QAFL Finals – Week 2 Review

Image by Brooke Sleep Media. 

By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend.

ASPLEY is the first team to lock its place into the 2023 QAFL Senior Men’s Grand Final with an impressive 56-point win over Redland Victoria Point at Graham Road on Saturday.
While the Hornets were flexing its muscles in a power-house performance; it was Wilston Grange who celebrated its second consecutive elimination finals win by six-points while on the road when it upstaged Broadbeach at Subaru Oval.
WILSTON GRANGE 14.7.91 defeated BROADBEACH 12.13.85
Wilston Grange pulled off one of its most famous wins in club history when it stormed home from 13-points down approaching time-on in the final term to kick the final three goals of the game to take down Broadbeach in a six-point thriller.
The six-point win over Surfers Paradise in week one of the finals was the most extraordinary win of the season by any team up until the weekend; but the Gorillas took that to another level when it left Subaru Oval for the second time this season singing the song; a feat that no team had done once this year.
This club had to play to an extraordinary level to back up that performance on the road to Surfers Paradise and take that same level of intensity into a game where the opposition had been the only one to beat the top two in the competition.
Broadbeach went into the game without key forward/tagger Jacob Townsend but did welcome back Brandon Chadwick as a handy replacement.
It was a tight start to the game with both teams trading goals; and Wilston Grange taking a one-point lead mid-way through the term on the back of a Billy Richardson goal.
Broadbeach finished the quarter strongly with the final three goals of the quarter to lead by 15-points at the first change. Three of the Cats’ five goals came from free-kicks and another came from two Wilston Grange defenders colliding that then freed up Brad Lowe to pounce on the ball and kick truly from close range.
Broadbeach started the second term as it ended the first term – full of running. A great goal on the run from Ryan Gilmore followed a pair of goals from Brad Lowe with the last coming at the 13.5-minute mark; had the score move to 8.2.50 to 3.3.21 and a big 29-point lead.
One of those goals came from a costly turn-over at half-forward for the Gorillas where Richardson dropped a mark; and the Cats swept the ball from half-back to Gilmore who finished truly.
Broadbeach extended its lead to 31-points at the 18-minute mark of the quarter before Under 17 star Fergus McFayden kicked the impossible goal from the boundary line; and Hugh Fidler converted from a set shot to cut the margin back to 22-points at the main break.
Broadbeach had five shots on goal from the 15-minute mark through to just prior to the half-time siren; all big chances, all missing.
Wilston Grange did lose Bailey Gordon to a knee injury in the first half.
Wilston Grange captain Kailem Baker kickstarted the second half with a brilliant goal on the run. His team slammed home another four goals without reply; seven in total; and turned a 31-point deficit into a seven-point lead in the space of 35-minutes including seven shots on goal without a miss.
On the other side of the fence; Brandon Chadwick kicked a goal on three-quarter-time for the Cats to end a run of 49-minutes between goals and seven missed shots on goal between goals; effectively kicking 1.7 to 7.1 in 49 minutes of play.
With Justin Bishop commanding the midfield; and Josh Searl and Kwayb Boakye dominating at half-back; Broadbeach didn’t need much to turn the tide in its favour. Joel Filippone started the final term brilliantly and kicked the opening two goals of the quarter to open up an 11-point lead; and three Broadbeach goals either side of three-quarter-time.
Wilston Grange lost Daniel Lanthois to a hamstring injury in the early part of the quarter; after pulling up lame in a foot race against Josh Searl; a foot race he had won in an earlier contest in the third term.
Mid-way through the quarter; Josh Zanker-Close was penalised for a deliberate rushed behind; enabling Grange’s Fidler to kick his second goal to cut the margin back to less than a kick.
Max Lower extended the lead to 13-points for Broadbeach approaching time on in the final quarter and it just felt that momentum was going its way and it would hold on.
With just 20 fit players; Wilston Grange changed the script as McFayden added his third goal at the 24.5-minute mark of the term.
Grange young gun Jake Fazldeen kicked a stunning goal at the 28-minute mark to give his team the lead and followed up with his fifth goal moments later to extend the lead to seven-points and ultimately seal the most famous of victories.
For Wilston Grange – Will Martyn was the best midfielder on the ground with 26 touches, 13 contested possessions, five clearances and four inside 50s; Zach Westerberg was outstanding in the ruck with 26 hit-outs, 19 touches and a game-high 10 clearances; while Jake Fazldeen kicked five goals without a miss from 10 kicks.
For Broadbeach – Kasey Nicholas had 27 touches and 12 marks across half-back; Boakye had 20 touches; Leo Lombard was outstanding in the first half and finished with 20 touches and seven inside 50s while young gun Taine Dawson virtually rucked the entire game and finished with 36 hit-outs.
Broadbeach won the inside 50 count 47 to 44; led the tackle count 48 to 45 and disposals 313 to 264; while Wilston Grange led the clearances 41 to 40 and hit-outs 49 to 47. For the most part, the key stats were even.
*Chris Yeend was one of the callers in the game alongside Kane Browning
ASPLEY 17.9.111 defeated REDLAND VICTORIA POINT 8.7.55
The Hornets went into the Second Semi Final making two changes from its Round 21 line-up with Will Wolbers and Lachlan Rayner coming into the team to add extra height; while RVP welcomed back raging half forward Tom Matthews.
The contest was a tight affair in its infancy with Aspley kicking the opening goal of the game; before RVP responded with the next three goals to open up a handy lead.
RVP held a slender 13-point lead late in the opening term; 3.2.20 to 1.1.7; before Aspley flexed its muscles with the final two goals of the quarter to level the scores at 3.2.20.
Alarm bells started to ring for the Sharks with the Hornets taking full momentum of the contest in the second term with four unanswered goals; six on the bounce, thanks to Jono Freeman and Connor Stackleberg.
RVP kicked a goal late in the second term to cut the margin back to 21-points.
Three weeks removed from its 55-point win over Redland Victoria Point at the same venue; it was a simple case of de ja vu for Aspley in the third quarter where it dominated the scoreboard.
Aspley kicked six goals to nil in the third term; to open up a 57-point lead. Its total score of 86 was just one point more than the total it had at the same stage of the game on August 12; 85 – however on this occasion, RVP failed to kick a goal where it had kicked two goals in the third term on that day three weeks earlier.
Both teams traded goals in the final term; four goals apiece with the Hornets saluting to a 56-point win.
Jono Freeman (4), Connor Stackleberg (3), Tom Watson (3), Michael Best (2) and Nick Dodge (2) led the goal-scoring for the winners while Dean Benson (3), Matt Hammelmann (3) and Josh Brown (2) led the goal kicking for Redland Victoria Point. Three goals for Hammelmann takes his season tally to 93.
For Aspley – Will Wolbers returned to the team and recorded 40 hit-outs; six minside 50s and four clearances,  Coen Harker was rock solid with five inside 50s; six tackles and eight clearances and Will O’Dwyer recorded a game-high eight inside 50s to go alongside three tackles and one goal.
For Redland Victoria Point – Adrian Williams was at his typical best with 21 touches; 13 marks and a staggering eight intercept marks, Jack Rolls laid a game-high 10 tackles to go with 15 disposals; Brock Aston had 13 disposals and laid nine tackles while 5–gamer Luke O’Sullivan was rock solid with eight tackles and four clearances.
Statistically; Aspley led the disposal count 308 to 271 (RVP’s lowest disposal count of the season); inside 50 count 67 to 39 including 16 marks inside 50 to nine; the hit-out count 56 to 33, contested marks 20 to 6; intercept marks 25 to 17; effective spoils 18 to 3, and clearances 46 to 33. RVP recorded an extraordinary 93 tackles to 49.

Aspley will enjoy the week off while Redland Victoria Point will host Wilston Grange. There are shades of Maroochydore in 2021 with the run of Wilston Grange; with the Roos finishing sixth and winning three tight finals on the road to make the decider. Wilston Grange have won two so far.

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