By Beth Newman
Palm Beach coach, Daryn Cresswell, rates his side’s last match up against Mayne as their worst game of the season, but the Lions will be ready for the Tigers this time.
Coming off a shock defeat to Magpies, where they kicked a score of 13.26 to lose by seven points, the Lions must win to stay in contention for top spot on the ladder.
After admitting his players had been flat in their preparation in recent weeks, Cresswell said his charges had been booted into gear with the loss.
The home side will also be bolstered by the return of veteran Shane Hutchinson to the side.
“The players have really taken control this week and they’re really keen to make amends for what happened last week,” he said.
“They’ll be led by guys like Angus Munro, Matt Derrick and Shane Hutchinson.
“The players will gain confidence from that.
Youngster, Thomas Thynne has been ruled out, after a heavy workload in recent weeks.
“Tommy’s played seven or eight games in four weeks, so he’s pulled up a little bit sore,”Cresswell said.
“He’s slightly built and we don’t want to put any extra pressure on his body… so it was his own best interest to rest this weekend.”
Ben Heffernan-Roper (soreness), Sam Bourke (unavailable) and Bryce Perry-Bolt will also miss the match against the Tigers.
While the Lions will be favourites down at Salk Oval, Creswell said his side won’t be taking anything for granted.
“They nearly beat us down there last year,” he said.
“We’ve had a few problems with Mayne, they’re a physical tough side but I’m quietly confident they’ll (the players) respond.”
Midfielders Luke Faulkner and Shaun Daly have been firing this season, and you can expect the Lions to be keeping a close eye on the duo all day.
The Tigers will also welcome experience back into their side this weekend, with stalwart Andrew Housego an important inclusion.
Mayne is in fifth spot, having leap frogged Grange after a 108-point win over Noosa last week, and every match is a must win for them in the finals three weeks.
Ferguson said the extra experience brought by inclusions such as Housego would hopefully help them go one step further than their last clash at Mott St.
“We just didn’t lose the game out well last time, we’ve looked at our ability to play consistently throughout the whole day this week,” Ferguson said.
“We like to think those experienced players will play those bigger moments better.”
The win over Noosa, the first at Weyba Rd in the club’s history, will give the Tigers plenty of confidence and Ferguson said his side was keen to play the best in the competition.
“The challenge of playing one of the top sides. We really look forward to each time we play them,” Ferguson said.
“We’re not afraid of Palm Beach or the ground. It’s just another team to get past to achieve our goal this year.
“We certainly won’t be intimidated by them or the occasion.”
Palm Beach takes on Mayne at Salk Oval at 2:15pm tomorrow.
There are sure to be plenty of close matches around the other venues tomorrow as well, starting with the Grange and Magpies match at Sunlinc Oval.
The Gorillas’ third straight loss saw them drop out of the top five for the first time this year, and they will need to snap that streak to keep themselves in the running.
Grange will receive a massive boost with the return of Steve Brittain (appendicitis), who was a late withdrawal last weekend.
After their defeat of Palm Beach last weekend, the Magpies will go into the game full of confidence.
Grange’s poor home record this season means there’s little intimidation factor for the Chelmer side, and they will come out all guns blazing in a game that will be pivotal in deciding the make up of the top five.
Sandgate takes on Coolangatta in an intriguing match up at Lemke Rd.
The Hawks were back to their best last weekend, with midfielder Tom Overington the star of the show, and they will be looking to continue that form against the Blues tomorrow.
With both teams out of finals contention, they have nothing to lose in the remaining weeks of the season and you can trust that both will throw everything at the match.
The Blues picked up a win over Maroochydore last weekend, ending the Sunny Coasters’ September chances, and will be looking to take another scalp and pick up their third-straight win.
Up on the Sunny Coast ,the Roos take on ladder-leading Springwood.
While they went down to the Blues last weekend, Maroochydore will get a bit of confidence from their win over Grange in Rd 12.
Meanwhile, Springwood will be looking to maintain their top spot, after a narrow win over UQ last week.
Noosa takes on Surfers, in what will be a super challenge for the north Coasters.
The Demons are in red-hot form at the minute, and all of their big guns are firing.
It will take a big effort for the Tigers to be competitive with Surfers, but anything can happen at Weyba Rd.
Finally, at Bill Godfrey Oval, the Bombers take on UQ in search of their first win.
After a one-point loss in their Oval 7 clash earlier in the year, this is likely the Bombers’ best chance of winning in the final rounds of the season.
UQ welcomes back gun midfielder, Jack Pershouse, in a major boost to the side, and will have plenty of confidence after falling to Springwood in the dying minutes in Rd 13.
The Bombers will be without Wade Dickson for the match.
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