Saturday 14 August 2010

Redland survived a huge scare from Broadbeach to keep their razor-edge finals hopes alive at Merrimac Oval today.

The Bombers won by 17 points, 17.10 (112) to 13.17 (95), after losing the lead early in the last quarter.

In a season where they have butchered a number of games through poor conversion in front of goal, the Bombers won this one on the strength of making the most of their opportunities.

They had seven less scoring shots in the first half but led at halftime.

The gutsy victory may ultimately be in vain, with the NT’s win in Darwin putting the Thunder in the box seat to grab the fifth finals berth.

The Thunder need only beat Broadbeach at the Gardens Oval in Darwin next Saturday to qualify for their first finals series, while Redland will be banking on the Cats forcing an upset and then beating heavyweights Morningside themselves at Victoria Point.

“All we can do is control what we can by winning next week,” said coach Matty Francis.

“We did what we had to do today. I take my hat off to Broad beach, it wasn’t as if we played poorly.”

The Bombers got off to a flying start and played some champagne football on the way to a 7.2 to 3.4 opening term, but conceded 5.7 to 3.0 in the second.

The game developed into an arm-wrestle for the next 40 minutes, with the Bombers leading by a solitary goal at the final break and the Cats  bagging the first goal of the final term.

Redland’s class then came to the fore, with skipper Phil Carse, the prolific Justin Myers and energetic Jamie Hackett getting them out of trouble.

Carse and Matt Thomson found themselves being tagged, with the latter finding it difficult to shake after an outstanding last couple of weeks.

The tenacious rover hit back in the second half, going into a negating role himself on Dayne Zorko after the Cats skipper threatened to win the game himself with a blistering first half.

Zorko was still good in the second half but Thomson slowed his impact.

Redland also had their hands full with the electric Liam Patrick, who booted four goals and was a constant threat up forward for the Cats.

The Gold Coast Suns hopeful was playing just his second game for the Cat, having also booted four goals in his only other outing in Round 10 against the Western Magpies.

At the same time, the diminutive Ben Weightman caused the Cats plenty of headaches, finishing with four goals and a number of assists.

“Ben was very clean up forward,” Francis said. “Our forward structure allowed us to kick plenty of goals.”

Adrian Williams was the Bombers’ best defender, keeping Korey Fulton to two goals, while Adam Mueller was also prominent at important times of the game.

Zorko, Tayler Rolfe and Jesse Derrick gave their side plenty of life in the midfield, but their shooting at goal in the tricky cross-wind ultimately proved costly.   

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