On the Gold Coast not even the presence of former AFL star Jason Akermanis could save Coolangatta from a mauling from Palm Beach-Currumbin, who took their derby by106 points.
In other matches, Maroochy-Northshore broke their season duck with a nine-point win over Mayne and premiers Noosa had too much class for Springwood, taking their match by 81 points.
By Terry Wilson
THE one-off appearance of former AFL star Jason Akermanis in Coolangatta colours promised so much early before the exercise ended in heartache for the Blues on Saturday.
Akermanis, one of the game’s most colourful and controversial characters, made a guest appearance for Coolangatta in their south Gold Coast derby against Palm Beach-Currumbin but ended up on the wrong side of a hiding.
PBC, looking ominously stronger each week, butchered the Blues by 24.18 (162) to 8.8 (56) after trailing by four goals in the first quarter.
Akermanis had a useful game, picking up 18 or so touches, but the ex-Brisbane Lions and Western Bulldogs star was part of a well-beaten centre field unit.
“We were happy with Aka, he did what we wanted him to do,” said Coolangatta coach Neil McKay.
Successful coach Craig O’Brien said he felt momentum was switching after the Lions trailed early.
“I could sense it just before quarter-time, in the second quarter we were very good and then we finished them off with 11 goals in the last quarter,” he said.
“We’re a lot fitter now and the injection of some young leg speed helped.”
The Lions had to play the second half with 20 men after Blake Schneider (shoulder) and Ryan Hards (hamstring) went down.
“So we had to rotate heavily,” said O’Brien. “But at least a lot of guys who needed to find some form found some.’
Veteran James Drake, at centre half-forward, kicked six goals for the Lions to head the best players list, ahead of Albion (Footscray League) recruit Brad Hewat and 2010 Duncan-Todd Medallist Brad Horn.
The Blues, said McKay, gave it away in the final term when they kicked one behind to PBC’s 11.5.
“We gave up, it was as simple as that,” he said. “To concede 11 goals in the last quarter, that’s atrocious.
“The effort was not there, the competitive spirit went and we paid the penalty.
“It was a shame, so hopefully it won’t happen again.”
McKay praised the effort of rugby league convert Blake Ebsworth, who played at full-back on dual Grogan Medallist David Round.
“I thought he did a fantastic job,” said McKay.
Other Blues to perform up to expectations were Akermanis, backman/on-baller Brendan White and on-baller Jake Byrush.
Bombers kick 118 – yet lose by 93
IT’S not often a football team can kick 118 points in a game, but still manage to lose by almost as many.That was the case for Burleigh in their clash with 2010 grand finalists Sandgate at Bill Godfrey Oval on Saturday.Burleigh kicked what would usually be a winning score of 18.8 (118). That is more than competitive, one would think.Yet the total was nowhere near good enough because the Hawks blitzed them with 31.13 (199) in response.“Yes, it was an old-fashioned shootout,” noted Hawks captain-coach Ben Long after a game that ended in semi-darkness because of the extraordinary match aggregate of 315 points.That rush included a total second-half domination when the Hawks scored 20.6 to 2.0.Yet the performance begged the question of whether the Sandgate defence leaks points too easily.Against Coolangatta the previous round, Sandgate conceded 106 points, so a 200-plus aggregate over a fortnight should be a worry.Not so, said Long.“Apart from the past two weeks we’d been conceding an average of less than 10 goals a game. It’s just the way the games were played.“Defensively we missed Aaron Fabian (knee) but what’s more important is that Burleigh kicked only five goals after half-time.”Apart from the remarkable second half team effort, Long was rapt in the performance of teenager Tom Overington and had a dig at Queensland selectors who left the midfielder out of the State under-18 squad.“For a 16-year-old to dominate a game the way he did on Saturday, surely he’s good enough,” said Long.“If they (selectors) can’t see that he can play footy, it’s not surprising they’re losing all their games.”With outstanding ruckman Michael Pettit in stellar form, midfielders Overington, 19-year-old Will Bradley and experienced Matt Nuss dominated the middle, feasting on the possession provided by their big man.Burleigh coach Zane Doubleday said the game started at a cracking pace, but it was evident the Bombers had to work harder for their goals than the Hawks.“The first half was good and I was pleased with that, but my blokes threw in the towel too easily in the second half,” he said.“There was one good thing, though, and that it was for the first time all year, the players showed they actually hurt after a loss.“When they lost to Noosa and the Magpies it didn’t seem to matter, but this time they cared about it this time.”Burleigh outnumbered in the big-men department, had veteran forward Aaron Pianta (four goals) as their best, along with midfielders Marcus Powell and High Priest.
Roos give Delaney maiden win
NEW coach Roger Delaney is finally on the board after his Maroochy-Northshore Roos broke their season maiden with a gritty win over Mayne at Fisherman’s Road on Saturday.
Maroochy prevailed by 12.4 (76) to 9.13 (67), edging off the bottom of the ladder and leaving Mayne marooned in 10th and last spot, the only side still to win this season.
“I’m relieved more than anything,” said Delaney, who stepped into one of the competition’s most demanding jobs after the Roos lost a multitude of talent off-season.
The game was played in heavy conditions on an adjoining oval to the as-yet-to-be-used main ground. Torrential rain after half-time did nothing to provide a spectacle.
“It was a real slog, it poured the entire second half,” said Delaney.
Mayne led 6.1 to 3.2 at quarter-time, then by 8.5 to 6.3 at the big break.
“We did things wrong in the first quarter,” said Delaney. “Our contested ball was good, but we did a lot of things wrong with it.
“We started to get that right and after half-time I could see that for once our fitness was getting us there.”
On-baller/forward Jarrod Gale, 17-year-old rover Damon Chapman (four goals) and back pocket Mathew Cilia performed well for the Roos.
Over in the Mayne camp, player-coach Luke Faulkner revealed he misreads the weather because the Tigers went in too tall for the conditions.
“The weather gods were against us,” lamented Faulkner. “The forecast was for showers, yet it pelted down in the second half.
“We ended up a little bit tall, a bit too top heavy.
“We started well and I thought we had them at half-time, but then instead of trying to win the game we tried to save it.”
For the Tigers, veteran Andrew Housego started in his role through the middle, while half-back/on-baller Sam Paterson and half-forward Daniel Weller also went well.
Pumas outbodied in the wet
IT was a classic case of boys up against men when Springwood fell to premiers Noosa in their match at Lowe Oval on Saturday.
Noosa took the match, played in extremely heavy conditions, by 13.26 (104) to 3.5 (23).
Given the Tigers were smarting after their loss to Wilston-Grange the previous round, the grossly inexperienced Pumas were always going to be up against an opponent on the rebound.
That’s exactly the way things panned out because, in conditions that suited the physical more than the less-physical, Noosa reigned supreme.
“Boys up against men? It was pretty much that way, particularly with the heavy weather,” said Springwood football manager Adrian Wallin.
“Bodies had to be over the footy and Noosa were bigger and stronger than us”
This was where the likes of Noosa’s quality midfielders Luke Brauer, Lucas Matthews, Tom McKittrick and Caleb Isles shone. They revel in tough conditions and Springwood had no such luxuries on their playing roster in the absence of injured skipper Shane Murrihy.
But coach Wayne Fletcher nominated small forward Chris McGuigan as the shining light.
“He worked hard and got a lot of ball at ground level,” said Fletcher. “And to kicked four goals in those conditions was a top effort.”
Noosa so dominated the game they kept the Pumas to just one goal for three quarters.
“They are a young team and in those conditions our stronger bodies got us first to the ball,” said Fletcher. “Our pressure wore just wore them down.”
About the only disappointing thing for Fletchers was the number of behinds kicked.
“I would have liked a better return in front of goals,” he said.
Springwood’s best were half-back Brayden Fitzpatrick, ruckman Tiger Monk and Matt Preston-Smith at centre half-back.