By Terry Wilson
Lions romp home with big derby win over Surfers
It was a match-up that had all the hoop-la of being a classic Gold Coast derby when Palm Beach Currumbin took on Surfers Paradise at Salk Oval on Saturday.
Expectations were that the two unbeaten sides were going to turn on a classic on the glitter strip.
Sadly, there was none of that because it turned into a fizzer, a total demolition job performed by the Lions over their rivals.
PBC gave two of their loyal servants, Jed Harrison and Angus Munro, the perfect way to celebrate their 100-game milestones with victory by 20.10 (130) to 6.7 (43) in the derby.
The final 87-point margin was not a record – it was back in 2007 that the Lions beat Surfers by 111 and 126 points and by 90 points in 2010 – yet it was nonetheless an overwhelming result for the reigning premiers.
PBC have won five from five so far this year and boast a percentage of 245.57.
Saturday’s final scoreline says it all. Apart from the second term, when Surfers outscored their rivals by 4.3 to 2.3 it was all one-way traffic as the rampant two-times premiers PBC were irresistible.
PBC started with a bang, putting on 6.1 to 1.1 in the opening quarter.
At half-time they were 18 points up before a near total shut-out after the big break when they rammed 12 goals to one.
It was that second half, in particular, that served as a clear wake-up call for the Demons in that they are a long way off the pace in terms of matching it with the Lions.
Coach Brad Moore was frank in his assessment of events on a dark day for the Dees.
“We’ve been given a bit of a lesson and given a true indication of where we sit,” he said.
“We didn’t start too well yet we were able to get back into the game at half-time. But after that we fell down badly.
“Full credit to Palm Beach, we have a bit of work to do to get to their level.”
PBC pair Munro and Harrison went into the clash with no fanfare about their achievements, which was a pity because they were both more than serviceable.
Munro was captain of the 2013 SEQAL Division 1 premiership side and Harrison has been around Salk Oval for what seems to be an eternity.
They were only two of a number of Lions who performed supremely well on Saturday as the Lions played what coach Jess Sinclair said was their best football of the season in the second half.
With the football being pumped inside the 50-metre arc time and again, big Jack Anthony (six goals, four behinds), veteran Glenn Screech (four goals), Reyne Harris (two), Tyler Cornish (two) and Alex Dawson (two) all hit the scoreboard.
At the back Curtis Marsden was good, so were Jason Burge and Dylan Troutman on the ball.
Reigning Joe Grant Medallist Anthony has now kicked 26 goals at a 5.2 average in five games this season.
Given the onslaught of scoring it was understandable that the Surfers defence was worked overtime, as Moore noted.
“I felt sorry for our back six,” said Moore.
“Guys like Brody Haberfield, Jack Prestegar and Jack Taylor, they were bombarded.”
PBC may have some concerns after injuries to Jesse Derrick (bad corkie), ruckman Jon Croad (hip flexor) and defender Liam McNeven (leg) leading into their next engagement against Western Magpies at Salk Oval next weekend.
Surfers have a game away to Sandgate at Lemke Road Oval.
Palm Beach Currumbin 3.0, 8.4, 13.8, 20.10 (130)
Surfers Paradise 0.0, 5.4, 6.5, 6.7 (43)
GOALS, Palm Beach Currumbin: J. Anthony 6, G. Screech 4, A. Dawson 2, T. Cornish 2, R. Harris 2, Z. Harrison 1, J. Burge 1, C. Marsden 1, J. Gribble 1. Surfers Paradise: S. Hilton-Joyce 2, J. Graham 1, H. Kiel 1, D. Green 1, M. Green 1.
BEST, Palm Beach Currumbin: C. Marsden, J. Anthony, J. Burge, A. Dawson, R. Harris, G. Screech. Surfers Paradise: J. Prestegar, J. Taylor, B. Haberfield, H. Newton, M. Green, H. Kiel.
Ma and Pa watch as big Aurrichio turns it on
Big Alex Aurrichio knew he had a special reason to lift when he turned out for Broadbeach against Labrador in the second of two Gold Coast derbies at Cooke-Murphy Oval on Saturday.
The strongly-built Aurrichio, who is on the list of NEAFL club Southport, had an eye-catching game as the Cats downed the Tigers by a convincing 13.14 (92) to 5.10 (40) at Cooke-Murphy Oval.
It was a special occasion for Aurrichio because his parents had flown over from the USA to watch him in action in what, for Americans, is a strange game.
“Alex was excellent,” said Broadbeach coach Beau Zorko.
“He started taking some marks around the ground and gave us some ascendency.”
Aurrichio made it into the Cats side only after Matt Conroy failed a fitness test on Friday night and, after struggling in QAFL company the weekend before, the ruckman found some welcome touch as the Cats ran all over the Tigers.
“That was the team game we’re trying to play,” said Zorko after the Cats led from the eighth minute when another Southport-listed player Jake Hinds kicked to first of his five goals.
“The best thing for me was that our pressure and intensity was at a level where we want to pride ourselves on.
“And it was nice to bounce back from the previous week (the Cats were beaten by Surfers).
“It was also good that Blake Erickson and Benji Neal found some form.
“Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement.”
The disappointment of performance was obvious in the Labrador camp where coach Liam Burke conceded the Cats were on top throughout.
After beating Mt Gravatt the previous weekend the Tigers were listless, kicking only two goals up to three-quarter time.
“It was just frustrating,” said Burke.
“Our ball movement broke down and our turnovers costly in the first couple of quarters.”
Labrador finished the match without a bench and Burke found some positives in that the side was able to run the game out.
Yet he struggled to name many individuals to win their position across the ground.
Diminutive midfielder Alex McKay again stood out like a beacon on a dark night, skipper and forward Bryce Retzlaff had to contend with a number of opponents at times and Jarrod Mills gave the side something.
Next weekend Broadbeach are off for a big game against Morningside while Labrador are also on the road away to Wilston Grange.
Broadbeach 3.6, 7.9, 10.13, 13.14 (92)
Labrador 1.3, 1.7, 2.10, 5.10 (40)
GOALS, Broadbeach: J. Hinds 5, J. Cloke 2, I. Miller 2, B. Neal 1, T. Betson 1, J. O’Shea 1, J. Fisher 1. Labrador: B. Retzlaff 2, A. McKay 2, B. Fagan 1.
BEST, Broadbeach: J. Hinds, A. Aurrichio, B. Neal, B. Erickson, H. Arnold, X. McMahon. Labrador: A. McKay, B. Retzlaff, J. Mills, J. Kenny, L. Davidson, W. Mills.
Vultures win after strong second half against Gorillas
Mt Gravatt overcame a 17-point half-time deficit to take out their Brisbane derby against Wilston Grange at Dittmer Park on Saturday.
A worried coach Adam Boon had reason to smile after the Vultures finished over the top of the Gorillas to win by 12.12 (84) to 10.15 (75).
It was not until the third term that the Vultures found their mojo and led by four points at three-quarter time before finishing the visitors off with a final term of 3.2 to 2.3.
The result was a fitting one for Mt Gravatt stalwart Chris Murphy, who celebrated his 100th senior appearance with a best-on-ground performance on a flank and in the middle.
“Chris was good and threw himself into the contests,” said Boon.
“He was at half-back and got the ball moving forward when we needed him to.”
Boon said the Vultures were struggling to get their style right and looked in real trouble in the second quarter when the visitors grabbed a 29-point lead.
That was when Sam Stubbs turned things around with two goals late, scores that Boon thought were momentum changers.
“Those two goals got some momentum going for us and we took that into half-time,” said Boon.
The Vultures kicked the first four goals of the third term and went on with the job as Murphy, ruckmen Jarrod Huddy and Andrew Smith and dynamic midfielder Frazer Neate took control.
Wilston Grange coach Barry O’Brien refused to use his side’s 21-day break between matches as an excuse.
The Gorillas had last played on Anzac Day eve and even though O’Brien conceded his players tired a bit it was not the overriding factor behind the loss.
“No, I don’t believe it was the long break,” he said. “We were still in the game right to the end.
“It was there to be won and I really believe that we’re still learning how to win.”
The loss of centre half-forward Frazer Eaton just before half-time played a key role in the demise of the Gorillas.
“We lost our focal point and then let Mt Gravatt bring their style into the game after half-time,” said O’Brien.
“Our big forwards were all over them but that dropped away in the second half.”
For the Grange, Daniel Farry continued his strong return after injury with his penchant for sniffing out and winning the hard ball in the contests.
Tom Smart did well defensively and Aspley-listed Daniel Henderson gave the Gorillas plenty of run from a half-back flank.
Next weekend the Gorillas have what could be a season-defining fixture against Labrador at Hickey Park while Mt Gravatt have a weekend off with the bye.
Mt Gravatt 2.1, 5.4, 9.10, 12.12 (84)
Wilston Grange 3.5, 7.9, 8.12, 10.15 (75)
GOALS, Mt Gravatt: S. Stubbs 3, A. Christensen 2, J. Wratten 2, J. Huddy 1, J. Coghlan 1, F. Neate 1, C. McGuren 1, J. Licht 1. Wilston Grange: H. Milford 2, D. Reid 2, J. Tomkinson 1, A. Hughes 1, F. Eaton 1, R. Thomson 1, M. McKee 1, B. Nelis 1.
BEST, Mt Gravatt: C. Murphy, J. Huddy, A. Smith, F. Neate, R. Blood, J. Leahy. Wilston Grange: T. Smart, D. Farry, H. Leong, J. Tomkinson, F. Eaton, D. Henderson.