QAFL Review – Round 11

Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend

The Senior Men’s competition of the QAFL has been turned completely on its head after a remarkable weekend of action in Round 11.
Noosa kept its finals’ hopes alive with an impressive 46-point win on the road to Palm Beach Currumbin; Labrador just about closed the door on Maroochydore’s aspirations with a remarkable win on the road under lights by nine-points; Surfers Paradise kicked away in the final term to fend off a gutsy Mt Gravatt outfit by 17-points; the Broadbeach of old set Subaru Oval on fire with a strong 96-point win over Sherwood; while Aspley and Redland Victoria Point put the entire competition on notice with 69 and 130-point victories against top six teams leaving a simple message; ‘Catch us if you can!’

In perhaps the most stunning result of the weekend; the Sharks traveled to Jack Esplen Oval and put on a performance that blew away not only Morningside; but the rest of the competition.
After a close opening term; Redland Victoria Point put its foot down in the second term, kicking 8.3.51 to nothing and turned a 17-point quarter-time lead into a 68-point margin.
RVP kicked 23.8 in the win over Labrador in Round 10 and looked in similar form again, kicking goals from everywhere against the Panthers. The third quarter was almost just as good as the Sharks threaded through another eight goals to take a staggering 113-point lead into the final change before closing out to win by 130 points.
The key to the Sharks looking so strong up forward has been the improvement of Josh Brown (five goals) up forward. After kicking 21 goals from 13 appearances last year; he has kicked 15 goals from his last three outings; all resulting in wins for the Sharks and taking his tally to 28 for the season. In that stretch; Matt Hammelmann (8.6 and 11 marks inside 50) has kicked 17 goals; combining with Brown for 32 of the team’s 56 goals in the past three weeks at 57-percent of the team’s scoring.
Concerns are being raised for Morningside after showing such incredible improvement, growth and development this season; but since Mitch Robinson went down with injury against Labrador; it has won just two of nine quarters since he left the field.
Saturday’s line up featured one of its strongest line-ups all season with Wilson Barry (29 touches) and Jackson Hille (22) taking to the field after enjoying experience with the Brisbane Lions VFL team; and Brad Hodge (32 hit-outs and five tackles) is alongside Aspley’s Will Wolbers as the best ruckman in the competition.
RVP had a season-high disposal difference of 176 (452-276) in a remarkable dominance of general play and took 28 intercept marks to 15. Morningside led the spoil count 8-4 and contested marks 11-10.
The Sharks registered 73 inside 50s to 34 and took a staggering 24 marks inside 50 to one.
ASPLEY 18.15.123 defeated WILSTON GRANGE 8.6.54
In one of the shock results of the weekend; Aspley arrived at Hickey Park and left with a statement-making four points with a 69-point win.
The Gorillas were always going to have the job ahead of them against the reigning premiers but out of all of the teams in the competition; they were arguably the best placed to inflict their first loss of the season based on form. When the siren sounded at quarter-time; the scoreboard showed they could manage just one goal on the board, the Hornets had six.
The second term was nothing short of pure class from Aspley; with its defense in incredible touch, midfield unbreakable and the forward line working well together, taking a 51-point lead into the main break with 10 goals on the board to two and effectively ending the contest.
Aspley came out in the third term and hammered seven goals on the board as it cracked the century for the seventh time in eight games, by three-quarter-time. Wilston Grange added some respectability on the scoreboard with four goals of its own as the margin moved to 72-points at the final change.
Wilston Grange won the final quarter with two of three goals kicked for the quarter to finish strongly.
Connor Stackleberg continued his fine form up forward with seven goals (eight marks inside 50) and was well supported by Nick Dodge with five. The pair linked together like Paul Salmon and Darren Berwick for the Bombers in the 1993 premiership year; making life challenging for the home team. They were well supported by Lleyton Brown and Coen Harker. Liam Dawson took eight intercept marks.
Hugh Fidler and Oscar Stewart both kicked two goals while Zach Westerberg (17 hit-outs and 18 touches) impressed in the ruck while Daniel Bowles (26 touches) also impressed.
Aspley won the inside 50 count 57 to 36; scoring on 58-percent of entries as opposed to 39-percent. It led marks inside 50 with 17-9 and were +97 in disposals and +57 (133) in marks, denying its opposition use of the ball.
BROADBEACH 19.12.126 defeated SHERWOOD 4.6.30
In a contest that had the potential to go either way based on Sherwood’s improved game plan and also taking into consideration that it almost beat Broadbeach at the same venue last year; proved to go against the script, unless you were a Broadbeach fan.
Blake Erickson rolled out for his 100th Senior game for the club; and the 2018 Grogan Medalist and premiership player made sure he wrote the perfect script for his perfect day as the team played its best game of the season in the 96-point win.
The Cats held the Pies to just one goal in the first half to take a 53-point lead; a margin that grew in the second half as they kicked five goals in each of the third and fourth quarters in the victory.
Erickson was the star of the show with six goals (33 touches, six clearances and game-high nine inside 50s) alongside former Labrador and VFL star Tom Reeves (three goals and 25 touches) and Harry McInnes (12 touches who played his best game as a Senior Cat with three goals.
Will Fletcher (30 touches and eight clearances) was typically outstanding alongside Owen Collins (31 touches); while Hiovake Livesey (18 touches) made a welcomed return to the team with an outstanding performance; and also kicking a goal.
Sherwood won plenty of the ball; 323 to Broadbeach 391, a sign that it still competed hard across the game.
Broadbeach led the inside 50 count to 55 to 37 and scored on 56-percent of occasions which is better than average.
NOOSA 19.12.126 defeated PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN 11.14.80
The Northern Tigers have put the competition on notice with an impressive outing on the road to the Lions.
The biggest road trip in the QAFL wasn’t an issue for Noosa who made the trip down the M1 with drive to keep its finals’ aspirations alive and rattle the confidence of the Lions. The last time it made the trip to the Gold Coast; it stunned Labrador with an impressive outing in its maiden win of the season.
Noosa led the Lions by 13-points at the first break; 34 to 21 and put the foot down in the second term with five goals to one to lead by 35-points at the main break.
Palm Beach Currumbin is one of the lowest scoring teams in the competition and it knew that it needed to lift its scoring intensity if it was to taste success against the quick moving Noosa outfit. This mindset worked to perfection in the third term as it slammed home six goals to cut the margin to just 11-points heading into the final change.
Noosa responded to the challenge laid down by the Lions in the third term with an impressive final quarter that had it slot through seven goals to one to power away to a 46-point win.
Aaron Wilson showcased his brilliance with seven goals; his best effort of the season and equal best in the QAFL (seven goals v Maroochydore in the drawn game in 2022); Ryley Buntain and Lachlan Dawson kicked three goals each and Callum Crisp was outstanding.
Carl Nicholson was outstanding for PBC with three goals while captain Tommy Thynne impressed in the midfield and Christian Buykx-Smith was solid on debut.
SURFERS PARADISE 11.9.75 defeated MT GRAVATT 8.10.58
In what was rightfully hyped as one of the most important matches of the round; it delivered up to the hype as the Demons shrugged off the Vultures early in the final term to edge away to a 17-point win.
The Demons led by eight-points at first change before the Vultures lifted their intensity in the midfield thanks to some solid efforts from Matt Pearce in the ruck to lead by a goal at the main break.
With little more than a kick separating the two sides in the second half; Surfers Paradise kicked three goals to one in the third term to lead by one straight kick.
The stage was set for a massive final term and Ben Woodburn decided it was time to make the game his own with a stunning snap in the opening stages to blow the margin out to two goals. He would add another key goal in the final term as the home team took on the physical challenges that Mt Gravatt dished out.
While the final term had lots of physical highlights; Brody Haberfield almost took the mark of the year deep in defense when he soared fully vertical on the shoulders of a Mt Gravatt forward to almost bring down the mark.
The Demons held on as Woodburn led the game with four goals (19 possessions) and Harrison Fraser (21 touches) was at his usual best. Tom Smith impressed up forward and did his best to bring other team mates into the game. Jonah Licht kicked three goals for the Vultures while Dylan Smith presented well with two goals. Matt Pearce was great in the ruck with 26 hit-outs.
The disposal count was pretty even; 282-276 (Surfers Paradise); inside 50s were close with Mt Gravatt leading the count 41 to 35 and edging ahead on clearances 32-29.
LABRADOR 11.9.75 defeated MAROOCHYDORE 9.12.66
The Southern Tigers carved out its grittiest win of the 2023 season with an impressive outing on the road to Maroochydore under lights.
After suffering a challenging 80-point loss on the road to the Sharks in Round 10; Clint Watts and his men responded in style with pure grit and determination against a quality Maroochydore team.
The Roos led by five-points at quarter-time; before both teams went goal-for-goal in a highly entertaining second term with five goals each; and the home team leading by one straight kick.
Labrador came out after half-time with pure ruthless aggression at the ball to kick three unanswered goals and holding Maroochydore to just five-points. The lead was cut back by one point at the final siren as Labrador kicked 4.5 to 1.8 in the second half; nine scoring shots each; to seal victory.
Harry Law and Matt Lee both kicked two goals each while Darcy McEldrew (34 hit-outs, four clearances and six tackles) impressed in the ruck for the winners.
Ben Thomas kicked three goals (31 possessions) for the Roos while Josh Wagner (32 touches) and Jesse Malthouse (19 touches) impressed.
Labrador led the disposal count 382 to 343 and were dynamic with tackles, winning that count 61 to 37 and clearances 42 to 37. Maroochydore won the inside 50 count 62 to 40 but scored at 34-percent; as opposed to 50-percent.
1 – ASPLEY (38 – 220.71%)
2 – RVP (32 – 165.47%)
3 – BROADBEACH (26 – 120.18%)
4 – SURFERS PARADISE (24 – 112.33%)
5 – WILSTON GRANGE (24 – 108.70%)
6 – LABRADOR (20 – 92.00%)
7 – Morningside (20 – 85.10%)
8 – Palm Beach Currumbin (20 – 79.86%)
9 – Mt Gravatt (16 – 86.41%)
10 – Noosa (12 – 80.04%)
11 – Maroochydore (8 – 83.63%)
12 – Sherwood (0 – 53.75%)

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