THERE’S nothing like a Sunshine Coast derby to stir emotions and that’s the way it was on a wet and mussy afternoon at Weyba Road on Saturday when Noosa took on local rivals Maroochy-Northshore.
By Terry Wilson
Pre-match talk suggested 2010 champions Noosa were going to be way too good for the Roos, whose only win of the season was against winless Mayne.
But the occasion brought out the best in the underdog Roos, who were gallant all the way but who eventually lost by 7.8 (50) to 7.0 (42).
As successful coach Wayne Fletcher put it, there’s nothing like the Sunny Derby to stir the possum.
“It was a local derby and it doesn’t matter where you are on the ladder, it will always be a contest.”
Despite the atrocious conditions, the game turned out a real crowd-pleaser. Certainly the battle went over well with a good-sized crowd.
Obviously with 15 scoring shots to seven, the Tigers were deserved winners, but they took until the third quarter to work their way to the front after trailing by a point at half-time.
Maroochy coach Roger Delaney was asked if it was the best performance of the season by the Roos – and he found it tough not to agree.
“I thought against Wilston-Grange we matched them but this time it was a four-quarter effort. We kept going and didn’t drop off,” he said.
The fact that Noosa traditionally revel when the going gets tough in boggy conditions added to the performance of the visitors.
“Give credit to them (Maroochy) for the way they went about things,” said Fletcher.
An upset loomed shortly after the start of the third term when the Roos kicked the first goal for a seven-point lead, but it was not to be as the stronger home side dug in.
The Tigers kicked the next couple of goals which effectively broke the back of the Roos.
It was a red-letter day for former Maroochy on-baller Owen Bailey, who starred for Noosa against his former club.
He and fellow half-back/wingman Todd Panaho stood out, as did diminutive rover Caleb Isles, who could so easily have disappeared in some of the large puddles that formed around the ground as rain fell constantly.
For Maroochy, centre half-forward and occasional on-baller Scott Hay was best, half-back Jarrod Raun put in all match and Declan Magill more than matched it with the celebrated Noosa midfield.