Key forwards fire: Round 12 QAFL Review

By Terry Wilson

Image: Nelpix

Gun offensive weapons Jack Anthony and Matt Fowler returned to QAFL action with a bang during a wet round 12 of fixtures on Saturday.

Anthony was resuming for Palm Beach Currumbin after five matches out recovering from an ankle injury and he wasted no time in reinforcing his reputation as the most feared forward in the competition with a haul of nine against Sandgate at Salk Oval.

Down the road at Subaru Oval ‘Chook’ Fowler ruled the roost with six goals in his comeback from finger and knee injuries as the Cats saw off Western Magpies.

Elsewhere the downward spiral of Surfers Paradise continued when they were beaten by Morningside at Sir Bruce Small Park and on Saturday night Mt Gravatt downed cross-Brisbane rivals Wilston Grange by 10 goals at Hickey Park.

‘Chook’ crows with six in comeback game

You certainly know when colourful Broadbeach forward Matt ‘Chook’ Fowler kicks a goal – his fist-pumping yell of ‘yeaahhhh” letting everyone know he has landed a six-pointer.

Resuming after a broken finger and a posterior crucial ligament strain, the former Gold Coast Suns hopeful kicked six majors as Broadbeach saw off Western Magpies in a quality wet-weather clash at Subaru Oval on Saturday.

With Fowler the finishing factor, and big ex-Collingwood forward Jason Cloke providing countless opportunities for his teammates, the Cats won by 11.13 (79) to 9.8 (62).

It was a key win for Broadbeach, who moved to third on the ladder heading into a crunch Gold Coast derby against Labrador next Sunday afternoon.

And it was, said coach Beau Zorko, a good way to atone for the letdown of the previous match when they lost by a point to Mt Gravatt and put their top-three chances in jeopardy.

“That was a really good fightback after a bitterly disappointing loss last week and I thought that in the moments that mattered most in this game we stood up much better this time, which was very pleasing,” said Zorko.

In a strange way, the Magpies seemed to have better of the contested possessions and they had a clear advantage in the air where forward Brody Lumber (3.3) was superb.

It was, as coach Brydan Morgan suggested, the impact that Fowler had that proved to be the turning point.

“Their marking players really took it up to us, particularly number 14 (Lumber),” noted Zorko.

“He was very, very good and is going to worry some teams coming up.”

Zorko was rapt in the efforts of Cloke, who kicked 0.4 but dished off several six-pointers, and another veteran in two times club best and fairest Josh Searl on the ball.

And Jai Lyons, who had his head gear ripped off in one collision, was also at the top of the Zorko ratings after some stylish work around the ground.

“And it was a ripping comeback from ‘Chook’ (6.1), wasn’t it,” Zorko added.

As disappointed as he was to lose the clash, Morgan nevertheless had nothing but praise for his troops after they fought it out to the very end.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the effort,” he said.

“I thought we played pretty good foody and I reckon Broadbeach had to play their best to beat us.

“They got us on transition . Any time they could move the ball fluently was  when their mids got forward hard and that’s when they put sides to the sword.

“I couldn’t question the effort but we weren’t quite good enough to get the chocolates.

“And take Fowler out of the game and Broady aren’t really winning, are they.

“It sucks but I couldn’t be more proud of the effort in what I thought was a high-level game.”

What the loss means for the Magpies is a long road to climb into the top five, starting this weekend with a home clash against premiers Palm Beach Currumbin.

“It makes it tough but there are still eight games to go,” said Morgan.

Rising Star Award nomination Dan Edwards had another ripper game on the wing for the Magpies while Lumber, Riley Greene in defence and ex-Brisbane Lion Ryan Harwood were other standouts for the visitors.

Broadbeach                              4.0,  6.4,  9.9,  11.13  (79)
Western Magpies                         4.1,  5.2,  8.4,  9.8  (62)

GOALS, Broadbeach: M. Fowler 6, A. Fyfe 2, J. O’Shea 2, J. Searl 1. Western Magpies: R. Harwood 3, B. Lumber 3, S. Ryan 1, J. Austin 1, H. Kerr 1.

BEST, Broadbeach: J. Lyons, A. Fyfe, J. Searl, M. Fowler, B. Erickson, B. Hancock. Western Magpies: D. Edwards, B. Lumber, R. Greene, R. Harwood, A. Highlands, E. Sivijs.

Demons in freefall after third successive loss

Morningside have sent shivers down the spines of the Surfers Paradise faithful after handing the Demons a third successive defeat at Sir Bruce Small Park on Saturday.

The Panthers were never really threatened and went on to win by 13.9 (87) to 8.10 (58) in a result that not only cemented second spot on the ladder for themselves but also put Surfers on notice that a lot of work lies ahead for them to get back on song.

Surfers have now lost three games in a row and most concerning has been their inability to kick competitive scores.

In those three losses the Demons have managed totals of 38 points (v Labrador), 32 (v Western Magpies) and the weekend’s 58 against the Panthers.

An aggregate of only 128 points in those outings is simply not the sort of offensive statistic to warm the hearts of the Dees supporters.

And it is a genuine concern, admitted coach Brad Moore.

“We have a real problem at the moment with kicking scores and that’s the nuts and bolts of our game at moment,” he said.

The loss pushed Surfers down to fourth on standings with six wins but they are now only one win ahead of Mt Gravatt and Labrador heading into what is now a huge danger game away to Wilston Grange next weekend.

Still without ruckman Harris Newton, the Demons lost rookie replacement Cameron Topping in the third term and this left the home side at the mercy of the Morningside tall timber, led by captain Peter Mollison and very much in-form Brad Hodge.

“They were good,” noted Panthers coach Clint Watts of his two big men.

“They were able to take catches around the ground and their ruckwork was good.

“Unfortunately Surfers lost a lot when their young bloke went down. We were helped by that.”

Exciting Brisbane Lions rookie Keidean Coleman stamped himself as a likely AFL draft prospect across half-forward and Watts has no doubts the youngster has the goods.

“Not only is he a talent but is also a wonderful young man.

“He is a Morningside junior and is a bonus for us to have him back – and he enjoys it here.”

Daniel Frame continues to be an ever-reliable defender and evergreen ex-St Kilda player Brad Howard added plenty of nous in the middle.

For Surfers none tried harder than Josh Matulis through the middle, Southport-listed defender Tom Miller and Thompson Smith, who was thrown into the ruck after Topping’s departure and battled against much taller opposition.

Morningside                             4.6,  6.8,  9.9,  13.9  (87)
Surfers Paradise                        2.0,  2.4,  4.6,  8.10  (58)

GOALS, Morningside: N. Colenso 3, P. Mollison 2, M. Graham 2, D. Cameron-Reeves 1, S. Godfrey 1, C. Spence 1, E. Mallan 1, H. Joyce 1, B. Aston 1. Surfers Paradise: D. Mutu 2, B. Haberfield 1, C. McKenzie 1, D. Green 1, D. Van De Werken 1, J. Matulis 1, D. Eames 1.

BEST, Morningside: B. Hodge, P. Mollison, K. Coleman, D. Frame, B. Howard, N. Colenso. Surfers Paradise: J. Matulis, T. Miller, T. Smith, N. Scott, D. Mutu, N. Harrison.

Vultures swoop with a strong second half

It took until after half-time for the Mt Gravatt Vultures to find their wings but when they did they swooped on Wilston Grange for an emphatic win in the Brisbane derby at Hickey Park on Saturday.

An even second term belied what was to come as the Gorillas matched it with their rivals and squared the ledger in terms of scoreboard pressure with both sides kicking 17 points for the term.

But after half-time oranges it was one-way sailing as the Vultures turned it on for a 17.22 (124) to 9.5 (59) success that lifted them to fifth on the ladder, level on five wins with Labrador but ahead of the Tigers on percentage.

The second half was more to the liking of winning coach Adam Boon who was frustrated by the lack of finishing by the Vultures who had 23 scoring shots to eight posted by the big break.

“The second quarter we squared with them but it wasn’t a good period for us,” said Boon.

“We dominated the stats – our tackling was up, our contested possession was up but our forward efficiency was not good.

“After half-time our efficiency wasn’t too bad.”

In a nutshell the Vultures had squeezed some of the life out of the Gorillas but they then drained them of whatever energy was left in the second half with 10.6 to 4.2.

At the head of the assault was ruckman and skipper Andrew Smith, arguably the number one follower in the competition.

“He spent a lot of time on the field and was again very good,” said Boon.

“Chris Smith continues to be the organiser at the back. He organises the troops so well down there.

“Todd Carbone on a half-back line was good. He generated a lot of drive for us.

“And pleasing was Daniel Daye on a wing. He’s starting to put in consistent performances after an interrupted start to the season.”

Gorillas coach Barry O’Brien was understandably disappointed at his side’s second-half fadeout and put that down to a bad habit of continually coughing up possession with basic errors.

“We got back into it but then we got blown away because we continue to make silly errors,” he said.

A bright spot for the Gorillas was the form of Dan Farry in the middle.

“He is certainly coming home strongly,” O’Brien said of a player who has had multiple knee operations but who is nevertheless starting to hit his straps now.

Lochlainn Gaw and Tom Smart were two Grange players who never stopped trying.

Mt Gravatt                              4.7,  7.16,  14.19,  17.22  (124)
Wilston Grange                          1.0,  5.3,  6.5,  9.5  (59)

GOALS, Mt Gravatt: S. Stubbs 4, J. Leahy 3, J. Currie 2, K. Walsh 1, C. McGuren 1, F. Neate 1, D. MacDonald 1, J. Licht 1, J. Wratten 1, D. Daye 1, L. O’Sullivan 1.

Wilston Grange: T. Aarons 3, H. Milford 1, L. Molan 1, J. Aganas 1, N. Dennis 1, M. Linnane 1, D. Farry 1.

BEST, Mt Gravatt: A. Smith, C. Murphy, T. Carbone, D. Daye, J. Leahy, M. Hart. Wilston Grange: D. Farry, L. Gaw, T. Smart, J. Tomkinson, N. Dickson, A. O’Brien.


Big Lion Jack Anthony makes his mark

Big Jack is back – and how.

Jack Anthony, the QAFL’s most feared forward, returned to the fray with a supreme performance for premiers Palm Beach Currumbin against Sandgate at Salk Oval on Saturday.

Out of action since May 26 when he injured an ankle Anthony slotted back with a nine-goal haul, which could easily have been in high double-digits according to coach Jess Sinclair.

“He kicked nine goals nine or perhaps nine goals 10,” Sinclair said of Anthony, who has now kicked 41 goals in seven appearances this year, at an average of 5.86 per game.

“But I don’t think he’s at 100 per cent yet with his ankle.”

The website results had Jesse Derrick, the 2017 Grogan Medallist, kicking six for the Lions although the 250-plus game veteran said he booted only four and that ‘somebody has robbed someone else of some goals’.

Whatever, Derrick’s move to more time in attack is working as the unbeaten Lions march towards a hat-trick of premierships.

Brothers Steve and Tom Thynne continued their fine work on the ball, Zac Harrison continues to fly under the radar as a key Lion and veteran Glenn Screech was again a seasoned contributor across the forward lines.

Despite the final 94-point margin it was not as simple as it looked for the Lions.

“Sandgate were pretty good,” said Sinclair.

“We were only 29 points up in the third quarter and they were coming at us but losing Loki Haines in the third quarter did not help them at all.”

The Hawks were 33 points down at half-time but narrowed the gap to less than five goals before the home side turned on the pressure.

State rep Haines was KO’d by friendly fire and took no further part in the match.

For Sandgate their best were Max Homer, Jordan Maynard, Toara Marango and Ben Hogan.

Palm Beach now have a week to prepare for what should be a stern examination away to Western Magpies next weekend in a round which features only three fixtures.

Palm Beach Currumbin                    4.4,  6.11,  11.16,  20.22  (142)
Sandgate                                1.1,  2.2,  6.4,  7.6  (48)

GOALS, Palm Beach Currumbin: J. Anthony 9, J. Derrick 6, C. Beaman 2, J. Burge 2, Z. Harrison 1. Sandgate: J. O’Halloran 4, M. Homer 2, L. Haines 1.

BEST, Palm Beach Currumbin: J. Anthony, Z. Harrison, S. Thynne, G. Screech, A. Dawson, N. Crowley. Sandgate: M. Homer, J. Maynard, T. Marango, B. Hogan, K. McKenzie, J. O’Halloran.



Morningside                             4.6,  6.8,  9.9,  13.9  (87)
Surfers Paradise                        2.0,  2.4,  4.6,  8.10  (58)

GOALS, Morningside: N. Colenso 3, P. Mollison 2, M. Graham 2, D. Cameron-Reeves 1, S. Godfrey 1, C. Spence 1, E. Mallan 1, H. Joyce 1, B. Aston 1. Surfers Paradise: D. Mutu 2, B. Haberfield 1, C. McKenzie 1, D. Green 1, D. Van De Werken 1, J. Matulis 1, D. Eames 1.

BEST, Morningside: B. Hodge, P. Mollison, K. Coleman, D. Frame, B. Howard, N. Colenso. Surfers Paradise: J. Matulis, T. Miller, T. Smith, N. Scott, D. Mutu, N. Harrison.


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