By Terry Wilson
Image: BC Sleep Photography
Broadbeach 5.2, 11.5, 14.6, 19.9 (123)
Morningside 3.3, 5.5, 8.12, 10.16 (76)
GOALS, Broadbeach: M. Fowler 4, B. Erickson 2, R. Dienjes 2, N. Burton 2, N. Kempe 2, D. Irwin 2, M. Conroy 1, H. Oea 1, L. McGuane 1, B. Neal 1, L. Nelson 1. Morningside: E. Mallan 3, K. Abey 2, S. Godfrey 1, W. Wolbers 1, D. Cameron-Reeves 1, J. Rayner 1, I. Edwards 1.
BEST, Broadbeach: R. Dienjes, E. Panozza, N. Burton, N. Quick, L. Nelson, M. Fowler. Morningside: D. Cameron-Reeves, E. Mallan, J. Rayner, W. Wolbers, S. Godfrey.
BROADBEACH have paid a savage price for their courageous win over Morningside in the Qualifying Final at Subaru Oval on Saturday.
The Cats advanced to next weekend’s second semi-final against premiers Palm Beach Currumbin after beating the Panthers by 19.9 (123) to 10.16 (76).
But the victory came at a huge cost with three Cats players leaving the ground by ambulance and a fourth limping around in a forward line.
Dual club best and fairest Ryan Pantic went down early in the clash, he was followed by Benji Neal, also in the first quarter, then young utility Nelson Sorrensen was stretchered off in the final term while ex-Richmond and Brisbane AFL player Luke McGuane was struggling with a hamstring injury.
Pantic was later diagnosed with a ruptured spleen, Neal with a grade three AC injury and Sorrensen a broken ankle.
The severity of the injuries means that none of the three have much chance of returning for the remainder of the Cats’ finals campaign, leaving officials with a mountain of headaches, the most concerning the loss of two key members of their engine room.
“Well, we have plenty of depth so now we’re going to see how good they are,” was how coach Brett Andrews summed up proceedings of a bitter-sweet afternoon.
“It was a great win, one of the best I’ve seen, but it was a costly win, which was a shame.
“Yes, we’ve lost some very good players, but we’ve still got Searly (dual best and fairest Josh Searl) and Robbie Blood about to play and you can add Xavier McMahon to the list of choices.
“It was going to be a hard selection (before events of Saturday) for Palmy next week but now it has been made a lot easier.”
Despite having no midfield or on-ball rotations for the entire second half, the courageous Cats still managed to outscore Morningside for three of the four quarters, “losing” only in the third by six points.
As much as the Cats built their victory on character with their backs to the wall, the Panthers were disappointing to say the least with their inability to take hold of the match when the scales were tipped right in their favour.
Their forwards were well beaten on the day when Cats backs Ryan Dienjes, skipper Nathan Quick and Jimmy Royes starred.
Matt Fowler up front (4.6 for the day), veteran Evan Panozza on the ball and flanker Nick Burton played key roles, but one noticeable factor was the influence Gold Coast Suns academy pair Kwaby Boakye and Hewago Paul Oea had on the game.
Their sheer pace was vital, and they continually caught the Panthers out wide.
“Kwabe wants to get drafted and he certainly did not do himself any harm in that regard today,” Andrews said of the athletic son of Ghanian parents.
Boakye and Oea were playing their first games for Broadbeach this year in a selection gamble that certainly paid dividends.
Panthers coach Steve Wildschut was brutally honest when he said his side was simply not up to the mark.
“Broadbeach were the better team and they showed, that under the circumstances, with the right attitude you can come through,” he said in praise of the winners.
“We gifted them goals through some pretty poor disposal and decision at times.
“We had a few guys who were okay but no clear winners across the park.”
Wildschut said Aspley-listed Eddie Mallan was good in attack and James Rayner worked hard on a half-forward flank but his best was on-baler Darcy Cameron-Reeves who batted hard throughout.
Tigers take out Vultures in reserves
LABRADOR earned a crack at Gold Coast rivals Broadbeach next week after downing Mt Gravatt by 23 points in the reserve grade Qualifying Final at Subaru Oval.
The Tigers scored by 12.7 (79) to 8.8 (56) and now take on minor premiers Broadbeach at Salk Oval this Saturday for a place in the Grand Final.
Utilising big men Joel Stevenson and Lachlan Davidson to full effect, the Tigers were never headed in windy conditions.
Davidson was excellent in the ruck while Stevenson kicked four goals – it should have been at least half a dozen because he missed with a couple of easy shots.
Kye Newson and Hayden Greentree were two others who were good for the Tigers.
For Mt Gravatt Austin Brent, Jack Moseley and Justin Currie were the pick as best.