Submitted by Chris Yeend
NELSON IS HERO IN EPIC VICTORY
It was billed as one of the biggest matches of the 2022 QAFL Home and Away season; and when both Broadbeach and Labrador ran onto Suburu Oval; who knew that after 125 gruelling minutes; that the two would live up to that epic status.
Liam Nelson lived the ultimate boyhood dream for Broadbeach to kick the winning goal from 30 metres out as the siren sounded with the ball sailing through the goals for the perfect ending to the perfect game of football. Broadbeach was victorious over Labrador by three-points in a game that no-one will ever forget.
Labrador lost its last two matches against Broadbeach by less than a kick; both on its home turf and a short travel to Broadbeach held high hopes that it would avenge those results and cement itself in the top six.
The Cats went into the game with seven changes; including seeing prominent defender Cal Searle join Southport in the VFL; in place of key Labrador defender Ryan Davis.
FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
Bryce Retzlaff was a key stand-out for the Tigers from the opening bounce. His efforts on the wing and running into good spots between the arcs with his electrifying pace and frequent marks made him almost impossible to stop.
Both teams were forced to use different ruck combinations with Riley Bowman (Broadbeach) and Christian Buykx-Smith (Labrador) shouldering much of the load for their respective sides.
As has been the formality in recent weeks; Labrador’s Cam Ellis-Yolman started in the centre before eventually pushing deep in the forward line. Reigning Rising Star award winner Campbell Lake started strongly with some key tackles in a defensive role up forward for his Tiger team.
Despite Brad Lynch missing two shots; it was Broadbeach team mate and vice captain Blake Erickson that drew first blood for the reigning premiers with a goal from a set shot from beyond the arc.
Broadbeach kicked the opening three goals of the game inside the first 26-minutes in a tight struggle in perfect conditions. All three goals came from set shots; and all coming as a direct result from Labrador turn-overs from half-back.
Jay Foon had injected himself into the midfield and started winning plenty of the ball for Labrador and it was fitting that he was awarded a free kick in the shadows of quarter-time from close range where he kicked truly and cut the margin back to 13-points at the first change.
SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
Labrador responded to Foon’s late first quarter goal with Ellis-Yolmen marking strongly in the opening minute of the term to kick his first goal.
Power forward Jake Goldsmith added his first just moments later and cut the margin back to just one-point as Labrador kicked three goals in four-minutes of playing time either side of quarter-time.
When Harry Law kicked a sizzling goal on the run at the 10-minute mark; the Tigers were in front by four-points.
Broadbeach swung Riley Winter into the forward line while Alex Moloney played a key role down back; but it was Labrador’s midfielders under the guidance of Foon, Boston and Matt Lee that started dictating the play.
When Tom Reeves kicked his first goal; the lead ballooned to 16-points early into time-on for the visitors.
Sam Jasper was awarded a free kick for the Cats after another Labrador turn-over in the backline. Jasper was the beneficiary of an out on the full decision and his lovely snap around the body cut the margin back to 10 and ended a 32.5-minute goalless run.
Law turned the tables back in favour of Labrador as the former Kyneton Tiger kicked his third for the quarter in sizzling style and pushed the margin out to 16-points at the main break.
Labrador kicked six goals without a miss.
THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
Jake Goldsmith kicked the opening goal of the second half for the visitors to push the margin out to a game-high 21-points just three-minutes into the term.
With Ryan Davis commanding the backline for the visitors; Broadbeach needed to be creative with their goal scoring options. Winter was that option and when he found himself in some space at the five-minute mark; he kicked the first goal for his team that wasn’t as a result of a turn-over.
With every effort from the Cats to reduce the margin to under a goal; it was Labrador that had all of the answers; with Tom Reeves adding another big goal mid-way through the quarter. This was the ninth straight goal without a miss for the Tigers.
Broadbeach responded with a few big goals in reply, none bigger than ruckman Riley Bowman receiving a handball 30 metres out from goal and kicked truly around the body to put his team in front at the 17.5-minute mark.
When Luke Coombes kicked a goal from a free-kick on a tight angle in the shadows of three-quarter-time, Labrador hit the front by two-points and the stage was set for a mighty last quarter.
FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
Connor Nutting for Broadbeach started the final term on the wing as opposed to his normal role up forward. He rampaged his way through the centre to gather the ball from the first clearance and kicked a point from long-range inside the opening 15 seconds.
This kickstarted a tough trend as the Cats blazed away in the opening 10-minutes of the quarter and failed to take their chances; missing four shots on goal.
As a result from one kick-in; Labrador went coast-to-coast and kicked a goal at the 10-minute mark to add pain to the missed opportunities from the home team.
When Ellis-Yolman kicked his second; the margin was out to 10-minutes half-way through the term.
Young gun Jake Rogers made his mark in the forward line after doing so in the midfield all day with a goal; and when Erickson goaled two-minutes later from a free kick and 50m penalty; Broadbeach hit the front by three-points heading into time-on.
With Labrador perhaps the better side for much of the day; it hit the front at the 25-minute mark as Goldsmith kicked his third goal from a ruck infringement.
The margin almost extended to eight-points with a shot from Boston crashing into the post.
With 70-seconds left on the clock; Labrador forced numerous stoppages inside its forward half. A hacked kick into the midfield of the ground had Riley Winter sprint through the middle; the kick forward came off the outside of the boot; it found Brad Lynch who put the ball inside the forward 50 that found Liam Nelson on the chest after sprinting from centre-half back in a matter of seconds to find space.
He took his time and slotted the ball through for goal as the siren sounded to put the Cats in front by three-points in the most memorable game of the season; 12.15.87 to 13.6.84
Sherwood celebrated its first win of the season when it defeated Noosa by 17-points. After leading by nine-goals in the second term; the Pies through Liam Hude (five-goals) held on for a famous win at home against quality opposition.
Redland-Victoria Point had the fright of a life-time against the emerging Morningside outfit at home. The Sharks trailed the Panthers for much of the day in a contest that saw the sides barely separated by two-goals. Matt Hammelmann was the Main Event of the game kicked 11 of 14 goals for the Sharks; making it 25 goals in two weeks in a jaw-dropping effort. He now has 66 goals for the season with six games remaining excluding finals.
Palm Beach Currumbin held Surfers Paradise at about three to four goals distance for much of the day to win by 28-points on the road.
Wilston Grange held off a hungry and determined Mt Gravatt side to win a thriller by five-points at Dittmer Park with Zac Derksen kicking four goals.
Aspley travelled up to the Sunshine Coast and held on against Maroochydore in a gritty eight-point win in a true, genuine arm-wrestle.
Did we just see the best round of football for the season in the QAFL?
Picture by Brooke Sleep Media