Demons, Lions remain undefeated: QAFL Round 4 Review

By Terry Wilson

RELATED: Tiring Gorillas hold on for back-to-back wins in ANZAC Day eve showdown

Image: Debra Lewis

Class the difference as the Lions overcome the Vultures

An edge in being able to provide quality possessions carried QAFL premiers Palm Beach Currumbin to victory over Mt Gravatt at Dittmer Park on Saturday.

Never headed at any stage of the clash, the Lions went on to win by 13.14 (92) to 6.5 (41) although the final margin was not a true indication of the effort put in by the Vultures.

The home side probably had as much of the ball but it was use of that possession that enabled PBC to break clear and stave off any late challenges.

The visitors started brightly and had three goals on the board before Mt Gravatt finally found the middle of the big sticks getting towards quarter-time.

At half-time the Vultures were 20 points down by the telling statistic was that they failed to add to their score in the third quarter and went into the final break 31 points down, a deficit that stretched out to 51 by game’s end.

“I think the difference in the end was our ball use, we have to clean that up,” said Mt Gravatt coach Adam Boon.

“That will be something we’ll work on for the next few weeks.”

Boon thought the Vultures were well in the game at half-time despite being 20 points down and was pinning on a good third term.

That did not eventuate as the Lions kicked the only goal of the quarter, then five of the seven goals in quarter four.

“We were very fumbly with the ball and made mistakes at crucial times whereas they (Lions) were cleaner with their execution,” said Boon.

Stand-in skipper Tom Thynne, deputising for brother Stephen, had an outstanding match in the midfield and earned a big wrap from coach Jess Sinclair.

“Tommy went well in the first couple of games but this time he took it to another level,” said Sinclair of PBC’s 2018 best and fairest.

“He was really good in traffic.”

Veteran Jackson Emblem revelled in his role across the half-back line where his ability to take intercept marks, then use the ball to advantage, stood out.

Former skipper Angus Munro also excelled with his marking and disposal as a half-back flanker.

For the Vultures, none were better than Jayden Crawley, who had the tough role on marauding PBC forward Jack Anthony and restricted the competition’s leading goalkicker to four majors.

Boon was also pleased by the work of Mitchell Hart, rookie forward Jack Wratten and Harrison Hunkin.

Palm Beach now prepare for a match-up with Morningside at Salk Oval on Saturday while Mt Gravatt are on the road away to Labrador on the same day.

Palm Beach Currumbin                    3.5,  7.6,  8.11,  13.14  (92)
Mt Gravatt                              1.3,  4.4,  4.4,  6.5  (41)

 GOALS, Palm Beach Currumbin: J. Anthony 4, G. Screech 2, T. Stubbs 2, T. Cornish 1, J. Macansh 1, J. Burge 1, J. Harrison 1, R. Harris 1. Mt Gravatt: S. Stubbs 2, J. Wratten 1, B. Telford 1, J. Leahy 1, M. Hamill 1.

BEST, Palm Beach Currumbin: T. Thynne, J. Emblem, A. Munro, J. Harrison, J. Burge, N. Crowley. Mt Gravatt: J. Crawley, M. Hart, J. Wratten, H. Hunkin, M. Hamill, M. Doust.


Cats survive in another nail-biter against the Magpies

Broadbeach used up the second of their mythical nine lives with a second successive nail-biting win, this time against the Western Magpies.

After scraping home by a point in their second round match against Mt Gravatt, the Cats this time took home the bacon by only four points, winning by 10.16 (76) to 11.6 (72) in the Magpies nest at McCarthy Homes Oval on Saturday.

Little wonder that Broadbeach coach Beau Zorko expressed worries over his side’s ability to leave themselves open for a knockout blow.

“This is the second time in a row we’ve left the door open – and to the Magpies’ credit they invited themselves through in the last quarter,” said Zorko after the nail-biting final term.

The Magpies were 22 points down at three-quarter time but managed to kick four of the five goals in the final stanza.

There were no excuses from the Magpies camp, though.

“We had plenty of opportunities to win it late, probably about five opportunities, but we didn’t have the composure to take them,” said coach Brydan Morgan, satisfied with a vastly improved effort following the hiding they copped from Wilston Grange on Good Friday.

“Our contested ball, our fight and our effort was back to the required level,” he said.

Zorko pointed at a concerning inability of the Cats to convert scoring chances as an area he needs to work on before the Coast derby against Surfers Paradise on Sunday.

“Our efficiency going into the 50-metre area is a clear concern,” he said.

A star for the Cats was unheralded Tom Betson who, despite fighting well above his height divisions, turned in another whole-hearted effort against much taller opposition.

Built more along the lines of a wingman, Betson has come on in leaps and bounds since moving to Broadbeach from QFA Division 3 champions Carrara in the off-season.

“Tom was very good, not just with his work in the air but what he did around the ground,” said Zorko of a player who turns 23 on Thursday.

Betson was also a stand-out the round before when he took on Mt Gravatt ruckmen Jarrod Huddy and Andrew Smith.

Ever reliable strongman Ryan Dienjes put in another good one in defence where Ben Hancock was also more than handy.

“And Jayden Rymer and Ryan Pantic were good in the midfield – we had a lot of good contributors out there,” said Zorko.

For the Magpies, consistent Gareth Crawford excelled in his midfield role.

“Gareth was excellent, he led the way and won his fair share of contested ball,” said Morgan.

Also winning the nod from the coach were Daniel Edwards and Macauley Lonergan who played on opposite wings.

The Magpies now prepare for their next engagement away to Sandgate at Lemke Road Oval on Saturday.

Broadbeach                              3.3,  6.8,  9.14,  10.16  (76)
Western Magpies                         4.1,  5.3,  7.4,  11.6  (72)

 GOALS, Broadbeach: M. Fowler 3, B. Chadwick 2, J. Cloke 1, N. Burton 1, R. Dienjes 1, R. Pantic 1, O’Shea 1. Western Magpies: A. Highlands 3, J. Austin 2, D. Lewis 2, L. Murray 1, W. Fletcher 1, D. Mitchell 1, C. Beams 1.

BEST, Broadbeach: T. Betson, R. Dienjes, B. Hancock, J. Rymer, J. O’Shea, J. Searl. Western Magpies: Crawford, D. Edwards, M. Lonergan, A. Highlands, L. Winton, J. Gallagher.


Demons crush toothless Tigers in Gold Coast demolition derby

INJURY ravaged Labrador have been left with a mountain to climb after what is believed to be a record-breaking loss to Surfers Paradise in their Gold Coast derby on Saturday.

There are 13 matches still remaining in the season for the Tigers, but unless things turn around they will struggle to get back into the fight for the finals.

Surfers belted their rivals by 19.16 (130) to 5.5 (35) at Sir Bruce Small Park, a 95-point winning margin that could be a record high for wins against Labrador and a result that left the Tigers at the foot of the ladder.

All this came after an amazing collapse from the Tigers, who led by 5.0 to 3.4 at quarter-time but managed only a miserable five behinds for the remainder of the clash.

Clearly the Tigers are struggling big time with a major list of injuries, so it did not help that they lost star recruit Ben Fagan to a calf strain during the warm-up on Saturday.

That best summed up proceedings as the rampant Demons ran riot, using their clear speed advantage and ball use to carve the visitors up.

“We thought Ben was going to be one of our prime movers so it makes it a little bit thin across the board when that happens,” said Labrador coach Liam Burke.
But even Burke had to admit he had way too many passengers among the 22 who took the field.

After such a rousing start, when skipper Bryce Retzlaff kicked three goals, it all fell apart for Labrador.

Poor ball disposal led to the inability to mount any forward line pressure as the Tigers kicked one behind for the second and third terms.

“Inside 50s have been an issue this year but the reality is that in the second quarter Surfers kept us to two inside 50s,” said Burke.

“Obviously in the second quarter they had the breeze but our ball use really cost us.

“Turnovers kill your momentum and they kill any feeling and vibe you get.”
The mood in the Surfers camp was obviously bubbling over after the match as the Demons look forward to a second consecutive Coast derby next weekend, this one away to Broadbeach on Sunday.

Take away the opening term, when coach Brad Moore thought the Dees played into the hands of the Tigers by over-using the football, it was all smiles from him.

The speed was there, the slick ball movement was there and also there was a significant input from the club’s input from a group of Southport NEAFL-listed players.

Charlie Ford two goals), Jack Mentha (two), Dylan Mutu (one) and Haydn Kiel (one) carved Labrador up in the 50-metre arc.

And so did Brody Haberfield, who kicked four goals after being moved into attack.

Nick O’Hare was also in on the act with four majors in the demolition derby.
Haberfield was subsequently named Anzac Medal winner for Surfers – and diminutive Alex McKay was named as best for Labrador.

Skipper Kain Ford, Jack Yelland and Harris Newton were among the best for Surfers while Jayden Young, Retzlaff and Dane Watmuff won the nod from Burke as in Labrador’s best.

Surfers Paradise                        3.4,  8.7,  13.9,  19.16  (130)
Labrador                                5.0,  5.0,  5.1,  5.5  (35)

GOALS, Surfers Paradise: B. Haberfield 4, N. O’Hare 4, J. Mentha 2, C. Ford 2, D. Green 2, M. Green 1, D. Van De Werken 1, H. Kiel 1, D. Mutu 1, J. Mitchell 1. Labrador: B. Retzlaff 3, J. Mills 1, H. Barry 1.

BEST, Surfers Paradise: K. Ford, J. Yelland, B. Haberfield, H. Kiel, H. Newton, P. Rankin. Labrador: Young, B. Retzlaff, A. McKay, D. Watmuff, T. Davidson, C. Anderson.

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