SURFERS Paradise remain in the hunt for a finals berth after seeing off Coolangatta in a Gold Coast derby at Sir Bruce Small Park on Saturday.
By Terry Wilson
But it was a funny old day at the office for winning coach Beau Zorko as the Demons took the match by 16.9 (105) to 12.13 (85).
The win kept Surfers level with Palm Beach-Currumbin on 36 points, the Demons sitting in sixth courtesy of their poor percentage.
Zorko found it difficult to explain events of the afternoon when many of his prime movers turned in 50-50 performance levels.
“It was strange,” said Zorko. “We started well and,, to be honest, half-way through the second quarter I thought we were a goal or two away from blowing the game apart.
“Then we lapsed and gave the Blues an opportunity to get back into the game – and they took it. Then it was an arm-wrestle after that.
“We had guys right in the game and guys out of the game – and they took turns at it.”
Perhaps the best way to explain Zorko’s performance assessment was the absence of many of the Surfers leading lights from the best-players list.
Surfers had a winning margin of 5.2 to 1.1 at quarter-time, and had things under control at 9.3 to 5.8 at the big break.
Centre half-back Rhys O’Brien, one of the club’s off-season signings from Western Australia, had perhaps his best game on Demons colours to be best for the Demons.
He was well supported by Cameron Steward, teenager Brody Haberfield and on-permit ruckman Nick Barling.
Coolangatta had as many scoring chances as Surfers, but did not have a dominant forward, their captain Dan Hawkins kicking three in another top performance.
Others to go well for the Blues were Papua New Guinean Paul Philip, Jamie Beer-Carey and Brendan White.