PALM Beach-Currumbin set up a rematch of the 2009 Pineapple Hotel Cup grand final when they overpowered Sandgate by 44 points at Len Peak Oval on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
PBC took the preliminary final by a comprehensive 20.15 (135) to 13.13 (91) and will now play 2010 premiers Noosa in the grand final at Fisherman’s Road on the Sunshine Coast next Saturday.

By Terry Wilson

And the road trip north should not hold too many fears for the Lions, who beat Noosa in the 2009 GF by 28 points.
They’ll hit the highway full of confidence because they clearly outplayed Sandgate, who lost last season’s grand final to Noosa.
Beaten captain-coach Ben Long, who missed the weekend because of an injured knee, agreed Saturday’s final scoreboard flattered the Hawks.
“We kicked three or four late goals which brought the scores much closer than we deserve,” said Long.
Long also agreed PBC coach Craig O’Brien’s pre-match forecast that the Hawks could suffer because of their finals schedule, proved to be spot-on.
Speaking after his Lions experienced a similar program the previous week, O’Brien predicted that Sandgate’s tough first semi-final win over Western Magpies (a Sunday game) followed by a six-day break before hitting the road to Coolangatta, could harm the team psyche.
“We just didn’t play Sandgate footy, we were flat,” said Long.
“It may not seem to be a lot, but it appeared to take the edge off us not having that extra day’s recovery.
“You have only to be five per cent off your game and opposition sides make you pay, like Palmy did to us.
“It was probably one of our most disappointing efforts of the year, to be honest, away from our trip to Noosa earlier.”
O’Brien said he sensed early that Sandgate lacked sparkle and questioned the finals program which featured matches on Saturdays and Sundays when most home-and-away games are played n Saturdays.
“Last weekend we were the same as they were this weekend,” said O’Brien.
Long was full of praise for the Lions.
“They dominate a few areas, but the two Hards (Ryan and Brad) and Arnold Knight were really the difference, Arnie especially,” said Long.  “He was everywhere – he had a day out.
“The class of those three probably best summed up the day.”
Long also agreed that many of Sandgate’s prime movers in the first semi against the Magpies hardly fired a shot against Palm Beach, maybe the result of that shortened week to prepare for the preliminary.
Whatever, PBC won the game with their efforts in the first and third quarters, running into a strong breeze.
In the opening term the Lions kicked 6.2 to 5.1 and in the third they put on 5.3 to 2.0. Eleven goals to the six by Sandgate into the wind proved vital in the final analysis.
As good as the Hards brothers and Knight were, O’Brien was rapt in the efforts of half-forward flanker David Manning who he felt deserved best-on-ground honours.
“He ran all day and his pace was sensational,” said O’Brien.
Captain Angus Munro on a half-back flank put in another big game, as did Darryl Dyson in the midfield.
The good news for PBC is that, for next weekend’s grand final, they expect co-captain Matt Carroll (hamstring) and central defender Chris Williams (calf) to be available.
And, with such a commanding lead, the Lions were able to rest Nick Burton (corkie), Jams Drake, Brad Hewat and Dyson in the final quarter.
Over in the Sandgate camp, Long said versatile key-position utility Shayne Etherton and on-baller, acting skipper Brad Beaven, were outstanding.
Etherton kicked five goals from centre half-forward in his return from an absence of six weeks with a foot injury.
“His foot still wasn’t right, but he was the only one for us on the day who showed clean hands,” said Long.
“And Brad (Beaven) did us proud. It was a great effort for a 19-year-old in his first game as skipper.”
On-baller/forward Sean Cornish, on-baller/half-forward Ben Drew and ruckman Michael Pettit were also good, but only in patches.
The big question for Sandgate after the game was whether ageless Danny Dickfos has played his last game.
Dickfos, who pulled another hamstring on Saturday, indicated after the game it would ‘probably’ be his last, said Long.
“But he said the same thing last year.”
Long also revealed he will go for the Sandgate coaching job again in 2012, but if he gets it he will not go on as captain, handing that role to somebody else.

Grand final day 2011 next weekend will have four clubs represented after Western Magpies downed Palm Beach-Currumbin in the reserve grade preliminary final.
Down by 17 points at three-quarter time, the Magpies stormed home with the wind at their backs, adding 7.6 to nothing in the final term to win by 14.10 (94) to 8.15 (63) and qualify for a shot at Sandgate in next weekend’s flag decider.
Brandon Morris, who booted six goals in the seniors the previous weekend, kicked five on Saturday, a haul matched by PBC’s Jack Munro.
Best for the Magpies were Matt Dillon, Callum Carseldine and Brandon Morris, while for the Lions, James Bowden, Warrick Chapman and Nathan Brown were the standouts.
It as a poor ending to the season by the Lions, who lost only once during the regular season, only to be bundled out of the title race in straight sets.

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