PALM Beach-Currumbin could snatch a finals double-chance if they can see off Burleigh in their Gold Coast derby against Burleigh at Salk Oval on Saturday.

By Terry Wilson

In a situation where they can finish as high as minor premiers – and the odds of that happening are astronomical – the Lions could even finish as low as fifth for the finals, depending on results elsewhere in the final round of home-and-away fixtures.
The Lions (44 points) can finish top if Noosa, Western Magpies and Wilston-Grange (all on 48 points) all lose.
The Lions can finish second if both Grange and the Magpies lose and they can finish third if either of the Magpies and the Gorillas lose and the other wins.
Much depends on Surfers beating Wilston-Grange. If that happens a top-three finals berth is on.
But the Lions have four changes for the weekend.
Still without the irrepressible James Drake, the Lions have omitted Trevor Cahir, Jordan Bates, Troy Brown and Matt Carroll (thumb).
They brought back big ruck/forward David Round, crack midfielder Brad Horn, centre half-back Brendan Rhodes and youngster Tyler Cornish.
For Burleigh, the season cannot end quickly enough and skipper Marcus Powell says the mood has been much the same for some weeks now.
Last season’s beaten preliminary finalists have had a wretched year to date, although a challenge against arch rivals Palm beach may be the tonic to snap the apathy.
“It has been a long year and the boys have become disheartened and fallen away a bit,” said Powell.
“But we’ve got some good kids who are going to be good footballers in a couple of years but at the moment they need to muscle up because they’ve been getting knocked around.
“We’ve blooded far more younger players in the senior side this year compared to other years.
“But to beat Palm Beach would be a great way to finish the season.
“We’ll have to work hard because they’re a ripping side, the best in the competition, I believe.
“They have quality on-ballers and we’ll have to stick to our plan to go one-on-one with them.”
Against the Bomber cause is the loss of a truckload o experience in Matt Jamieson (broken foot), Nathan Sullivan (shoulder) and the retired veteran Pete Laenger.
The Bombers promoted Tim Schlaghecke, teenager Anthony Rofe and Josh O’Connell, who is back from a suspension and the birth of a baby daughter.

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