Community football writer, Beth Newman, discusses some of the major talking points from the Allied Pickfords Cup.
1. Grange needs to turn things around – now.
A fourth consecutive loss on the weekend puts Grange’s finals chances in serious doubt. It’s not just the losing, it’s the fact that they will have to beat these same teams, like Surfers and the Magpies, to progress in the finals if they do make it. While they are still undermanned, time is absolutely running out for them. With a couple of guns returning for the Mayne clash on Saturday, the Gorillas are getting closer to their best side.
2. Springwood’s not all stars.
Springwood picked up some big-name recruits at the start of this season, and a lot of their improved performances this season have been put down to those players. But, against Maroochydore on the weekend, the Pumas ground out a win without the likes of Albert Proud and Jake Furfaro. Youngsters Nick Tronc and Matt Preston-Smith played some of their best footy of the year and proved that the Pumas have more depth than they get credit for.
3. The Lions will put the sword to Noosa this weekend.
Daryn Cresswell says he’s not concerned by two major lapses in consecutive weeks, but inconsistent teams don’t cut it in finals. It cost them the game against the Magpies in Rd 13 and history very nearly repeated itself at Salk Oval against Mayne. With Angus Munro the top of a long list of experienced absentees, the Lions will be keen to get that experience back into their side in the closing rounds. But, you can be sure they will not be keen to let the Tigers get anywhere near them on Saturday.
4. The hard line is working for the Hawks.
After a couple of quiet weeks, the Hawks are back to their fighting best, and it could be due to coach, Rob Dickfos’ hard line stance on team rules. The coach has made examples of a couple of players in recent weeks and it seems to be making an impact, with two straight wins. Sandgate showed their grit was back against Coolangatta and will be looking for a repeat effort against UQ at Oval 7 this week.
5. McIntyre is crucial to Surfers.
Surfers have shown this season that they are one of the more evenly-spread teams in the competition, with strengths across the board. But it’s hard to ignore the form of goal kicking spearhead, Trent McIntyre, who finished with another bag, of nine goals, against Noosa. McIntyre has really stood up this season and with the class of Surfers’ midfield has been able to help finish scores off, making him one of their more important players. Expect him to play a big role in any Demons’ finals campaign.
6. The students can finish.
UQ has struggled in final quarters this season, and both of its wins previous to Rd 14 had come by only one point. However, against Burleigh, they proved they have the ability to run out a match, kicking seven goals to one in the final term. The performance will be a major confidence booster for the students, who have been run down by a number of sides this season, including aRd 14 loss to Springwood.