By Beth Newman
Wilston Grange 4.4, 7.8, 10.12, 17.16 (118)
Mayne 4.3, 7.3, 11.6, 13.8 (86)
Wilston Grange has one foot planted in finals, after a 17.16 (118) – 13.8 (86) win over Mayne at Mott St.
After sitting in third only five weeks ago, the Gorillas’ finals chances hung by a thread going into Saturday’s match, but they proved they could get the win when it counted, steadying their ship with one match left.
For Wilston Grange to surrender its finals spot to Mayne, who are in sixth, they would need to lose to Noosa and the Tigers would need to beat the Magpies, in their respective final matches this weekend.
In a game played with finals-like intensity, Grange’s bigger bodies won many of the contests, and were desperate for the ball.
The injection of Matt Trewhella and Andrew Mills into the Gorillas’ forward line proved a massive difference between the two sides, but poor conversion meant their strong grabs weren’t always rewarded.
On the other hand, Mayne sorely missed veteran Andrew Housego, who was a late withdrawal once again with a virus.
The loss of midfielder Nikos Keim to a hamstring injury didn’t do Mayne any favours in the bruising encounter, either.
Grange’s Steve Brittain sliced the Tigers open through the midfield, while ruckman Jim McMahon continued a great 2013 and Mathew Stevens showed some excellent finishing skills, ending with four goals.
Aleks Mathewson did a brilliant shutdown job on Mayne spearhead, Caleb Brown, who was quiet all day.
Grange coach, Matt Trewhella, said it was good to be back on the winners’ list.
“We’ve had a bit of a loser’s limp for a couple of weeks but that’s gone and we’ve got some key players back which is good,” he said.
“We’ve stumbled in the last months over the teams we beat at the start of the year, so to have a win against the guys who beat us at the start of the year this close to finals is good.”
Trewhella said his side’s hardness at the ball was a key positive from the match.
“In the last month, we’ve just been lazy at the contest,” he said.
“That was a really hard game, a lot of running.”
Mayne coach, Mitch Ferguson, was relatively pragmatic after the match.
“I think it was a cracking contest but in the end a few too many injured blokes to draw on,” he said.
“They deserved their win they were to strong, too clean around the contest.”
While the loss means they are almost certainly out of finals, Ferguson said he wasn’t going to be putting any extra significance on this result.
“You’ve got to win those games throughout the year not just ride on one result late,” he said.
“I thought we hung in there.
“Brittain was killing us and young Stevens, they were just too hot to handle for us so we hung in there, but we just couldn’t land any punches late in the game.”
Mayne will have to throw everything at the white-hot Magpies on Saturday to keep their slim finals chances alive, and hope that Noosa can defeat Grange at Weyba Rd.
Western Magpies 4.1, 9.3, 12.6, 16.11 (107)
Surfers Paradise 1.2, 2.4, 6.9, 9.12 (66)
The Magpies propelled themselves into third spot, with a win over Surfers on Saturday.
At Chelmer, the defending premiers were on top from the get go, led by super midfield performances from Reid Dobson and Jimmy Rozynski.
Nicholas Barling battled well in the ruck, but the Demons sorely missed players like Ryan Dienjes (concussion), Regan Finlay (heel) and Nick Cunningham across the ground.
The result handed the Magpies third spot, with one match left, while Surfers sits in fourth on percentage.
What the coaches said
Beau Zorko (Surfers):
“We were out-enthused, outworked, outclassed and outplayed.”
“We needed to absorb some of their onslaught and wrestle the game back in the second quarter and we weren’t able to do that.”
“Our lack of work ethic was exposed by a footy club on the charge.”
“We’re either going to learn our lessons and bounce back like good sides do or concede easily and be outclassed again. “
“We really have to, as a group, steel ourselves and prepare to take on a quality opposition and gain some momentum going into the finals series.”
Palm Beach 6.5, 12.8, 17.12, 21.13 (139)
Noosa 2.1, 2.1, 2.3, 6.6 (42)
After two major lapses in the past fortnight, Palm Beach put the boot into Noosa on Saturday.
The Lions came back from Weyba Rd with a 97-point win, and a confidence boost going into Round 16.
Spearhead Nathan Carr picked up five goals and Dean Shegog dominated in the ruck.
Carr was one of a number of quality players to stand up, with Ben Heffernan-Roper also having a strong game after an injury-marred month.
Harry Opie was good for the Tigers side, on a tough day.
Palm Beach is in second but will be hoping they can pick up a win and Sandgate can beat Springwood on Saturday, to clinch the minor premiership on percentage.
Noosa is 11th with a match against Grange to finish their season.
Sandgate 0.0, 5.5, 10.8, 17.8 (110)
University of Queensland 0.0, 6.4, 7.8, 12.8 (80)
A strong second half from Sandgate denied Uni its fourth win of the season at Oval 7.
The students had the ascendency early, the Hawks opened them up in the third quarter, with a 10-minute period of dominance that proved the difference in the result.
Tyler Arnott-Hollick continued a super stretch of form for the Hawks, with supporting roles from Jono Giles, Curtis Ricker, Michael Richardson and 16 year-old Josh Elmslie.
Rhys Tagell was a standout for the home side, while Thomas Warby and Thomas Gehrmann were also solid for the Red Lions.
The result puts Sandgate in seventh, one game out of the top five, while UQ sits 10th, with three wins.
What the coaches said
Rob Dickfos (Sandgate):
“It was a good tough game and they got the better of us early, worked harder early and thoroughly deserved their lead.”
“There was a realisation (by the players) that if they’re to be taken seriously as footballers, we need to be a lot more consistent and accept responsibility for how we play the game.”
“Early in the game, we reacted to what uni did and what they did right and what they did wrong whereas in the second we came out and instigated the game plan we needed.”
“We need to turn up ready to play (against Springwood).”
“If we can apply pressure we’ll make it a tough afternoon for them and beauty of our approach is there’s no next week. We can throw everything at them and wherever it lands, it lands.”
Matt Stewart (UQ):
“Overall, we played pretty well, but there was just 10-15 minutes in the third when we didn’t take our chances and that just cost us in the end.”
“I thought in the first half we used the ball really well, but to their credit in the second half, they were fitter and ran a lot harder.”
“Over the last few weeks, we’ve improved on all our results from the first time around and we’ve really developed in a number of areas which is really good as a group.”
Springwood 12.4, 17.9, 28.11, 35.17 (227)
Coolangatta Tweed 4.1, 7.4, 13.7, 13.9 (87)
Springwood clinched a percentage-boosting win over Coolangatta at Lowe Oval.
The Pumas, still missing Jake Furfaro and Albert Proud, showed their depth once again.
Captain Mark Thompson stepped up with seven goals, in a dominant midfield performance.
The Blues were on the back foot from the outset, with only 18 players heading into the game, and a number backing up after playing reserves.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors, when leading goal kicker, Jack Ryan, broke his collarbone.
Under-18s Lachlan McLeod, Logan Elsey and Matt Hoskins stood up on a difficult day for Coolangatta.
Springwood is on top with one game left, and a win against Sandgate would assure them of the minor premiership.
Coolangatta is ninth, with five wins.
What the coaches said:
Tony King (Springwood):
“It was offensively we were very good.”
“Coolangatta have a very good midfield and they got their share of the ball.”
“The game probably reflected the way the two sides are cycle wise and development wise.”
“We always knew we were capable of it (kicking a big score), we’ve just had lapses at times.”
“For our midfielders to kick some midfield goals, that’s something we’ve missed all year.”
“(Our run home) has really given us the opportunity to finish on top. Injury wise and player wise, everyone’s getting a bit tired at this time of year so it probably has helped us this year.”
“We’re glad we’re going to get that hit out (Sandgate) for the last game and we realise how much of a danger game it is as well.”
Daniel Hawkins (Coolangatta):
“We battled and we kicked a lot of goals but we let too many goals through.”
“It was tough for the guys but we only went into the game with 18 and four doubling up from reserves.”
“From what we had we put up a pretty good effort, but we leaked too many goals.”
“I guess we’re trying to get a lot of players to the club next week and we’re putting our foot down a bit.”
Maroochydore 6.3, 14.4, 19.6, 23.9 (147)
Burleigh 2.1, 4.3, 8.4, 9.9 (63)
Maroochydore picked up a dominant win over Burleigh on Saturday.
The Roos have had an inconsistent season but showed a more even team performance to clinch their sixth 2013 win.
After some slow starts in recent weeks, the home side burst out of the blocks with a six goal first term, setting the tone for the match.
Midfielder Jarrod Gale was moved forward after a rolled ankle, and finished with four, while captain Michael Roberts also went down early.
Harry Wilson was strong in the contests for Maroochydore, while Wade Dickson and James Christie once again proved their abilities for Burleigh.
The result means Burleigh remains winless this season, with a match against Coolangatta on Saturday.
Maroochydore is eighth and hosts UQ at Fisherman’s Rd to round off their season on Saturday.
What the coaches said:
Brett Maloney (Maroochydore):
“We have spoken a lot about it in the last couple of weeks –the need to fight the year out and hang our hat on these last few rounds.”
“We put a real focus on our start and our first quarter and we were pretty determined to get that right.”
“The hardest thing when you can’t play finals is to keep challenging yourself. When there’s no final to play for, that’s got to come from within the group.”
Shane Williams (Burleigh):
“It was a very disappointing first half.”
“We thought if we won the last two, there was a high possibility we wouldn’t finish on the bottom, so we had plenty to play for.”
“There was no intensity in the group, there was nothing there – it was really lacklustre.”
“We talked about it at half time and addressed a few things, like pride.”
“It would be tragic for the club (not to win a game).”