By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend
Round 8 of the QAFL Senior men’s competition proved to be one of the best and hotly contested this season. With surprise wins and tight contests; it lived up to the hype and as we hit a crucial part of the season; two wins separate fourth from 11th.
NOOSA 21.9.135 defeated LABRADOR 14.6.90
Sometimes it takes just one win to turn a season for a club and for Noosa; the Round 7 come-from-behind win over Sherwood set itself up for a remarkable win over Labrador, on the road.
The Southern Tigers played its best game of the season with an impressive four-quarter performance against Labrador on a playing surface where conditions generally aren’t suited to high scoring.
Noosa threw the script out of the window when it travelled down the M1 and displayed some remarkable skill and accuracy in front of goal with a 45-point win.
Labrador is one of the most fierce and competitive teams in the QAFL with a team stacked with heavily contested ball winners and strong tacklers; but Saturday proved to be a different tale as Noosa’s leg speed was just a touch too fast.
Noosa kicked a staggering 8.1 to 6.5 in the first half to lead by eight-points. Both teams went goal-for-goal in the third term with the visitors doubling its half-time lead to 16-points heading into the last change.
While Labrador lifted its intensity and accuracy in front of goals (5.0); it was no match for the visitors that enjoyed 14 shots on goal for a staggering return of 9.5; its best quarter of football for the season.
Will O’Dwyer was outstanding in front of goals with six for the winners with Michael Bussey (four) and Aaton Wilson (three) hitting the scoreboard in strong fashion for Noosa.
This was the second consecutive week that it kicked 100 points or more in a game and the only times it has done so this season.
For Labrador, young gun Alex Fyfe impressed with four goals while Joel Edwards and Ben Hughes each kicked two.
It has now lost its past two contests. Its score of 14.6.90 would have been enough to win two of the three matches that it lost prior to this week with RVP’s tally of 92 points the highest score that it conceded in a loss.
Noosa led the inside 50 count 69 to 38 and took 19 marks inside 50 to 7 with Noosa’s Michael Bussey taking five on his own.
WILSTON GRANGE 14.3.87 defeated MAROOCHYDORE 12.7.79
Another epic chapter was added to the growing storied rivalry between the Gorillas and the Kangaroos.
Wilston Grange travelled up to Dominos Park on the Sunshine Coast and after trailing at each of the first three quarters; stormed home with the perfect last quarter to turn a 16-point three-quarter-time deficit into an eight-point win thanks to six straight goals.
With both teams looking for a key win to escape the log-jam in the middle half of the ladder flanking either side of the top six; four points were going to be crucial.
Maroochydore pushed out to a four-point lead at quarter-time which was reduced to three heading into the main change.
The third term looked likely to be the game-breaker for the Roos that slammed home 5.1 to open up a greater lead but the Gorillas stormed home in the final term to win.
Hugh Filder was nothing short of outstanding with seven goals for the winners. With VFL and Under 18 National Championship achievements under his belt; Fidler delivered his best performance at Senior level and a performance that everyone who has followed his career knew he could achieve. He finished the game with 11 kicks, 7.1 and three contested marks; all inside 50.
Mitch Scholard delivered another incredible performance for the Roos with five goals from 17 disposals including five contested marks and five marks inside 50; showcasing to the competition that he is one of the top two must-see forwards in the competition when at his best.
MT GRAVATT 17.8.110 defeated SHERWOOD 7.7.49
The Vultures ended a four-game losing streak when they soared away in the second half to fight off a determined Sherwood outfit.
The Pies were confident from the outset that their best football; and the run of form of their opponents could open the door of securing their first win of the season. Recent form indicated that they could push the best teams for longer periods of the game and hang in matches for a lot longer.
After an even first half that had Mt Gravatt leading by 14-points; the game swung in favour of the home team who opened up with a six goal to one third term to turn a 14-point lead into a 44-point margin.
Mt Gravatt’s defense held firm in the second half despite the gallant efforts from Will Fletcher (30 disposals – 19 contested) and Luke Mitchell (eight clearances) for Sherwood.
Mt Gravatt kicked 10.4 to 2.5 in the second half with Dylan Smith having a day out with five goals with with six marks; all coming inside forward 50 and Joel Leahy enjoying 31 touches.
Sherwood contested well across many leading areas statistically but were just outgunned in the air with Mt Gravatt leading the effective spoils 26-1 and additionally on the inside 50 count; 69 to 38.
ASPLEY 12.9.81 defeated REDLAND VICTORIA POINT 7.9.51
The Hornets arrived at the Tank; they saw; the conquered and returned home victors on Saturday.
The clash between the Sharks and the Hornets; arguably the two front-runners for the 2023 QAFL flag provided a clear indication of who is the hunted; and if it wasn’t clear before the bounce; it is made more clear now.
Aspley led Redland Victoria Point from the opening bounce and played sublime football to push to a 30-point win after leading by four, 24 and 20 at each of the breaks.
The Sharks lost their second consecutive game at home against a hungry opponent; but his Phil Carse and his men; there is zero cause for concern because losses against the premier teams at this point of the season provides ample opportunity to re-access and improve.
As stated in the Preview last week; these two teams could very well be playing in the first of four matches this year; with the final encounter; the final quarter; to crown the 2023 QAFL premier.
Nonetheless; Aspley kicked eight goals to four after quarter-time to seal the five-goal win.
Statistically; RVP led Aspley the disposal count by 88 (354-266); but it was Aspley that led the inside 50 count 56 to 39 with a staggering one in five disposals leading to an inside 50.
Liam Dawson was outstanding for the winners with 15 marks; 14 of which were uncontested in a remarkable performance for the winners to go with 21 kicks and three handballs.
Matt Hammelmann kicked five goals from eight kicks while Jarrod Huddy recorded 10 contested disposals from his 11 touches to go with his 27 hit outs for RVP.
MORNINGSIDE 18.7.115 defeated BROADBEACH 13.15.93
The Panthers have roared back into form with an impressive win against a well-undermanned Broadbeach team.
The blue-print for the Cats has been outstanding with a well-drilled game plan led by some quality coaches but it has struggled with some key medium injuries that has caused chaos through their Colts; Reserves and Senior playing stocks. Despite that; on their day, they are a tremendous force.
However, it was Morningside’s day at Jack Esplen Oval and the 2020 premiers showcased some sublime football that make it one of the most feared teams in the bottom half of the top six.
After trailing by 26-points at half-time; the visiting Broadbeach team put on a staggering 8.3 in the third term to sprint to a 10-point lead.
Morningside responded in the final term with a big haul of its own with 7.1 to come from behind and overrun its 2020 Grand Final opponents to win by 22-points in a quality finish in front of an adoring home crowd.
In just his sixth game of Senior football at the club; Jake Godwin filled in the absence of Keegan Downie with 6.0 from 18 touches and six marks. It wa a performance of pure class and game through opportunity. Mitch Robinson was outstanding with 25 touches and three goals.
Not to be denied; Sam Jasper kicked 5.0 from 13 touches in a performance that fans could not help but admire. Riley Bowman pressed his claims for a re-call into the VFL for Southport with 24 touches; 15 contested possesions; 33 hit outs; 7 clearances and 8 inside 50s in one of the most complete performances from a player this year.
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN 10.16.76 defeated SURFERS PARADISE 10.10.70
In what was dubbed as perhaps the match of the round and one of the most fiercely contested match of the season in the preview; this contest lived up to all of that hype and more.
Surfers Paradise raced away to a 15-point lead at quarter-time with 4.5. It was then held to two goals in each of the remaining three quarters.
PBC cut the quarter-time margin to five-points at the main change and then led by four-points at three-quarter-time. For the statistical minded; PBC kicked 3.5 in each of the middle quarters.
The final term was as strong of an arm-wrestle as fans expected; with PBC edging out its opponents to win by a kick in one of the most intense matches witnessed this season between two teams that; if they met in the finals, would have the most memorable game across the series, regardless of what week it was played in.
Cory Beaman and Carl Nicholson kicked three goals each for the winners while Under 17s star Dylan Patterson was incredible on debut where he kicked a goal; and played Under 14s as recently as last year.
Tom Smith impressed with three goals for Surfers Paradise while Brody Haberfield was all class across half-back.
1 – ASPLEY (26 – 207.74%)
2 – RVP (20 – 135.81%)
3 – MORNINGSIDE (20 – 106.01%)
4 – BROADBEACH (18 – 113.14%)
5 – WILSTON GRANGE (16 – 117.37%)
6 – PBC (16 – 83.85%)
7 – Surfers Paradise (12 – 111.42%)
8 – Labrador – (12 – 97.33%)
9 – Mt Gravatt (12 – 82.87%)
10 – Maroochydore (8 – 80.53%)
11 – Noosa (8 – 78.79%)
12 – Sherwood (0 – 57.24%)