningside games record holder ended up with four goals.
No longer Lion around
Palm Beach celebrated having their skipper back, by getting back on the winners list in emphatic fashion, beating Surfers Paradise by 59 points.
It was a broad field of contributors that set up Palm Beach’s dominance on the scoreboard. Jesse Derrick and Jason Burge worked hard around the packs, while Jake Dignan and Tyler Cornish played influential roles.
Jackson Emblem was important for the Lions, intercepting down back and kicking the ball with composure when he had it. Dylan Troutman also won his fair share of ball.
Surfers defender Brody Haberfield was again exceptional down back, showing why he’s in the top handful of defenders in the competition. At the other end it was much the same for Daniel Green, who kicked three goals for the Demons. Harrison Fraser also worked hard around the ground and had some important touches.
The win couldn’t come at a better time for Palm Beach Currumbin, who should be starting to build momentum towards their finals campaign.