By Terry Wilson
Image: BC Sleep Photography
QAFL PRELIMINARY FINAL
Broadbeach v Morningside
At Subaru Oval, 2pm Saturday
Broadbeach: Ins: Josh Searl, Brandon Chadwick, Rob Blood. Outs: Jayden Brennan (omit), Jordan Andrews (omit), Timakoi Bowie (omit).
Morningside:Ins: Brad Dale, Michael Graham. Outs: Tom Jeffrey (foot), Sam Lundie-Jenkins (omit).
Results this year:
Round 1: Broadbeach 11.12 (78) d Morningside 5.8 (38) at Subaru Oval.
Round 12: Morningside 12.10 (82) d Broadbeach 11.9 (75) at Jack Esplen Oval.
Qualifying final: Broadbeach 19.9 (123) d Morningside 10.16 (76), at Subaru Oval.
Head- to-head since 1997, the year Broadbeach joined the then QSFL:
Played 58: Morningside 38 wins, Broadbeach 20.
Matches at Subaru Oval: Morningside 15 wins, Broadbeach 11.
Results in finals: Morningside 6 wins, Broadbeach 3.
BROADBEACH are hoping to end a 22-season drought and qualify for a grand final for the first time since their last year in the Gold Coast competition in 1996.
It has always been a mystery why a club such as Broadbeach, always boasting a powerful junior production line, has never been able to cement a spot among the elite operations in the south-east corner of the state and it is about time that drought ended, says coach Brett Andrews.
The Cats host ever-strong Morningside in the Preliminary Final at Subaru Oval on Saturday with the winner to go on and play premiers Palm Beach Currumbin in the Grand Final on September 22.
Those statistical details have intrigued Andrews who was actually captain of the Cats side when they won their last flag in 1996 under the coaching of current club football operations manager Jason Cotter.
It intrigues Andrews why more success has not come to Subaru Oval, but he feels this year is the one when the club can finally conquer Mt Everest.
But it is going to be tough, he admits, with the Panthers hot to trot after eliminating Surfers Paradise from the title race last Sunday in the First Semi-Final.
His confidence comes from the courageous victory over Morningside in the Qualifying Final at Subaru Oval a fortnight ago when the Cats had three players taken from the ground by ambulance.
Those three – Ryan Pantic (spleen), Benji Neal (shoulder) and Nelson Sorrensen (ankle) are all still out, as is veteran Luke McGuane (hamstring).
The Cats failed to cover these losses when they went down to Palm Beach Currumbin last weekend in the Second Semi-Final before the watched Morningside systematically dissemble Surfers the following day.
That Sunday match could work in Broadbeach’s favour, Andrews hopes, with his players having a seven-day break and the Panthers only six.
“We can’t let them, kick four goals in seven minutes like they did against Surfers,” Andrews said.
“We’ve just got to hang in there and match them in the middle. A home ground advantage is a must and we have to make sure we get a 50-50 share in the middle and don’t let them get away from us.”
The main task ahead of the Cats is to minimise the effect big ruckmen Peter Mollison and Will Wolbers have on stoppages, to cut down the ball getting to the tough Panther on-ballers, then to cobble together a good enough score to enable them to win.
Morningside coach Steve Wildschut said to expect something different from the Panthers in the sudden-death contest.
He said in recent visits to Subaru Oval the tactics they used had not worked so something different may be the way to go this Saturday.
“We have to come up with something that hopefully works, so there are a few things that we’ve changed structurally, a few tricks that will hopefully work,” he said.
Wildschut would not comment if the 22 that Morningside named would actually be the 22 for match day as speculation surrounded if he will actually bring in a couple of played named as emergencies.
Broadbeach, as expected, brought dual club best and fairest Josh Searl, versatile Rob Blood and Southport-listed Brandon Chadwick back into the side.
Morningside made two changes, losing young forward Tom Jeffrey to a foot injury and leaving Sam Lundie-Jenkins out.
RESERVE GRADE PRELIMINARY FINAL
Labrador v Palm Beach Currumbin
At Subaru Oval, 11.30am Saturday
LABRADOR players know they let slip a golden opportunity to be first team into the QAFL reserves Grand Final when they booted themselves out of last weekend’s Second Semi-Final against Broadbeach.
The Tigers have a chance to atone for that result, when they kicked 7.15 (57) to 9.5 (59) when they take on Gold Coast rivals Palm Beach Currumbin in the Preliminary Final at Subaru Oval on Saturday.
With the Tigers seniors out of the title race and PBC seniors having a weekend off, it seems likely that both sides will have an abundance of senior-experienced players in their sides.
Last weekend, the day after Labrador fell to Broadbeach, PBC kept their flag hopes alive with a strong win, by 26 points, against Mt Gravatt in the First Semi-Final.
The winner of this match qualifies to play Broadbeach in the Grand Final.
COLTS PRELIMINARY FINAL
Palm Beach Currumbin v Wilston Grange
At Subaru Oval, 9am Saturday
BIG improvers Wilston Grange and the consistent Palm Beach Currumbin go head-to-head to see which team makes it through to the QAFL Colts Grand Final.
The Gorillas and the Lions play in the Preliminary Final at Subaru Oval on Saturday morning for the right to play Western Magpies in the premiership decider.
Wilston Grange thrashed Broadbeach by 8.16 (64) to 2.11 last weekend while PBC fell to the Magpies at Jack Esplen Oval on Sunday, going down by 9.9 (63) to 3.12 (30).