By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend
After just sneaking into the top six, two-points ahead of Palm Beach Currumbin and Noosa, Broadbeach is standing at the front door of a potential Grand Final berth.
The sixth placed Cats have taken down major challengers Wilston Grange and Maroochydore over the first few weeks of the finals and hope to continue its form by upstaging a highly fancied Morningside outfit.
Morningside has been outstanding all season, dropping just a handful of games and going down to Labrador in the Semi Final last week. It was a tough contest for the Panthers that trailed by 33-points at half-time and never recovered against the undefeated Tigers.
Meeting this season
Round 3 – Morningside 12.6.78 defeated Broadbeach 9.11.65
1 – 13
2 – 7
3 – 10
4 – 11
Finishing second on the ladder at the end of the home and away season, the Panthers have started their matches strongly, winning 13 first quarters. They have struggled in the second term, which explains their lower first half total of goals (53) compared to their second half scoring with 63 goals.
Morningside have won 21 of 30 quarters in the second half, showing that it is a strong, consistent outfit after the break.
It has won 40 of 60 quarters (67-percent) in 2021. It has kicked 116 goals for the season.
1 – 7
2 – 9
3 – 10
4 – 7
Statistically, the Cats have proven to be slow starts and slow finishers. They are strong in the middle quarters and that has been responsible for most of their heavy scoring.
Considering that Broadbeach has one really strong quarter per half, it should come as no surprise to see that it is almost even for goals per half with 63 goals in the first half and 65 goals in the second half for a total of 128.
Morningside has an average winning margin of 25 points against teams in the top six. It has a total winning margin of 101 points with its biggest win, 67 points coming against Mt Gravatt, a team that had beaten them by seven points earlier in the year. It has only faced Labrador once, and that was last week in the semi final by 25-points. It has a 4-3 record against top six teams.
The Panthers have an average winning margin of 43 points against teams out of the top six, and have dropped just the one game to the tune of 35 points.
Broadbeach has split its matches against teams in the top six this year, winning and losing four. It headed into the finals series with a 2-4 record but recorded two impressive wins in the past two weeks to consolidate on that form and challenge for the flag. It has an average winning margin of 38 points and an average losing margin of 27 points. It has played Wilston Grange three times for a four point loss, a 90 point win and a 27 point win. It has played Labrador twice for an average losing margin of 45 points.
The Cats have an average winning margin of 42-points against teams out of the top six and an average losing margin of 25.5-points.
Key players to watch
Bryce Longland – a key forward target who can take strong marks. Has a bag of six to his name this year. Was held against the Tigers last week, it will be a tough job for Broadbeach defender Lachy Whitewood to shut him down this week.
Zac Melling – came off the bench last week to kick two valuable goals. A solid impact player that can play a key role where required and adds some solid spark to the team
Riley Martin – very reliable down back and can turn the game on a dime with ease when he shuts down his opponent. A quality defender who stands out.
Cooper Parkes – his three goals last week all came at valuable stages of the game; one late in the first quarter to extend the lead, one late in the third quarter to open up a nine-point lead and another mid-way through the final term to ice the game. He is a big-game player and will be a key yet again if Broadbeach win.
Lachlan Whitewood – super reliable down back. He was one of the key reasons that the Cats beat the Roos last week with his outstanding work at full-back. He is the general, and dictates play up the field really well.
Jake Rogers – has had an outstanding finals series to compliment his brilliant season, one where he played three Senior matches. He comes into this game red-hot and this onballer will be tough to stop.
On paper, Morningside should win this in a tight battle but you can never rule out Broadbeach who is playing its best football at the right time of the season.
One poor first half was the difference between Morningside playing in a Grand Final and having to battle the long way to get there but there is enough talent in the team to win this contest. A strong second-half will counter-act anything that Broadbeach throws at it, and it should be enough to just get over the line.
Picture by Brooke Sleep Photography