By Beth Newman
Coolangatta Tweed 5.5, 11.8, 17.13, 24.15 (159)
University of Queensland 3.6, 9.10, 10.11, 13.15 (93)
In round three, it took a final-quarter surge for Coolangatta to down UQ, but 10 weeks later, the Blues did it far easier.
After a tight-fought first half, Coolangatta put the sword to the students, who were unable to convert a multitude of third term opportunities into scoreboard pressure.
It was the story for much of the day – while the Blues were on top, UQ slaughtered themselves with a number of turnovers and poor efficiency going into their forward half.
Michael Wise provided strong run off half-back for the Blues in the opening quarter and set up his team forward.
And, crucially, the Blues were able to convert almost every Inside 50 they had, many against the run of play.
Blues coach, Daniel Hawkins, said the focus after half-time was to shut UQ down early and often and it showed, as the visitors kicked 13 of the 17 second-half goals.
“At half-time we spoke about putting the sword to them in the first 15 minutes so we could do what we wanted to do for the rest of the game,” Hawkins said.
“We didn’t want them to still be in the game all day and fighting it out like we did the last time we played.”
Much of that forward efficiency was due to the return to form of Blues forward Jack Ryan, who finished with four goals.
“It was good to see Jack Ryan kicking a few goals,” Hawkins said.
“He’s been a bit down and when he’s up and kicking goals, the team’s up.”
In the third quarter, it was Donald Barry who ran riot, in a standout contribution from the PNG product.
UQ coach, Matt Stewart, cut a dejected figure after the match gave a pretty simple assessment of the loss, after the final siren.
“The difference was they kicked 10 more than us,” he said.
“They just used the ball better than us and their spead was better.”
Stewart lamented the lack of team brilliance, despite a few individual lights in the match.
“Individually, lots of players were a real positive for us, but as a team it wasn’t so good.”
Veteran midfielder, Al Carlson, battled hard as always, while youngster Jordan Morrison gave plenty of pace off half-back, and switched forward to kick some goals as well.
With three games to go, Stewart said the focus would be on improving and ensuring the side enjoyed the remainder of the season.
“I think we need to stick together and keep training fun and set some goals, small goals and achieve those,” he said.
“I think that that’s the only way forward.”
Coolangatta hosts Maroochydore in another must-win clash on Saturday, while UQ faces premiership contenders, Springwood, at Lowe Oval.
Springwood 3.5, 8.7, 12.11, 17.17 (119)
Burleigh 1.5, 3.5, 5.6, 7.7 (49)
Springwood kept its minor premiership hopes alive, with a 70-point win over Burleigh on Saturday.
After a first quarter tussle, with both sides struggling to adapt to the wet conditions, the Pumas kicked away in the second, with five goals to two.
Springwood’s skills proved the difference as the game wore on, with superior efficiency across the ground.
Recent recruit., James Pennycuick, was one of the best running off half-back for the Pumas, while Greg Friis continued his recent run of good form in the back line.
The result keeps Springwood equal with ladder-leading Palm Beach, with the Lions’ superior percentage keeping them on top.
Burleigh remains winless for the season.
What the coaches said:
Tony King (Springwood):
“I thought the boys played the game out really well.”
“I thought out of the whole 100 minutes, there was probably only five minutes of lapse, which was good.”
“I think our skills in those conditions were really good. We missed a few shots, but we still maintained a certain level of skill in bad conditions.”
“With the end of the season coming around so quick, it’s just important we continue on and don’t drop an easy game through lack of concentration and preparation.”
Western Magpies 2.2, 6.5, 11.9, 21.10 (136)
Noosa 1.4, 2.5, 3.8, 7.12 (54)
The Western Magpies leapt well and truly back into premiership contention on Saturday, with an 82-point win over Noosa.
After a slow start to the season, the Magpies have found their feet at the right time, and the dominant win puts them in fourth place with four rounds left.
Noosa showed plenty of effort through the match, but were blown away late in the game by some of the Magpies’ more experienced players.
The Tigers’ turnovers were punished by the home side, and made much of the difference in the latter stages.
Noosa’s Harry Opie was a bright spot for the Tigers, holding the league’s leading goalkicker, Anthony Corrie, to only three goals for the match.
Key forward Louis Fary was out of action in the second half, after a hamstring injury.
Gabe McKinnon and Tim McEvoy led the way for the Magpies in the victory.
With Wilston Grange dropping their second in a row, the Magpies now sit in fourth on percentage.
Noosa is 10th, with two wins for the year.
What the coaches said:
Wayne Fletcher (Noosa):
“It was obviously disappointing for the margin to be what it was today, but our tackling pressure was excellent and the commitment was there. We just turned it over far too much.”
“I was super impressed with Harry Opie’s performance on Anthony Corrie. He stuck to his task really well and certainly he won the battle on the day against Corrie. “
“Our skill level overall wasn’t up to standard. We had enough possession but they were far more efficient.”
Surfers Paradise 2.3, 3.6, 6.8, 10.9 (69)
Mayne 2.3, 5.5, 7.8, 9.8 (62)
Surfers Paradise ground out a thrilling seven-point win over Mayne on Saturday.
After trailing for much of the day, the Demons converted some late ascendency, in what was a crucial game for both sides.
It was a character-testing win for the Demons, who played with 17 men for a lot of the match, after Jake Tooma was red-carded in the second term.
The Demons’ youngsters stood up to the challenge, though, with Harrison Fraser, Noah Corbett and Cassidy Haberfield all coming to the fore in vital moments.
Classy midfielder, Ryan Dienjes, was a standout through the game for the Demons, in an effort coach, Beau Zorko, described as “Herculean,”, while Trent McIntyre finished with six goals in difficult conditions.
For Mayne, club stalwart Andrew Housego led the way, while Dean Hartley also worked hard all day.
With the win, Surfers leap frogged Grange to sit in third spot, a game clear of fourth.
The result sets up a mammoth clash between the two sides on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the match leaves a dint in Mayne’s finals chances, leaving them a game out of fifth spot, with four rounds to go.
Mayne travels to Noosa in Round 13, in search of its first win at Weyba Rd in recent memory.
What the coaches said:
Beau Zorko (Surfers Paradise):
“That was a real character-testing game and building win for us.”
“As the game wore on and as the game opened up, our ability to keep moving forward into space was good and we were able to hit the scoreboard.”
“Their bigger bodied midfielders crashed and bashed really well and really hard all day. We certainly knew that would happen and were up for that.”
“Ryan Dienjes was Herculean. He played on ball and effectively went head to head with Shaun Daly.”
“For us to win those games, a critical ingredient is that we need 22 contributors. When the game was there to be won, that happened and that was really pleasing.”
Mitch Ferguson (Mayne):
“It was neck and neck all day and it was one of those ones that went down to the wire and unfortunately Surfers got there.”
“I think we carried too many guys who were having a poor day.”
“They were a man down but couldn’t take advantage. I think they outscored us with a man off the ground. So, we had our chances, but they made the most of theirs.”
“We’re not worried too much about finals, but we’re focused on winning the game that’s seemed very hard for us over the years.”
Palm Beach Currumbin 3.0, 6.3, 9.4, 14.6 (90)
Wilston Grange 2.1, 5.2, 8.4, 11.5 (71)
Wilston Grange remains the only team to best Palm Beach this season, but they couldn’t it make it two out of two, going down in their clash on Saturday.
With both sides missing key players, it was an intense battle and the Lions did enough to make amends for the past result.
Matt Carroll stepped up in the absence of Palm Beach spearhead, Nathan Carr, kicking three for the match, while Jackson Emblem impressed in his return from injury.
For Grange, it was ruckman Jim McMahon and forward pocket Hugh Campbell who were the best on the day.
The loss was Grange’s second in a row, and sees them drop two spots to fifth on the Allied Pickfords Cup ladder, setting up a must-win clash against Surfers this weekend.
Palm Beach remains first on percentage, a position they will likely need to notch up four wins from their final four matches to keep.
What the coaches said:
Matt Trewhella (Wilston Grange):
“I was proud of our guys and the way we played.”
“Our plan was to be in the game at three-quarter time and have a chance of winning.”
“We did really well – to have the amount of players out that we did and play like that against the top side, was great.”
“Palm Beach finished well and it was one of the better games I’ve seen this year.”
Daryn Cresswell (Palm Beach):
“They’re a good side and conditions were pretty tough. Obviously, wet conditions are a great leveller for sides and we probably didn’t adjust as well as we would have liked, early.”
“We didn’t speak about that (last game against Grange). We’re looking to the future not the past, and we just spoke about our style of footy and how we need to play. “
“It’s important to keep wining. It’s not how much or how you win, but we need to keep winning and we’re under no illusions about that.”
“We’re pretty young out there at the moment and it give us the players and club a lot of confidence winning against the good sides with relatively young group.”
Maroochydore 5.1, 8.4, 13.5, 14.5 (89)
Sandgate 3.7, 6.8, 8.8, 11.10 (76)
Maroochydore picked up a second straight win in the run to finals, with a 13-point win over Sandgate.
The Roos were on the front foot from the outset, and survived a second-half resurgence from the Hawks to claim the victory.
Captain, Michael Roberts, led the way for the home side in the win, while in-form ruckman Jed Turner continued his strong 2013, with another solid performance.
For Sandgate, 16 year-old josh Elmslie, a late call-up, was more than serviceable in his senior debut.
Jono Giles was one of the side’s best, after missing a game last week, for disciplinary reasons.
The result leaves Sandgate in seventh, three games out of the top five, while Maroochydore is one spot back, on percentage.
What the coaches said:
Brett Maloney (Maroochydore):
“Our first half, we thought we were going just okay in all areas of the game – knew we had to pick up our level of intensity on the football.”
“It was a tough game, to be honest. Both sides were pretty intent on what they were trying to achieve.”
“It was a tough battle, didn’t have it all our own way, we had to fight hard for it.”
Rob Dickfos (Sandgate):
“As far as Maroochy were concerned, they were the better side and deserved their win.”
“As far as we’re concerned, the first three quarters were disgraceful. We weren’t prepared to compete with intent and effort.”
“It was too little, too late.”
“Some guys were letting the game get the best of them.”
“When everything’s going well, they blend in but when it’s tough and our better players are doing it tough they’re not standing up and making the difference.”
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