THE guile and nous of veteran pair Simon Fenton and Korey Fulton spearheaded Surfers Paradise to an upset win against premiers Noosa at Sir Bruce Small Park on Saturday.
By Terry Wilson
Gold Coast Bulletin
At a stage of the season when they needed to dispel a theory that they fold under pressure, the Demons delivered with a 12.13 (85) to 9.12 (66) victory that put them right back in the title race.
And it was the old stagers Fenton and Fulton who led the way as the playing group responded to a Tuesday night pow-wow to discuss recent tame performances.
“If that was a catalyst to us competing more fiercely, then it worked,” coach Beau Zorko said of the team meeting.
Fenton was outstanding running off a half-back flank while Fulton provided the difference between two evenly-matched sides with a super effort in front of the big sticks.
Even beaten coach Wayne Fletcher acknowledged the Fulton input on a ground where his Tigers have now lost four of their past five matches.
“It had nothing to do with the ground,” Fletcher said. “At the end of the day they had a target up forward taking marks.
“We probably won the stoppages, the inside 50s were equal. The difference was they were able to take more marks through Fulton.
“He’s kicked half a dozen and we’ve lost by three goals.”
Zorko was rapt with his spearhead.
“Korey had a good game and had his kicking boots on, particularly early,” Zorko said.
“When he converts we look like a good football side.”
After a strong third term, Noosa worked their way to a position where, with the fourth-quarter wind at the ir backs, they were in the box seat being only five points in arrears.
That was when the rediscovered Demon grunt resurfaced and they played intelligent football to outscore the 2011 champions by 3.4 to 1.2 coming home.
Fletcher did not want to use the absence of the competition’s leading goalkicker Danny Brewster (Country Carnival duties) as an excuse, but his absence clearly unsettled the Tiger attacking formation.
“I can’t say we didn’t miss him, but at the end of the day we had 22 players out there,” Fletcher said.
“We focus on the blokes we have out there and we were in a position to win the game. To the credit of Surfers Paradise they outplayed us and won.”
Zorko conceded Noosa were on top in tight and be was one who thought they missed the goalkicking talents of Brewster.
“But we controlled the footy and when we executed our skills we played some pretty good stuff,” he said.
“And I never doubted the side despite working into the wind in the last quarter. That’s when we were patient.”
Fulton, Fenton and Jacob Clark were best for the winners while for Noosa rover Caleb Isles, onballer Tom McKittrick and midfielder Todd Panoho were the standouts.
+ + + + +
PALM Beach-Currumbin took until the third quarter to click into top gear before running away from Maroochydore by 54 points at windswept Fishermans Road.
The Lions took the clash of the Coast rivals by 13.19 (97) to 5.13 (43) but had to fight hard early and were ahead by only two points at the main break.
“It took time for us to adjust because we haven’t played in windy conditions like that,” said winning coach Daryn Cresswell.
“I was pleased with the way we adjusted our game. We didn’t over-use the football and we got it into the forwards quickly.”
To beat the Roos at home with a side missing eight regulars was a great result for the Lions, who drew level with Noosa on eight wins after fellow Coast side Surfers Paradise beat Noosa.
Small forward Beau Runnals was a constant source of annoyance for the Roos. Runnalls kicked seven goals, although Cresswell thought big Bryce Perry-Bolt was the pick of his attackers.
Skipper Darryl Dyson at half-back, tagger Luke Sicka and Brent Rynehart in the middle, with 40-plus touches, were also outstanding for Palm Beach.
Cresswell said the match committee now face headaches finalising a side for next weekend with eight players to come back into reckoning.
Maroochydore coach Roger Delaney was far from despondent at being beaten by a side he said always troubles the Roos with their method.
“We played pretty well in the second quarter, but we were not at our best all match,” Delaney said, making special mention of a hurtful start when the home side kicked nine behinds.
“The best thing we did in first half was that we were able to shut the ball in our forward line a bit.
“But, overall, it was probably the worst game we’ve played in six or seven weeks in terms of skill level and contested ball.”
Best for Maroochydore were ruckman Jed Turner, Jack Gale and Jarrod Turner, who had 27 possessions.