Sunday 1 August 2010

Aspley showed they will be more than nuisance value in the last month of the QAFL qualifying rounds by easily accounting for Broadbeach at traditionally hard-to-win Merrimac Oval yesterday.

The Hornets ran roughshod over the Cats through the middle quarters to set up a 17.13 (115) to 13.10 (88) victory.

With seasoned campaigners Matt Shir and Robert Copeland back together after both have endured injury problems at different times over the last month, the Hornets looked rock solid and played accordingly.

Shir controlled the game from the midfield and it was only when he received a cork and sat out the last quarter that the Cats could turn the momentum, kicking six goals to two and put some respectability into the scoreline.

“Matt copped a reasonable corkie and after the calf problems he has had, we thought it wise to sit him out,” Hornets coach Russell Evans said.

With young ruckman Declan Bevan continuing his late season revival, Reece Toye strong in the clinches, Shir directing traffic from the middle and Copeland the back, Aspley played some irresistible football.

“Bushy (Copeland) makes a massive difference with his experience at centre-half-back and when he is there we look more solid,” Evans said.

Taylor Hayley and Ryan Pantic did some good work at ground level for the Cats, who started brightly but were smashed 6.6 to 1.1 in a definitive second quarter.

“I thought both sides were pretty competitive early on, but we went pretty well in the back half of the first and through the second and third quarters,” Evans said.

“We fell in a hole in the last.”

The Hornets have suffered fade-outs throughout the season, although a reduced number of rotations due to injuries impacted on yesterday’s effort.

“The reality was that they would come at us at some stage and I was very pleased with the first three quarters,” Evans said.

Evans again received great service from his namesake Brent, while Sam Carpenter won plenty of hard ball and first gamer Fraser Thompson earned plaudits from his coach.

“He did a very good job on the wing,” Evans said of the 16-year-old, who stands at 190cm tall.

Shir kicked three goals and key forward Adam Hughes two, who had a hand in several others.

The Cats struggled to find a key forward who could mark the ball against the rapidly-improving Hornet defence.

The Hornets’ fifth win of the season moves them to within one game of Broadbeach on the premiership table.

They loom large as a serious danger game for the NT Thunder next Saturday, while Broadbeach face Morningside on the rebound at Esplen Oval. 

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