Submitted by Chris Yeend
ASPLEY INJECTS ITS STING INTO THE COMPETITION
The Aspley Hornets have proven that it is a team to be feared in the QAFL competition after an impressive 20-point win over Palm Beach Currumbin at Graham Road in Round 12 action of the QAFL on Saturday.
The Hornets trailed by 18-points at the 25-minute mark of the second term before kicking seven of the last eight goals of the contest to salute its seventh win of the season and lock themselves in the top six by two wins.
After a disappointing 28-point loss to Broadbeach in Round 10, Aspley responded in fashion with a comprehensive 135-point win over Mt Gravatt the following week; providing plenty of momentum heading into the contest.
Palm Beach Currumbin has been one of the big movers of the competition in season 2022 but a shock 64-point loss at home to Morningside in Round 11 without Liam Jones meant that it had to respond in a big way.
With overcast conditions greeting both teams, this Match of the Round contest was going to be a genuine arm-wrestle from the opening bounce.
It was Cory Beaman for PBC that found himself on the receiving end of the first centre clearance of the game where he marked from 35-metres out. His shot at goal missed but it set up a vital pattern for how the respective teams would push the ball inside 50.
Aspley had the tendency to bomb the ball long into the 50, only to be marked on countless occasions, uncontested, by Liam Jones. Palm Beach Currumbin would often lower the eyes and hit up a target.
The Lions kicked the opening goal of the game through Ethan Sekac before the often-flashy Malachi Dumas kicked a dazzling goal to push the lead out to 10-points at the 16-minute mark of the term.
Goals to McCarthy and Peppin either side of the time-on restored order for the home side as they took a right one-point lead at the end of the first change.
As both teams advanced to their respective quarter time huddles, things got a bit tense between the opposing teams with a minor scuffle.
On the back of a tense scuffle at quarter-time, it was Aspley that responded with a bit more ruthless aggression. PBC’s Cal McBurnie was under enormous pressure as he was bumped while kicking the ball across the face of goal that went too far and crossed the boundary line on the full 15-metres out. McCarthy took the resulting free kick on the boundary line and kicked brilliantly on the opposite foot to push the margin out to seven-points.
Before the ball made it back to the centre; the entertaining battle between PBC’s Tyler Cornish and Aspley’s Ryan Banks-Smith spilled over with Cornish conceding the free kick before the restart of play.
The free-kick didn’t deter PBC as Liam Jones predictably did as he pleased. Playing loose in defense, Aspley continued to bomb the ball long inside the forward 50 and Jones often went up unopposed. In the opening seven-minutes of the quarter, he took four uncontested marks to go with the six or seven he had in the opening term.
PBC flicked the switch as Sekac and Cam O’Leary kicked consecutive goals in quick succession as it turned a seven-point deficit into a five-point lead in a matter of moments.
With Jones, McBurnie and Harrison Day controlling the backline, the Lions started to dominate general play. Jack Granville started the game in the back pocket for the Lions but moved up to the wing alongside team mate Cooper Portelli and the pair found plenty of the ball.
PBC kicked five of six goals in 20-minutes to take an 18-point lead deep into time-on. The highlight of the run was the Lions transitioning the ball from defense to the forward line at the 21-minute mark through through the corridor that led to Sekac sending the ball inside the forward 50 where the ball split three Aspley defenders; Dumas gathered the ball and kicked an outstanding goal on the left foot 30-metres out from goal.
THIRD QUARTER – MASTERCLASS COACHING FROM ASPLEY
With Jones getting so many uncontested marks inside the attacking 50, Aspley made the switch to have Pat McCarthy (two goals in the first half) to essentially stay on Jones for the rest of the game. After about a dozen marks in the first half, Jones was held to two in the second half and this move single handedly changed the game.
Aspley lowered its eyes to hit up targets from about 40 metres out from goal; while PBC elected to bomb away and Liam Dawson at the other end had a field day where he took countless uncontested marks inside his defensive 50. It was almost like Jones and Dawson had swapped jumpers as Aspley started to beat PBC at its own game.
Goals to Henderson and Craven inside the first seven-minutes cut the margin to three-points; and when Connor Stackleberg kicked his first goal of the game at the 14-minute mark, scores were level. What this highlighted was that Aspley had three shots on goal for a return of 3.0; and PBC had three shots on goal for a return of 0.3 in the space of 12-minutes which drastically turned the tide of the game.
When Lleyton Brown kicked a point for Aspley at the 18-minute mark, it hit the front for the first time in 50-minutes.
A late goal to Jordan Gribble restored order for the visitors that led by five-points heading into the final quarter.
With Aspley winning the centre clearances, its forwards had plenty of opportunities. Its first three shots on goal for the quarter all came from set shots thanks largely to its midfielders lowering the eyes when pushing the ball inside 50.
When Nick Dodge kicked his first goal at the 16.5-minute mark, the Hornets led by 13-points and looked home. The Lions tried incredibly hard with Tom Thynne in the midfield; Jordan Gribble presenting well up forward and Granville playing exceptionally well but it was to no avail.
When Dodge kicked his second, Aspley completed a six-goal turn-around in 53-minutes to salute to a gritty 11.10.76 to 8.8.56 win.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
Nathan Colenso kicked the match winning goal for Morningside in the final minute as it defeated Noosa on the road in a thrilling contest; 14.12.96 to 14.8.92.
Wilston Grange almost pulled off the upset of the season when it went down to the undefeated reigning premiers Broadbeach by two-points. The Gorillas led by 25-points at half-time and led by four-points with little time remaining on the clock before a late goal put the Cats in front to win a thriller, 11.16.82 to 12.8.80.
An inaccurate Maroochydore were coasting at three-quarter-time against the winless Sherwood at home. The visitors had other ideas has it kicked six goals in the final term to hit the front, only for the Roos to steady in the dying moments thanks to Lochie Lang (six goals) to hold off a gutsy and brave Sherwood team.
After coming from behind to beat Noosa the previous week; Labrador had a real fight on its hands against a courageous Mt Gravatt. The Tigers led by just eight-points at half-time before Jake Goldsmith (six goals) took over and Mt Gravatt was held to just one goal in the second half. Labrador ran away 90-point winners; 18.13.121 to 4.7.31
Redland-Victoria Point recorded the biggest State League win in 3,311 days (9yrs – 24days) when it stormed to a remarkable 138-point win over Surfers Paradise. After leading by 49-points at the main break; the Sharks kicked 17.7 to 3.2 in the second half and record an incredible 72-percent goal kicking efficiency in the 28.11.179 to 6.5.41 win. Matt Hammelmann exploded with the performance everyone knew he could have with 14 goals while young gun Gus Moloney kicked a goal on debut in front of an adoring home crowd.