By Beth Newman
Palm Beach survived a third-quarter scare from Mayne, before running out to a comfortable 17.12 (114) -12.12 (84) win at Salk Oval.
The home side looked out for blood in the first term, in a nine-goal blitz, while any opportunities Mayne had at the other end were swiftly cut off by the Lions’ Jackson Emblem.
Palm Beach also seemed to put their 2013 goalkicking woes behind them in the clinical opening term, finishing with 9.3 for the quarter.
Lions ruckman Dean Shegog was dominating at the contests, and their midfielders looked too fast and too strong for all bar Shaun Daly from the Tigers.
Mayne lifted in the second, though, showing an improved efficiency and pressure through the midfield.
By the time the three-quarter time siren blew, the Tigers had kept the Lions goalless for an entire quarter, kicked seven of their own, and had more than a whiff of victory.
Luke Faulkner was taking marks aplenty in the forward 50, after starting in the midfield, but was left to rue some wayward kicking, finishing with 3.7 for the day.
While the result ultimately looked comfortable, it was the second week in a row that the second-placed side failed to put the sword to their opposition at the earliest opportunity.
Last week, against the Magpies, a lot could be put down to poor accuracy, but this time the Lions were getting well-beaten across the ground in the third term.
Palm Beach coach, Daryn Cresswell, said he wasn’t concerned by the mid-game lapses.
“We took our foot off the pedal and I think we thought we were going to win by 10-15 goals and against good sides that doesn’t happen,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of good players to come back in and I think with that experience on the ground I don’t think we’ll see those kinds of efforts.
“I think it’s not going to be a problem going forward but it certainly was disappointing.”
Emblem was a star down back for the Lions, particularly in the first half, taking strong back line, with both coaches applauding his efforts after the match.
Mayne coach, Mitch Ferguson, said Emblem was the cause of a bit of an injury through the day, with his effectiveness down back
“I think I got a bit of a headache from bashing my head against the wall,” he joked.
“Emblem, he’s a good player, he put himself in the right spots and we kept kicking to him.”
Ferguson, was pretty blunt his assessment of the Tigers’ opening term.
“We were thrashed,” he said.
“I just think Palm Beach were excellent.
“Their ball use was too quick and our midfield was carved to pieces.”
The result, coupled with the Magpies’ victory over Grange, essentially sets up an elimination derby between the Tigers and the Gorillas at Mott St next week.
It doesn’t get much bigger than a match between local rivals, but with the result set to decide their respective finals fates, it’s shaping up to be their most significant match of 2013.
Palm Beach travels to Weyba Rd to take on Noosa in their rd 15 clash next weekend.
Surfers Paradise 3.5, 8.7, 11.10, 17.12 (114)
Noosa 4.3, 5.4, 9.8, 12.11 (83)
Surfers showed their character, in a win over Noosa at Weyba Rd.
Losing Ryan Dienjes (concussion) and Regan Finlay in the first quarter, and running out the game with no bench, the Demons showed their mettle in the crucial victory.
Their one-game advantage over fourth-placed Magpies is more than a valuable cushion ahead of their match against the Chelmer side on Saturday.
Surfers’ tall forwards proved much of the difference in the match, with Trent McIntyre slotting nine majors.
Noosa came out firing, but ultimately couldn’t match the class of the Surfers side, who punished the Tigers with their efficiency.
The home side were seeking redemption after a 108-point drubbing at the hands of Mayne in Rd 13, and they found it, showing plenty of fight all day.
Youngster Seb Rogers had another standout game, while Owen Bailey and Caleb Isles worked hard throughout the match.
The result has Surfers in third, a game clear of the Magpies, ahead of their clash at Chelmer on Saturday.
Noosa sits 11th, with two wins.
What the coaches said:
Beau Zorko (Surfers):
“It was a very gutsy, determined effort.”
“As the game progressed, we had a bare 18 fit, so to absorb a Noosa side that came and really played and then to hit the scoreboard as well was a fantastic effort.”
“This time 12 months ago, this group wouldn’t have shown that fight.”
“They’ve improved greatly and they are starting to believe and it’s a very critical factor come the business end of the season.”
“I think four points at this time of year is extremely important, but I think the character and the grit and determination will put us in good stead for Palm Beach and Magpies and for the finals series.”
Wayne Fletcher (Noosa):
“It was certainly a huge improvement on the week before against Mayne.”
“At the end of the day, they were too good for us.”
“Whilst it was a disappointing not to get a win, there were a lot of positive results to take out of it.”
“I couldn’t fault their commitment for four quarters.”
“They were committed to each other and committed to the game and the contest.”
University of Queensland 3.4, 6.7, 13.10, 19.15 (129)
Burleigh 3.5, 7.7, 13.8, 14.9 (93)
UQ notched a third win and its biggest of the season, against Burleigh on Saturday.
With only two one-point wins to their name to this point, and coming off a five-point loss to Springwood last weekend, the Red Lions had a point to prove and they certainly did that.
It took until the last quarter for the students to break the game open, but with a six-goal to one final term, they capitalised on their strong finishing ability.
Midfielder Michael Stewart was again prolific for UQ, while Damien Hughes and Sean Powyer also put in solid performances.
The win sets up a massive match between the Red Lions and seventh-placed Sandgate on Saturday, in what will be a litmus test at Oval 7, and a chance for the home side to show their improvement.
Burleigh is still looking for its first 2013 win.
What the coaches said:
Matt Stewart (UQ):
“It was a really good win for us. It was more important to get a win after coming so close last week.”
“It was actually good to see where we’ve improved.”
“Playing week in, week out, sometimes you forget how much you’ve improved and it was good to see where we’re at compared to last time.”
Western Magpies 4.6, 7.8, 10.10, 13.13 (91)
Wilston Grange 4.2, 6.11, 7.12, 9.17 (71)
The Gorillas slumped to a fourth-straight loss against the Western Magpies on Saturday.
Magpies coach, Craig St John, signalled early that the Magpies’ back end of the season would outdo their first, and his word is proving true, with the Chelmer side on a hot streak.
Alex Dickfos was the best for the Magpies in the win, while Dylan McDonald, Tim McEvoy and youngster, Jake Heard, all showed plenty.
Steve Brittain had an immediate impact in his return for Grange, kicking two goals in a standout performance.
The result means Grange now must win against local rivals, Mayne, in the penultimate home and away match, to keep their finals chances alive.
With two rounds left, the Magpies look set to play finals, two games clear in fourth place, but will have to play their best with games against Surfers and Mayne to finish their season.
What the coaches said:
Matt Trewhella (Wilston Grange):
“In the last quarter, we were just outplayed and they kicked more goals than us.”
“We had similar scoring shots and our stats all day were pretty similar, it was just that last quarter, they got on top.”
“Everyone is a little deflated, but now we just have to beat Mayne.”
“I think it’s (the game against Mayne) probably the biggest game of my career here and definitely the biggest game outside finals for a lot of our guys.”
Springwood 1.1, 2.8, 10.11, 11.16 (82)
Maroochydore 2.2, 4.5, 8.6, 8.8 (56)
Springwood overcame a sluggish start to claim another comfortable victory, against Maroochydore on Saturday.
Missing some key personnel, the Pumas’ youngsters stood up, led by strong contributions from Matt Preston-Smith and Nick Tronc.
An eight-goal third quarter put the match squarely in Springwood’s favour, and undid the Roos’ gallant first-half efforts.
Maroochydore captain, Michael Roberts, was again one of his side’s best, while Michael D’arcy and Jarrod Gale also played well.
Springwood remains top of the ladder, heading into their match against Coolangatta next weekend.
Maroochydore will be looking to finish their season strong, with matches against Burleigh and UQ to round out their 2013 campaign.
What the coaches said:
Tony King (Springwood):
“We felt the importance of the win was pretty huge.”
“Our focus is to really finish on top and we know if we drop a game, that mightn’t happen, because Palm Beach will likely win every game.”
“After half time, the intensity went up and we were able to meet them head on and were lucky enough to get some scoreboard pressure in the third quarter and go from there.”
Brett Maloney (Maroochydore):
“Obviously, the result’s disappointing to lose but we won three quarters of footy on the scoreboard.”
“This is a game we could take some positives away from. We had areas we wanted to improve in before the game and defence was our main one.”
“(In the third quarter), we couldn’t get our hands on the footy and we couldn’t get first use.”
Sandgate 3.4, 8.8, 11.12, 14.17 (101)
Coolangatta Tweed 4.3, 8.7, 11.8, 15.10 (100)
Sandgate pulled off a thrilling win over Coolangatta at Lemke Rd on Saturday.
Turnovers characterised the match, with both sides coughing up plenty of ball in the bruising match.
The lead changed numerous times all day, but the Hawks managed to finish a nose in front at the final siren.
With both sides relatively evenly matched, it was a tustle all day, with neither side giving an inch in the contests.
David Lynch was a shining light for the Coolangatta side in the game, continuing his consistent season.
Sandgate’s Fraser Jones and Jono Giles stood out for the home side.
A fractured cheekbone ended Aidan Dineen’s season, leaving a minor sour note on the Hawks’ day.
The win is Sandgate’s seventh for the season, and leaves them in seventh spot ahead of their match against UQ on Saturday.
Coolangatta remains ninth, with four wins, with a clash against Springwood to come.
Rob Dickfos (Sandgate):
“It was hard, it was intense, there were a lot of mistakes, but it was a good game to be involved in.”
“The lead changed so many times in the end, for the boys to come back after being behind so many times was testament to their fighting quality.”
“We had opportunities, they had opportunities and we just fought for that fraction longer and were desperate for that fraction longer.”
“No one clearly got on top in any area – it was just a dog fight.”
Daniel Hawkins (Coolangatta):
“I think with five minutes to go we could still play a bit of football but when it got down to the last couple of minutes trying to get it down forward at all costs.”
“Sandgate is a young, vibrant side who likes to chase and play at the ball hard. It was a good battle for four quarters.”
“To see the disappointment on the boys’ face was actually kind of pleasing. Over past seasons, we’d just drop our bundle in those situations and be happy to lose.”