BURLEIGH remain alive in the race for a Pineapple Hotel Cup finals berth after seeing off Gold Coast rivals Coolangatta in a dour derby at Bill Godfrey Oval on Sunday.

By Terry Wilson

Burleigh took the match by 18.18 (126) to 16.14 (110) after kicking 15 of their goals to the western end of the ground.
Victory kept Burleigh in the hunt for finals action, a race that looks set to be between Noosa, Palm Beach-Currumbin, the Bombers and Surfers Paradise for positions four and five in the play-offs.
An edge in height in key positions, a lively performance from diminutive wingman Hugh Priest and yet another lion-hearted effort from ruckman Mick Van Rossum highlighted Burleigh’s win.
“It was probably not the best he has played, but he was still in our top three,” said coach Zane Doubleday of the elusive Priest.
Van Rossum was typical Van Rossum, hauling in telling marks around the ground and toiling manfully in the ruck contests.
And the match provided 19-year-old Jacob Howell with another merit in his story of developing into a top-liner.
“He’s much more consistent for us now,” said Doubleday of Howell’s effort in the middle.
The Bo,bers have a tough one next round when they travel to Chelmer to play the Western Magpies, who will be fresh after the weekend bye.
But Doubleday expects his ranks to be boosted by middleman Matt O’Brien, ruck-rover Ben Ranger and forward goalsneak Nathan Sullivan.
The Bombers trailed 1.5 to 3.5 at quarter-time, but rammed on nine second-term goals to lead by 32 points at half-time.
Despite there being hardly a breath of wind, the western end proved to be the scoring one because Coolangatta fought back to be only 11 points down heading into the final stanza.
Despite them kicking four of the final five goals of the game, the Blues still fell 26 points short of keeping alive their finals hopes.
Former Broadbeach utility Jacob Spackman was outstanding for the blues in roles on a half-back flank aand on-ball.
Redhead Ben Dovey starred in the midfield and forward flank and Blake Ebsworth excelled when called on to fill a number of key position roles.
The Blues were hurt by the late withdrawal of Sam Carins, then severely wounded in the talls department when centre half-forward Ali Pinda was red-carded in the first quarter.
Coach Neil Mackay agreed his players made far too many mistakes and failed to convert a significant number of scoring shots.

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