PALM Beach-Currumbin have a mountain to climb to even make it to the grand final after an inglorious performance in the second semi-final against Western Magpies in Brisbane yesterday.
by Terry Wilson
Gold Coast Bulletin
The Lions, so buoyant after beating premiers Noosa the previous weekend, were smashed off Chelmer Oval by the rampant Magpies, who won by 26.8 (164) to 12.14 (86).
It is understood to be PBC’s worst ever loss in a finals match and pride was not the only thing hurt in the hiding when the Magpies kicked 16 goals after half-time.
A series of injuries a couple which did not sit well with coach Daryn Cresswell has left the Lions extremely vulnerable for the preliminary final showdown against Noosa, to be played at Sir Bruce Small Park on Saturday.
The Lions had ruck pair Aaron Lohrey (concussion) and Michael I’Anson (shoulder) out of action before half-time and their absence caught the side off guard.
Cresswell said the Lions taped the match and will be asking the AFLQ to look at two incidents in particular, the one involving Lohrey and another when James Drake was pushed into a fence suffering a cut to the head.
Then, when the Magpie midfield got on top, forwards Alex Dickfos (eight goals at full-forward) and Gerard Moore at centre half-forward executed the coup de gras.
“It’s not all lost,” Cresswell said of PBC’s situation, but he agreed effort will have to improve sharply to trouble Noosa.
“We’re still in the competition, we’ve must got to bounce back and redeem ourselves because the second half was pretty embarrassing.”
Jesse Derrick on the ball, Jackson Emblem as a fill-in ruckman and Matt Carroll across half-forward were the best for the well-beaten Lions.
In the rival camp, the mood was bullish.
Again exposing Palm Beach-Currumbin as a side that can melt under the blowtorch, the Magpies were brutal in their dismissal of the Lions’ inability to handle pressure and they basically outmuscled the visitors.
Assistant coach Des Lashman said the Magpies worked hard to expose the Lions’ weak areas and everything went perfectly to plan.
Away from Dickfos and Moore, full-back Ed McDonnell was outstanding, half-back Lachlan Woods-Honour was polished and as usual midfielder Ben Heffernan-Roper was inspirational.
“We wanted the ball more and we also had a lot to prove from last year when we went out of the finals in straight sets,” Lashman said.