Labrador 3.3 (21) def. by Palm Beach Currumbin 8.12 (60)
Broadbeach 17.3 (105) def. Morningside 10.11 (71)
The Tiger train came to a blinding halt at Cooke-Murphy Oval on Saturday, as Labrador struggled to adjust to the tempo of finals footy, after a flat last few weeks of the season.
Youngster Jacob Kenny gathered plenty of the footy in the opening term and looked impressive as the Tigers tried to hold on against the fast surging Lions, who kicked the first three of the match.
It only got worse after that for Labrador, as Wayde Mills was moved into the forward line after being effectively shut out of the contest and the Palm Beach tackle pressure subdued the likes of Billy Hicks, Connor Budarick and Zach Brain.
On the flipside, Lions midfielders Jason Burge (24 disposals) and Jake Dignan (21), linked up well, found space and hurt the opposition with their possessions.
Jackson Emblem and Liam McNeven were just as important down back for the Lions, charging forward to meet the footy and taking on the game from half back. Their efforts kick started Palmy’s drive and allowed them to move the footy with a level of speed that troubled the Tigers’ celebrated defense.
Tyler Cornish also had a strong game, leading his side in tackles (6), collecting 19 disposals and kicking two goals.
It was a mixed bag for the star attraction, Barry Hall, who still managed two of the Tigers’ three goals, but found the going tough with less than stellar delivery at times.
“We wanted to be the first team into the grand final and we put ourselves in a good position from the first bounce today,” said Palm Beach coach Chad Owens.
“Momentum is a great thing and once you get it it’s hard to turn, so yeah, just really proud of the way the boys went about today.”
The Cats are through to a prelim for the first time since they joined to the QAFL, after overwhelming the Panthers after half time, in a tight, physical game at Broadbeach yesterday.
While Eddie Betts lit up Adelaide oval on Thursday, it was a similar sort of ‘Eddie’ show at Broadbeach on Sunday, as Eddie Sansbury went about dismantling the Panthers defense on his way to six goals. The medium sized forward competed in the air and shone at ground level, snapping truly and soccering some goals that had the crowd on the hill in raptures.
Xavier McMahon was important through the middle for the Cats, his physicality serving him well in the clinches, where he picked up 25 touches
Panther Alastair Nash was fantastic all day for the visitors, often starting in the middle, as opposed to his usual role down back. Nash was the leading disposal getter on the ground when the final siren sounded, with 28 disposals, four marks and four tackles.
It was an arm wrestle up till half time with Broadbeach leading by just three points, but the longer the game went on, the more it opened up and the Cats runners became a factor. Connor Nutting was also moved down back and showed his versatility, providing a reliable switch option and displaying pinpoint accuracy by foot.
“It’s the first time (that we’ve made the preliminary final) since we’ve been in the QAFL,” Broadbeach coach Brett Andrews said.
“They’ve made history the boys, now we’ve just got to go one more.
“He’s (Sansbury) unreal isn’t he? I think he kept us in the game in the first quarter because we started slow.
“I think he’s played six games and he’s our highest goal kicker.”
By Sean Melrose