By Terry Wilson
Morningside shrugged off the horrors of their previous round hiding from Palm Beach Currumbin by executing a Mother’s Day massacre of Sandgate at Jack Esplen Oval on Sunday.
Beaten 73 points by PBC the previous weekend, Morningside took their frustrations out on Sandgate with a whopping 16.16 (112) to 2.7 (19) victory.
From the opening bounce it was clear the Panthers were on a mission to prove to their faithful fans that they are a lot better than what their previous weekend visit to premiers Palm Beach Currumbin suggested.
The Hawks were competitive for the first quarter before their effort slowed and by half-time were set up for the killer punch.
Having put Sandgate to bed by half-time, the Panthers simply went on with the task of burying the visitors at the same venue where the Hawks scored that memorable upset victory last year.
“We spent a lot of time inside our forward 50 and the things we worked on all week we saw some fruits from that,” said Morningside coach Clint Watts.
“We had to adjust a few things from the Palm Beach game so that was good.”
Brad Hodge in the ruck, Redland-Listed Ryan Dadds on a wing and Nathan Beck in defence were excellent for the Panthers although Watts pointed to a lack of height in the Sandgate ranks as a key factor.
Sheer inexperience in the Sandgate camp told.
The Hawks had 11 players in their ranks who are eligible for the Rising Star Award. Morningside had four.
“That was something I noticed,” said Watts.
That statistic shows why the Hawks desperately need some experience in their ranks. Experience and solid bodies they need, but how does a struggling club attract such types?
“We had two players over the age of 21 today,” said coach Jarad Marsh.
“So we knew we were going to have a down day one day but it was disappointing how down this one was,” he said.
“We fell off a cliff and we have to learn from it.”
Best for the Hawks were Mitch Crawley at full-back, Jake O’Halloran in the ruck and Brandon Batchelor in the midfield, although the latter left the field after half-time with a busted nose.
Morningside 3.3, 8.7, 13.11, 16.16 (112)
Sandgate 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 2.7 (19)