QAFL Review – Round 12

By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend.

Image by Anthony Byron Photography.
The QAFL Senior Men’s competition took some more intriguing turns in Round 12 action on the weekend with Surfers Paradise pushing Redland Victoria Point to the end; Wilston Grange came from behind to secure a courageous win over Mt Gravatt; an undermanned Broadbeach found an unlikely hero in key backman Kasey Nicholas up forward in the win over Noosa; Palm Beach Currumbin celebrated one of its best attacking efforts of the season to toppled Morningside; reigning premiers Aspley took down a vastly under-strength Labrador while a deadly accurate Maroochydore proved too strong for an injury-ravaged Sherwood.

This was always going to be one of the more fascinating games of the weekend. Under new coach Matt Lappin, Surfers Paradise have shown a greater competitive edge and a high level of intensity for longer periods of the game to be a surprise force this season; on the other hand, Redland Victoria Point were coming off a 130-point win over Morningside and the interest was on whether this would be a standard performance from the former NEAFL champs.
When the siren sounded at Sir Bruce Park; it was established even further that Surfers Paradise was in fact, a real deal in 2023 having taken the Sharks until deep in the last quarter before going down by 20-points.
The Dees were coming off an impressive last quarter against Mt Gravatt and carried that form into the first half against the Sharks. With the return of captain Jack Prestegar and the addition of Allies defender Nick Williams on Matt Hammelmann; they looked more polished and hit harder in the midfield to reduce the typical run and dash that the Sharks are so well-known for.
Surfers Paradise led by three-points at the main change; but RVP’s coach Phil Carse had some key aces up his sleeve that would change the momentum of the game.
After kicking four goals in the first half; the Sharks pounced with four in the third term to arrest the lead and push away to 15-point lead heading into the final term; in a term where they had to work so hard to get the ball forward.
The final term was a classic with both teams combining for nine goals and the Sharks edging clear at the finishing line.
With Williams shutting down Hammelmann (three goals); the ace in the deck for Carse was Josh Brown and he became so crucial; finishing the game with four goals in another promising display.  
The Dees were well serviced up forward from a spread of goal kickers with Beardsell, Ireland and Smith kicking two goals. They would have appreciated Byron Finch in the forward line however, he may be in the VFL for the rest of the season with three goals for Southport on the weekend.
We learned that Surfers Paradise is as genuine of a contender now than six weeks ago; and RVP is still a major threat for the throne at the top, especially when it continues to kick so accurately (13.5).
BROADBEACH 18.15.123 defeated NOOSA 5.4.34
This had all of the makings to be one of the most fascinating games of the weekend. Noosa’s key leader Aaron Laskey was playing game 150; and his team had two major victories on the Gold Coast in recent weeks; and Broadbeach continues to be hit with injuries to key personnel and its depth is seriously challenged.
When assistant coach and former AFL premiership hero Nick Malceski has to line up in the Reserves to make up numbers; you know the depth is under-fire with lots of injuries. Nick did kick four goals in the top of the table clash.
The Northern Tigers sprinted out of the blocks in the first term to lead by eight-points at the first change.
Broadbeach responded in emphatic style with a barn-storming performance after quarter-time; slamming home a staggering 16.14 to 2.1 (+97 points) in an effort that no-one saw coming.
The move from key backman and recruit Kasey Nicholas to the forward line was a tactic of pure bliss for the Cats. Nicholas had returned from injury and with key tall Riley Bowman going up to the VFL, it meant that some much-needed height up forward was going to be crucial.
Nicholas responded with four goals from 20 touches and also laid five key tackles in his adventure up forward. He was well supported by Luke Dempsey-Ceh who played his first Senior game at the club since 2021 and finished with 3.3 from six kicks and took five marks inside 50.
Young gun Jezz Butler shined on debut with nine touches and a goal which was well celebrated by his team mates.
Noosa toiled hard and competed strongly across the four quarters and the margin of this game was not a reflection of the hard work it had executed over the past month.
Will O’Dwyer was outstanding with 36 touches; Jesse Touey was electric with 31; while Kurtis Evenden had 24 touches with 13 of them contested.
Broadbeach won the inside 50 count 66 to 34; but it was efficiency inside 50 that impressed, scoring at 50-percent (compared to 27-percent) and it took 24 marks inside 50 to six.
Noosa won the hit-outs 58 to 29 but lost the clearances 40 to 21 with Justin Bishop (Broadbeach) leading the way with a game-high 9.
MAROOCHYDORE 20.8.128 defeated SHERWOOD 5.13.43
This was a contest between the bottom two sides in the competition but with both so much to play for. Maroochydore had lost four of its previous five games with margins of fewer than three goals in all contests; including its win over Morningside.
Sherwood had been competitive in recent weeks but its lingering injury toll and losing quality players to the Brisbane Lions VFL team made it challenging to build some momentum and stability within its best 22.
The opening quarter was tight with less than two kicks separating both teams. Sherwood lost its ninth player to a season-ending ACL injury with Hiovake Livesey coming off the ground during the term and adding to the club’s long-term injury woes.
The second term belonged to the Roos who couldn’t miss in front of goal. They sent home seven goals without a miss; with goals from set shots and from around the body under tremendous pressure. Sam McLachlan lifted to another level at half-forward and Zac Stone provided some speed on the wing.
Will Fletcher kicked a team-lifting goal for Sherwood in the term that helped ignite some spark in the team. Jack Austin presented well at half-forward while Pat McCarthy spent time deep in the 50 and rotating through the ruck in an attempt to create some opportunities.
Maroochydore led by 33-points at half-time and the great kicking continued in the third term with 8.1 across the quarter before a late miss just before the siren. It kicked most of its goals through the corridor. The lead was out to 74-points at three-quarter time.
Maroochydore’s coaching staff demanded their players to continue the hard work and finish strongly; while Sherwood’s coaching staff demanded the players play for the jumper and salvage some pride.
The final term went more in favour of the home team that played its best patch of the game defensively to hold add some respectability to the end of the game. The highlight of the final term was a Josh Govan snap around the body for Maroochydore as it secured its third win of the season.
For the Roos; Mitch Scholard kicked six goals and tool seven marks inside 50; Sam McLachlan kicked five goals from 22 touches while captain Josh Govan had 30 touches alongside five tackles, seven inside 50s and six centre bounce clearances to go with two goals.
For Sherwood; Owen Collins impressed between the arcs with 33 touches and seven clearances; Will Fletcher had 32 touches and 11 clearances while Toara Marango impressed off half-back with 21 touches.
Despite the margin; Maroochydore won the inside 50 count by 11; 48 to 37 and the clearance count by four; 48 to 44; so there is some positive signs from the Pies.
WILSTON GRANGE 13.14.92 defeated MT GRAVATT 11.16.82
The Vultures have the future of its 2023 season firmly in its hands with a more than favourable draw to get some key wins and establish some valuable momentum during the mid-point of the season.
Wilston Grange was coming off a disappointing loss to Aspley at home with a strong line-up and was out-classed by the team to beat this season.
Mt Gravatt stormed out of the blocks to break away to a solid lead early and looked in prime form.
Wilston Grange responded in remarkable fashion to turn two to three goal deficit into a solid four goal lead and looked to have the result settled.
The Vultures responded in the final term and fought back bravely but fell 10-points shy of the finishing line.  
Wilston Grange was outstanding after quarter time and it was well serviced by the Brauma Bull – Hugh Filder with four goals from 14 touches in a barnstorming performance. Will Martyn collected 37 touches through the midfield and Bailey Gordon did his chances of a recall into the Brisbane Lions VFL team no harm with an impressive 29 touches (14 contested) and a goal.
Dylan Smith enjoyed another break-out game up forward for the Vultures. The former Aspley NEAFL and VFL player kicked five goals (32 for the season) and took five marks inside 50. Jonah Licht stepped up with three goals while ruckman Matt Pearce enjoyed 27 hit-outs and kicked a goal.
Little separated the sides inside 50 with Wilston Grange winning the count 46 to 44; clearances were dead even at 34 each while Mt Gravatt won the tackle count 54 to 31.
ASPLEY 17.20.122 defeated LABRADOR 4.8.32
Just how good is Aspley going in season 2023? We clearly saw on the weekend just how remarkable it is with a 90-point win over Labrador.
The Southern Tigers went into the game without three of its top-line players. Cooper Anderson made his well deserved VFL debut; while team mates Charlton Offermans and Harry Law were also recalled.
The Hornets burst out of the blocks at home in the opening term with four-unanswered goals to lead by 25-points. Labrador hit the scoreboard on multiple occasions in the second term but the home team flexed its muscles with 6.6 in the second term to open up a match-winning 53-point lead.
Aspley came out after half-time fuelled with more confidence with another commanding performance in the third term with a staggering 6.4 to 1.3 in the third term to lead by 84-points.
Labrador dug deep in the final term to show some pride with both teams kicking just one goal each.
Connor Stackleberg kicked seven goals (including 11 marks inside 50) for the winners while Nick Dodge and Tom Watson each chipped in with three. Jordan Hayden continued his stellar form with 29 touches including six clearances and four inside 50s. Will Wolbers had  42 hit outs and worked hard with nine contested possessions.
Young gun Luke Coombes kicked two goals for the Tigers. Darcy McAldrew impressed in the ruck with 10 contested possessions; five clearances and five inside 50s in the big battle against Wolbers. Matt Lee (22 touches) and Tom Simpson (23 touches) both had seven inside 50s.
PALM BEACH 17.10.112 defeated MORNINGSIDE 7.7.49
The Lions reached the century mark for just the second time this season; and kicked their highest score (eclipsing its 15.12.102 effort v Mt Gravatt) to return to the winners’ list against an injury-hit Morningside.
After a tight opening term; PBC extended its quarter-time margin of seven-points to 39 at the main break after kicking six goals to one in the second term. The dominance continued in the third term with five goals to one to open up a 65-point three-quarter-time lead.
The Panthers responded strongly in the final term with three goals from seven scoring shots (after having seven for the opening three quarters) to cut the margin back to 63 at the final siren.
AJ Dawson was outstanding for the winners with 38 touches while James ‘Spud’ Frawley enjoyed a break-out game with 31 touches including 24 kicks, 12 contested possessions and a game-high 16 marks.
Keep an eye on former Labrador tall Christian Buykx-Smith who played his second game as a Lion and kicked four goals from seven kicks and three inside 50 marks. Colts goal kicking machine Luke Cahill dazzled his team mates with four goals in just his second game of Senior football.
Keegan Downie tried hard for the Panthers with 3.3 from eight kicks; Ben McCarthy impressed with 29 touches including an equal game-high six tackles.
PBC led the inside 50 count 69 to 40; clearances 26 to 22 and tackles 55 to 49.
1 – ASPLEY (42 – 230.78%)
2 – RVP (36 – 162.46%)
3 – BROADBEACH (30 – 130.56%)
4 – WILSTON GRANGE (28 – 109.05%)
5 – SURFERS PARADISE (24 – 108.38%)
6 – PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN (24 – 87.72
7 – Labrador (20 – 83.40%)
8 – Morningside (20 – 80.59)
9 – Mt Gravatt (16 – 89.38.49%)
10 – Maroochydore (12 – 93.88%)
11 – Noosa (12 – 73.90%)

12 – Sherwood (0 – 51.61%)

Our Supporters