By Beth Newman
BROADBEACH v PALM BEACH
A sudden downpour left Broadbeach wondering what might have been, in their second loss of the season, to Palm Beach.
After an incredible first-quarter tussle saw scores level, albeit only 1.2 each, the Cats lost their way in wet conditions, showing a very different display to previous weeks to go down 16.10 (106) – 3.6 (24).
A strong running side, the Cats couldn’t find space in the slippery conditions and some incredible Palm Beach defence, kept them to their lowest score of the year.
Coach, Wayne Petterd, lamented the lost opportunity after the game, but said it was the anomaly rather than the norm.
“That wasn’t the real Broadbeach,” he said.
“We’ll put that one to bed now.”
Developing ruckman, Brayde Palmer, was good for the Cats but Petterd said it was hard to find positives.
“We only had tryers today,” he said.
“We’ve won the games we needed to, but today showed we’re a long way off the top sides.”
On the flipside, it was hard to find a downside for Palm Beach, in a performance coach Daryn Cresswell described as their best of the year.
“We’ve been in good positions this year and then we’ve gone to sleep,” he said.
“We made a focus today to put the foot on the throat.”
They certainly did that, keeping the Cats scoreless in the final term and kicking five of their own, turning a 50 point lead into an 82-point win.
Matthew Bilton has finally put his early injury woes behind him and the Ballarat recruit, along with former Ovens and Murray League player, Todd Bryant, was in his element in the Victoria-esque weather.
LABRADOR v WESTERN MAGPIES
Labrador finished strong to take out a 15.10 (100) – 7.10 (52) win over the Western Magpies.
In difficult conditions, the match proved scrappy, but the Tigers ultimately converted their chances when it counted.
Captain, Ryan Davey, shrugged off the injury cloud he’d been under this week with another best on ground performance, with fellow midfielers Todd Featherstone and Dyson Budarick key in the win.
Labrador coach, Steve Daniel, said he was pleased with his side’s ability to withstand the Magpies’ pressure.
“It was a tough and physical game and our boys stood tall,” he said.
“We were a bit disappointed we let them back into it in the third quarter, so it was good to see the work rate lift in the last and we got the result we wanted.”
With that win under their belt, and an injury clean sheet, Daniel said he was relieved to have the week off.
“The bye has come at a ripper time for us, certainly,” he said.
Magpies coach, Glenn Humphrey, said he was happy with the way his charges competed in the match.
“The way we play is to make it a scrap and our guys enjoy that,” he said.
“Then we do something silly to hand momentum back to the opposition…and we need to sort that sort of stuff out.
Regular contributors Ben Jaenke-Cain and Chris Hunt were again strong for the Magpies, while young forward, Tom Michael, showed good signs in his first game for the club.
SURFERS PARADISE v WILSTON GRANGE
They gritted their teeth and Surfers Paradise came up with their third straight win, over fierce rivals, Wilston Grange, 12.11 (83) – 8.12 (68).
Trailing by four points at the final change, the Demons finished with a flurry, kicking seven goals to three in the last term to snatch victory.
The Gorillas burst out of the blocks, and looked ready to end their four-game losing streak, but a first quarter return of 2.7 set the tone for their day.
Demons’ forward ,Dan Green, only kicked the one goal for the game but was instrumental for his side in the win, with Tayler Rolfe, Ben Merrett and Michael Cunningham also standing up to be counted.
Surfers Paradise coach, Beau Zorko, praised his side’s character after the win.
“I thought they showed real spirit jut to grit their teeth and put together a really good quarter of football and they were rewarded with the four points,” he said.
“They out-pressured us early, but when it was in the balance, guys like Merrett Rolfe and (Simon) Fenton all popped up.”
In an extra blow to the Gorillas, captain, Steve Brittain, called his day early with a hamstring twinge and Fletcher McIvor suffered a rib injury.
Gorillas coach, Matt Trewhella, lamented his side’s missed opportunities after the match.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” he said.
“We were there abouts for three quarters and it was a winnable game.”
“We were all over them in the first 10 minutes but we didn’t take our opportunities and they did.”
MT GRAVATT v SANDGATE
Mt Gravatt notched another win they needed to get, holding off Sandgate 15.7 (97) – 8.11 (59).
While Mt Gravatt led at every break, they couldn’t completely hold Sandgate out, with the Hawks cutting Mt Gravatt’s lead to just 11 points, before the Vultures settled themselves.
Redland-listed Adam Boon had another brilliant game in Mt Gravatt’s back half, while Brenton Saunders chipped in with five goals.
Mt Gravatt coach, Brad Pollock, said his side showed maturity in the win.
“They’ve become a bit more experienced and realise that games ebb and flow,” he said.
“Sometimes you’ve got to play composed, tempo footy and absorb the pressure.
“Then, when it’s time to go, you do.”
Pollock saved some special praise for captain, Joe Murphy, describing his performance as “inspirational”.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Vultures, two of their in-form players Jayden Crawley (knee) and Troy Rogers (hand) by early in the third quarter.
Sandgate’s Corbin Dickfos kicked three goals, while Nick Warren produced his best performance of the year.
Hawks coach, Rob Dickfos, said his side’s endeavour showed, after the Vultures’ blistering start.
“They were as slick as anyone we’ve played against in that first quarter,” he said.
“We finished well and competed well but we just lacked composure.”
It’s the third straight week Sandgate have been in winning positions in a losing game, but Dickfos said his side was looking long-term.
“They’re frustrated they haven’t been able to go on with it, but they’re in it for the long haul,” he said.
UQ v MORNINGSIDE
Morningside notched up its eighth straight win against a hardworking UQ side, 26.20 (176) – 11.4 (70).
The Panthers shared the load around, with 15 individual goal kickers for the visitors as they continued their unbeaten 2014.
While the margin eventually hit triple figures, the Red Lions hit the ground running, only 16 points behind at the first change.
The Panthers got a run on after the first break, and once the game opened up, the ladder leaders’ ability showed.
Kent Abey slotted five goals, despite UQ defender, Tim Davison, keeping the forward on a tight leash for the day.
Morningside’s Nathan Kinch was once again outstanding, while developing ruck duo, Peter Mollison and James O’Donnell, were impressive across the ground.
Panthers coach, David Lake, handed a lot of responsibility to his senior players in the match and said he was pleased with the way they responded.
“We were hellbent on playing what we’ve learned and seeing what unfolded today,” he said.
“They were really good.”
Missing some of their key players and with 10 forced changes coming into the game, UQ fought hard all afternoon, led by the efforts of ex-Panther Dustin Harris and young midfielder, Jack Pershouse, in his return from injury.
The match proved to be a major learning curve for the Red Lions, but one that coach, Matt Stewart, said his players would benefit from.
“Coming up a division, you want to play the best,” he said.
“They ran away with it in the end, but I thought we put up a good performance.
“The guys that put their hands up (for a call up) , really came through today and they’re going to keep getting better.”