Morningside didn’t have a bad player as they stunned the Brisbane Lions Reserves with 102-point victory at Esplen Oval today.

Sunday 4 July 2010

Morningside produced two ultra-impressive wins over Mt Gravatt and the Brisbane Lions at the start of 2010 but today’s 102-point demolition of the Lions was the best yet, according to coach John Blair.

The Panthers were relentless with their run and pressure, storming to a 22.17 (149) to 6.11 (47) triumph.

The home side started brilliantly but wasted close shots at goal and should have been further in front than 4.6 to 1.3 at quarter-time.

The Lions kept at them for the first 18 minutes of the second quarter before the Morningside midfield ended the game as a contest by generating five goals in the final 10 minutes of the term.

Both sides registered three goals in the third quarter, before the Panthers ran in waves from half-back and through the middle in the last term, generating 18 shots at goal that resulted in 8.8 to 1.4.

Ryan Holman’s work under the packs set up Morningside’s early dominance, with Jacob Gough also strong in the ruck and around the ground in the opening term.

Damien Bonney and Tyson Upton lent good support and they continued to be outstanding for the remaining three quarters.

Nathan Kinch and Jack Lawler provided the run from half-back, feeding off key defender Aaron Rogers who demoralized the Lions forwards.

Mark Rootsey was also a solid contributor and capped his game with five goals, while Alastair Nash also won a glut of ball.

Quite simply, the Panthers didn’t have a bad player.

Sam Brown was electric early and booted the first two goals of the match, twin brother Josh chimed in with two goals including a spectacular half-volley soccer kick in the goalsquare, Mark Kimball was lively with 2.3, Jake Tomlinson did plenty of good things, and 19-year-old big man Tom Hickey showed touches of class at different times.

“That was our best four quarter effort of the season, and maybe a bit more than  a season,” Blair said.

“It was a pretty intense game. The Lions had 15 listed players plus Spacky (Adam Spackman), so it was a pretty fair side out there. On paper it was their best side in eight or nine weeks.

“It was a concern that we had been up and down a little bit and they might stitch us up in certain areas, so it was pleasing to see the way we went about things and the pressure we applied.”

The Lions short, chip-passing game around their defence often came unstuck through the Panthers’ pressure and poor skill execution, while Morningside’s use of the ball was far more precise.

“Today our skills were very good –  it is an area we have been conscious of, executing our skills better under pressure,” Blair said.

The victory saw the Panthers leapfrog Labrador into second place on the QAFL premiership table, opening a 14.2% gap on the Tigers, who boast a similar 9-3 win-loss record.

The Lions plummeted to eighth, their percentage dipping to 90.3.

Bulldozer Ryan Harwood tried hard for them and kicked 2.2 while providing a physical presence in the midfield, while Pearce Hanley got involved after a slow start.

Cheynee Stiller turned the ball over too often for his liking early but never stopped trying and finished with two goals.

The game marked the return of Albert Proud, who looked understandably rusty, and Broc McCauley, who started well and will be better for the run.

The downside was a serious leg injury to Matt Austin, who was stretchered from the ground 10 minutes into the third quarter.

Lions coach Craig McRae was disappointed with the result after a big build-up to the game.

“We’ve had some discussions as a group about things we want to execute in the last part of the year and I thought it was a really good opportunity for our young guys to demonstrate some of those things we were going to do,” McRae said.

“We built up a little bit for that, and there was a little bit of emotional attachment for what we wanted to achieve.

“The opposition was outstanding but we walk away from the game disappointed that we couldn’t show some things we wanted to change and make an impact on where we are going as a footy club.”  

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