Cats and Panthers set for a mighty midfield skirmish
By TERRY WILSON
IT is a fitting way for the most unusual QAFL home-and-away series in history to have two unbeaten sides going at it in a mouth-watering final round on Saturday.
Broadbeach and Morningside have been the best two clubs in 2020 and one of them, barring a draw, will emerge from their clash at Subaru Oval as minor premiers.
And what a spectacle this fixture promises to be as first-placed Broadbeach (239.39 per cent) take on Morningside (161.65 per cent).
Because of the coronavirus pandemic it has been a shortened season and resulted in probably an unprecedented situation of two unbeaten sides clashing in the final round of regular fixtures.
And rival coaches Craig O’Brien (Broadbeach) and Clint Watts (Morningside) know that whichever side takes control of the midfield action will be well on the way to victory.
In the Broadbeach corner we have a group comprising Brad Lowe, Max Lower, Blake Erickson, Tyrone Armitage, Benji Neal, Brandon Chadwick and Jackson Fisher. They can all play a variety of positions but are adept at midfield duties.
In the Panther camp there are champion Matty Payne, Henry Joyce, James Cowlishaw, Lachlan Russ, Brad Howard and Will Pendlebury.
Unfortunately the Panthers have lost another on-ball star in Jack Rolls who, like Brad Dale, is out with a hamstring strain.
“They have the best midfield in the competition,” noted O’Brien.
“Matty Payne is an elite player and they are so well structured around the stoppages. They bat very deep there.
“But so do we, so it’ll all about clearances.”
Broadbeach have recalled star forward Jordan Moncrieff, Tyrone Armitage, Harrison Arnold and Benji Neal after a selected 23 that hinged heavily around the points system.
Morningside brought in Alex Nelson and Ryan Dadds for injured Aspley-listed Rolls and Dale.
Watts said he had looked at Broadbeach’s performance via video footage and he has been impressed by what he has seen.
“They have some talented players in there – and a very good ruckman in Jed Turner,” he said.
The main goal for the Panthers, Watts said, is to reproduce the form they showed when they thumped Palm Beach Currumbin last week.
Elsewhere in the final round Labrador host Sherwood at Cooke-Murphy Oval, Palm Beach Currumbin are playing Mt Gravatt at Salk Oval and premiers Surfers Paradise are playing Maroochydore at Sir Bruce Small Park.Maroochydore (12 points) can get to as high as fourth if they beat Surfers Paradise at Sir Bruce Small Park, provided either/or Sherwood or Mt Gravatt losing.
A finish of fourth for the first round of play-offs would get competition newcomers Maroochydore a home knockout qualifying final next weekend when fourth plays fifth and third plays sixth.
But Sherwood will be favourites to beat the Tigers at Cooke-Murphy Oval and if they do that they will hold on to fourth.
QAFL Round 9 Team Lists