Bluebirds in late QWAFL finals run

Coolangatta put the heat on the QWAFL top four, with a rousing win over Yeronga on Saturday.

The Bluebirds were right at home in the wet conditions at Peak Oval and it showed in the crucial victory.

Nikki Wallace was a standout for the Bluebirds in the forward line, adding a freakish snap to her highlights reel, while Kara Membrey adjusted well to a new role in attack and Leah Kaslar was typically influential.

Coolangatta coach, Lauren James, said her side thrived in adversity.

“We ran and carried the ball so well and linked up well,” he said.

“We were better with the ball and had cleaner hands in the conditions.”

Zillmere defied the difficult conditions to notch their 10th QWAFL win, over Wilston Grange, 10.12 (72) – 0.1 (1).

The Eagles jumped out of the blocks with a five goal first term, a start with which coach, Jacob Simmons-Bliss was especially pleased.

“We played clean, beautiful football,” he said.

“We were relentless, physical, hard at the footy and implemented the game plan the best we ever have.”

Emma Pericic was impressive in the Eagles’ midfield, while Mikayla and Ally Anderson both showed safe hands on the soft ground and Tegan Stevenson was a clear winner on the wing.

Wilston Grange coach, Ron Kemp, was happy with the fight his team showed.

“It would have been very to easy for them to drop their heads, but they continued to fight,” he said.

Tayla Qualtrough was busy in the back pocket and rebounded well for the Gorillas, while Annie Pittendreigh continued her improvement.

Coorparoo maintained their position a game clear on top of the ladder with a 16.17 (113) – 0.1 (1) win over UQ, but the Navy Roos didn’t get a free run.

An eight-goal first term from the home side put the game out of reach of the Red Lionesses, but after quarter time, Coorparoo’s scoring shots decreased dramatically.

Ultimately, the cleaner skills of the defending premiers proved the difference, with Kaitlyn Cantrell outstanding with their tireless efforts around the football and Megan Hunt running well off the flanks.

Coorparoo coach, Damien Richards, said scoring wasn’t easy as the game went on.

“It was a really congested game, especially in our forward line, which made it hard to convert when we had the ball,” he said.

UQ coach, Michael Swann, said his side’s ability to make a contest was a major positive to take from the game.

“We knew it would be a tough game and our side really attacked the football hard, which was our goal,” he said.

“We lack the skill and experience to spread effectively, but that will come with time.”

Caitlin Feeney stood out on debut for the Red Lionesses, while Millie Read quelled the influence of Coorparoo star, Emma Zielke, for much of the day and Beth Newman tackled hard.

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