By Terry Wilson
Photo: Morningside Panthers (Facebook)
Vultures poleaxed by the Panthers
Morningside 4.2, 6.4, 13.10, 21.17 (143)
Mt Gravatt 0.4, 3.9, 3.10, 5.11 (41)
GOALS: Morningside: K. Abey 5, E. Mallan 5, A. Mitchell 3, M. Graham 2, B. Hodge 2, J. Rayner 1, L. Russ 1, S. Godfrey 1, A. Evans 1; Mt Gravatt: J. Leahy 1, J. Green 1, A. Boon 1, J. Bain 1, Z. Stone 1
BEST: Morningside: A. Nash, C. Wearne, J. Cowlishaw, K. Abey, E. Mallan, S. Lundie-Jenkins; Mt Gravatt: J. Craven, M. Hamill, J. London, F. Neate
MORNINGSIDE turned on one of their most powerhouse performances in years when they thrashed cross-city rivals Mt Gravatt by a whopping 102 points at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday.
In a completely unexpected result, in terms of the final margin, the Panthers scored by 21.17 (143) to 5.11 (41) in the Brisbane derby.
Even Morningside coach Steve Wildschut agreed that the huge victory came completely out of the blue given it was an even contest up to half-time with the home side only 13 points ahead.
But after the break the game was turned on its head as the Panthers built on their hard early work to complete a rousing win.
“I don’t know what happened after half-time,” Wildschut said when asked for reasons behind the Panther explosion.
“They were obviously down on troops but it came from leftfield. We did all our work early which opened up the game but they (Mt Gravatt) won the second quarter and at half-time it was anyone’s game.”
As the Vultures kept losing troops the Panthers pounced and kicked 7.6 to a point in the third term and finished off with 8.8 to 2.1 to complete the rout.
If the Vultures needed some sort of reason for the dark afternoon they could throw up the late-Friday withdrawals of Redlands NEAFL listed pair Brad Howard and Brendan Telford.
They then lost Isaac Wiencke (concussion) in the first quarter, key ruckman Andrew Smith (shoulder) in the third and Jimmy London (hamstring) in the fourth.
Coach Daniel Webster was loath to use the loss of so many players as an excuse.
“The first half was even with both teams going hammer and tongs but they converted better than we did,” Webster said of the first term when the Panthers kicked 4.2 to 0.4.
“Morningside are a physical team and they were too good on the day.
“So that’s it, we move on.”
The returns from injury of stars Alastair Nash and Matt Logan played key roles in the Panther landslide, particularly 170-gamer Nash who was handed a different job.
“He has been driving us down back but we gave him a new role through the middle and he certainly showed his value to us, as did Matt down back as well.”
Campbell Wearne, the son of Stephen who played AFL reserves for the Brisbane Bears then three AFL games for Melbourne, was also a spark in the midfield.
Up front, and relishing so much ball supply, Kent Abey and Aspley-listed Eddie Mallan both kicked five goals.
For the Vultures teenager Jasper Craven continued to show promise and two others to hold up their ends were Mick Hamill and Jimmy London.
Magpies come from behind to beat Tigers
Western Magpies 2.3, 6.7, 9.9, 12.12 (84)
Labrador 3.1, 7.2, 8.6, 10.8 (68)
GOALS: Western Magpies: W. Johnson 3, A. Corrie 3, L. Dwyer 3, K. Reed 2, B. Jaenke-Cain 1; Labrador: R. Coombe 2, C. Mullins 2, B. Retzlaff 2, M. Johnston 1, C. Talbot 1, D. Budarick 1, S. Walker 1
BEST: Western Magpies: B. Allen, S. Mills, W. Johnson, L. Winton, D. Lewis, K. Reed; Labrador: B. Retzlaff, W. Mills, D. Budarick, A. Clarke, B. Carter, S. Walker
WESTERN Magpies coach Brydan Morgan was expecting a tough afternoon against Labrador – and he was not disappointed when the sides clashed at McCarthy Homes Oval on Saturday.
The Magpies, ever-emerging as genuine flag contenders, had to come from behind at half-time before seeing off the 2015/16 QAFL premiers Labrador by 12.12 (84) to 10.8 (68) in what Morgan described as a dour, arm-wrestle.
“I had a feeling that this was going to be a tough one and it certainly was,” Morgan said.
“They took it up to us, and so they should because they still have a good side.
“They had a real crack so it was credit to us to grind out a win against still quality opposition so that was pleasing for us.
“It was a grind, just a lot of pressure, a real arm-wrestle and to get a close win was good for us.”
There is a lot to like about the way the Magpies have come back from a 0-3 start to the new season to be sitting fourth on the ladder with a 4-3 record and a significant percentage of 146.11.
That is a pretty impressive number given the way the Magpies started the year. It ranks third behind only leaders Palm Beach Currumbin (181.77) and second-placed Broadbeach (167.56) and looks likely to come in very handy around finals time.
All this came after Labrador led at quarter-time (by 3.1 to 2.3) and at half-time (by 7.2 to 6.7).
The Magpies wrested back control and took a nine-point lead into the final term when the Tigers threatened again with the first two goals of the last term to hit the lead.
But that was it as the home side steadied at the business end with the last three goals of the match.
Best for the Magpies were defenders Brady Allen and Steve Mills and Billy Johnson also started at the back before being moved to a wing.
Johnson finished with three majors, two of them in his role on a half-back flank.
The Tigers had skipper and key forward Bryce Retzlaff and 2017 Grogan Medallist Wayde Mills as their best.
Big Dan returns with a bang
Surfers Paradise 3.2, 5.6, 10.11, 17.17 (119)
Wilston Grange 3.1, 6.2, 10.5, 14.8 (92)
GOALS: Surfers Paradise: D. Green 7, J. Graham 2, T. Howard 2, M. Doran 1, R. LeFeuvre 1, D. Van De Werken 1, K. Ford 1, J. Foster 1, H. Fraser 1; Wilston Grange: J. Daye 5, B. Nelis 3, B. Beardsell 3, R. Thomson 2, H. Milford 1
BEST: Surfers Paradise: C. Haberfield, T. Howard, M. Doran, J. Taylor, D. Green, J. Prestegar; Wilston Grange: N. Dennis, M. Lawler, R. Thomson, B. Beardsell, B. Nelis, C. Luers
CLUB favourite Dan Green returned from illness with a bang as he spearheaded Surfers Paradise to a vital win against Wilston Grange at Sir Brice Small Park on Saturday.|
The big forward, who was 2015 QAFL Ray Hughson Medallist, was playing his first Senior game since mid-2017 when he was struck down by what was thought to be a liver complaint.
However, given the medical all-clear, Green was back in action for the Dees and capped his comeback with seven goals as the Demons beat the Gorillas by 17.17 (119) to 14.8 (92).
But it was all about helping his team to four precious premiership points that was the main thing for then 31-year-old.
“It was good for the boys to finally get a win,” the big bloke said.
“They’d been playing really well so it was good to finally get one under their belt and get to 4-4 half-way through the year.”
Coach Brad Moore knows exactly what a fit and firing Green means up forward for Surfers.
“He is fantastic – it is just what he brings to the team,” Moore said.
“It’s not just his own performance individually, it’s what he brings, it’s all about everyone around him.
“He sets everyone up and everyone walks taller, especially our younger kids.”
Wilston Grange took it right up to the Dees and it was a pity that the final scoreline did not do justice to the effort put in.
The Gorillas constantly opened up Surfers with clearances from centre bounces and around-the-ground contests in what was a tough battle all through until the home side skipped clear at the finish.
“It was a nail-biter and I was actually surprised by the score,” Moore said. “I didn’t realise we got away by five goals in the end.”
Both sides copped a fair share of injuries with the Dees having only one fit player on the bench in the final quarter and the Gorillas only slightly better with two on the pine.
It was an entertaining, enjoyable contest with two dominant forwards in Green and Joey Daye (six goals), plenty of individual battles and a number of skirmishes.
Surfers were 28 points ahead towards the end of the second quarter before a see-sawing third period when the Grange led by 14 at one stage.
In the final term the Gorillas got to within two points after 20 minutes before the late run by the home side when Matt Doran kicked a wonderful 45-metre tightly-angled goal and iced the cake with his sixth and seventh majors.
Cassidy Haberfield staged a running battle with a number of Gorillas to be best for the winners, who also had centre half-forward Tom Howard, Doran and Jack Taylor in fine fettle.
For the Grange Nate Dennis, Myles Lawler, Ryan Thomson and Billy Beardsell were standouts in a side that is getting closer and closer to a win.
Broadbeach get double bonus
Broadbeach 4.6, 10.14, 17.21, 26.24 (180)
Sandgate 2.0, 4.1, 4.1, 5.2 (32)
GOALS: Broadbeach: M. Fowler 9, B. Chadwick 3, J. O’Shea 3, X. McMahon 2, B. Neal 2, H. Kerr 2, S. Watson 2, R. Finn 1, N. Kempe 1, B. Erickson 1; Sandgate: J. Preval 2, J. Harding 1, R. McBride 1, M. Crawley 1
BEST: Broadbeach: B. Erickson, E. Panozza, M. Fowler, B. Chadwick, S. Watson, S. Rogers; Sandgate: J. Harding, J. Preval, K. Dennis, T. Marango, B. McElligott, J. Patching
THE news was good on two fronts for Broadbeach after their slashing defeat of Sandgate at Lemke Road Oval on Saturday.
Not long after the Cats kicked one of the club’s highest scores in recent memory – they won by 26.24 (180) to 5.2 (32) – they were handed an unexpected bonus courtesy of a result from across Brisbane when Morningside thrashed Mt Gravatt at Jack Esplen Oval.
Mt Gravatt’s 102-point demise handed second spot on the ladder over to Broadbeach, who joined the Vultures on 24 points but boasting a percentage of 167.56 to 98.46.
“That (Morningside result) was a huge bonus for us,” Cats coach Brett Andrews said. “I’m still in shock – Morningside winning by 100 points? I did not expect that at all.”
Andrews said the dominating performance by his side was the most polished effort of the season and convinced him that his players are starting to realise they have genuine flag claims.
“The intensity at training is picking up and the boys are learning they have to fight for their spots, that a first grade game is not a given.”
Sandgate tried hard but clearly lacked the overall experience and class of Broadbeach who were only three goals up at quarter-time but put on six goals to two in the second term.
“Sandgate have a young side and were pretty competitive early,” Andrews said. “We just had to go to work and I thought we were good, actually.”
Former Gold Coast Suns triallist Matt Fowler’s season gets better and better, the key forward kicking nine goals for the Cats to back up his eight from last week.
“I think he had 16 shots at goal,” Andrews said of fowler, who has now joined Palm Beach Currumbin’s Jarryd Douglas in the race for the season’s leading goalkicker, both now sitting on 28 goals.
Blake Erickson on the ball, was best for the Cats though, adding hard work to polish with the skills.
Skipper Evan Panozza, last year’s best and fairest, again stood out when used in the middle and Brendan Chadwick was useful throughout.
For the Hawks Jordan Harding, Josh Preval, youngster Kian Dennis and Toara Marango, back from Brisbane Lions NEAFL duties, were all triers throughout.