PALM Beach-Currumbin maintained the pressure on their top-three rivals with a big win away to Springwood at Lowe Oval on Saturday.
By Terry Wilson
After trailing at quarter-time, the Lions took over and dominated the Pumas on their way to victory by 20.26 (146) to 9.8 (62).
The win kept alive PBNC’s hopes of cracking a top-three finish for the finals, although they need a couple of results in other upcoming matches to go their way to be able to grab a finals double-chance.
At one stage it looked like Springwood were on the road to a huge upset. They led 4.6 to 3.4 at quarter-time and were still in front mid-way through the second term.
But the Lions put their best together and ran all over the home side.
Indisposed co-captain Matt Carroll, who hopes to be back in action next round, said the Lions were ‘very slow out of the blocks’.
“There was a tricky sort of a breeze and it’s a hard ground up there, so the bounce of the ball was all over the place,” said Carroll.
“We wee missing our targets and we were a bit sloppy.
“But once we started getting in first for the footy we started dominating the game.”
The only downside for PBC was poor kicking for goal, 26 behinds is not a good return at all for a flag fancy.
The Lions used strongman Damien Lyon on a wing and in the middle, with effective results as he won a lot of hard ball.
And hard was the in-word because the Hards brothers Ryan and Brad, also stood out in their roles on-ball.
And super-fit ruckman Michael I’Anson also ran into some form heading into the finals run home.
Springwood coach Paul Opbroek praised Palm Beach’s style, describing the Lions as ‘a very good side – and well coached’.
“We led to the middle stages of the second quarter but Palm Beach were too polished,” he said. “Not only that, our intensity dropped off.’
It was a case of a good side beating a side of battlers.
“We’ll learn from it,” said Opbroek. “We had a bit of a yarn after, a good honesty session.”
For the Pumas Matt Hockley picked up his second successive best-on-ground for his performance in the middle, on-baller Mark Thompson was excellent, as were half-back flanker Malcolm Vincent and wingman Shane Jones, one of last year’s top under-18s.