Submitted by Chris Yeend
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN is through to the QAFL Senior Men’s Semi-Finals after defeating Labrador by five-points at Cooke-Murphy Oval on Saturday.
After trailing by as much as 23-points at the 18.5-minute mark of the third term; the Lions kicked five of the last six goals of the game to record a famous victory; 10.8.68 to 9.9.63.
For Labrador; this was the third loss in home finals across its past two finals campaigns by less than a goal under coach Nick Malceski.
ANDERSON ON FIRE
Labrador won the toss and elected to kick with the breeze in the opening term. The first 10 minutes had the ball moving quickly from one end of the ground to the other with PBC working incredibly hard defensively to halt scoring opportunities from its opponents.
The feeling across the term was that if Labrador scored the opening goal of the game; more would follow pretty quickly and that’s exactly how it unfolded.
Cooper Anderson kicked the opening goal 12-minutes into the term with a clever snap; and added his second just minutes later to open up a handy 13-point buffer.
When Jake Goldsmith marked and kicked truly on a 45-degree angle 45-metres out from goal; the Tigers had kicked three goals in 4.5-minutes of play as the lead surged to 20-points.
Malachi Dumas added some spark for the Lions with a strong mark and goal early into time-on before Anderson pounced again just moments later for his third from a clever snap and the home team surged to a 21-point lead at the first break; 4.3.27 to 1.0.6.
GOLDSMITH COSTLY; LIONS CAPITALISE
With Lachy Henderson given the license to occupy space in the defensive 30; PBC was forced to be more creative with its forward 50 entries to try and shut the former AFL star out of the game.
Jed Walter marked strongly for the Lions in the opening few minutes to cut the margin back to 15-points and when Corey Beaman marked and kicked truly from close range; the lead was trimmed down to single digits.
Jake Goldsmith was left to count the cost of his poor kicking for the term. After missing a shot at half forward late in the first term; he found himself getting plenty of opportunities at right half forward in the second term. Unfortunately for the Tigers, he kicked four points from set shots in 25-minutes either side of quarter time that perhaps would have killed the resistance from the Lions in the first half.
PBC added 3.0 for the term in trying conditions while Labrador recorded five points as it led by eight-points at half-time; 4.8.32 to 4.0.24.
GOLDSMITH RETURNS FIRE; BEAMAN GOES AERIAL
Jake Goldsmith was the main target up forward for Labrador. With Tom Simpson, Jake Young and Matt Lee winning the ball from half-back and through the middle; Goldsmith became near unstoppable.
He marked and kicked the opening goal of the second half with the lead pushed to 13-points at the three-minute mark.
The highlight of the day (excluding the last score of the game) belonged to Cory Beaman. With the ball kicked deep into the forward line; Beaman launched over several opponents with a remarkable grab; and then after recovering; went back and slotted the goal at the five-minute mark of the term.
Labrador however, lifted through the midfield and its height in the forward line exposed PBC in a big way. Christian Buyx-Smith presented well and Paddy Turner pushed further up the ground as it won the contested grabs in key areas.
Buyx-Smith kicked a crucial goal and Goldsmith added a pair as the lead ballooned out to 23-points at the 18.5-minute mark of the third term. It looked likely that the Tiger machine was ready to click through a few gears and put the game away. At that point, Goldsmith had kicked 4.4 with all shots on goal coming from set shots.
However; with what PBC lacked in height defensively, it made the most of its shorter size up forward with Dumas, Ethan Sekac and Beaman all winning lots of of the ball at ground level with Dumas putting in the performance of a life-time.
The key moment of the game came when Sekac had a set shot on goal after the siren from close range and the kick split the big sticks to cut the margin back to 14-points and end a run of five-straight-misses.
That goal was massive as the Lions would resume the game kicking with the wind.
SEKAC IS THE HERO
With Labrador showcasing stronger bodies and greater height; PBC captain Tommy Thynne took the game into his own hands. His second half was nothing short of extraordinary. His kicks often hit targets and he took on the workload in the midfield, in the absence of Tyler Cornish for the season.
Beaman kicked a crucial goal inside the third minute and Cam O’Leary kicked an impressive goal from the pocket; and when Dumas added his third from close range; the Lions kicked four goals from set shots in less than eight-minutes (including the goal on three quarter-time) and took the lead by four-points.
Labrador looked stunned before Luke Coombes stepped up. After having the job on former Lion/Sun Michael Rischetelli for most of the day, and arguably the better player of the two; Coombes created some separation on his opponent and kicked a big time goal at the 12-minute mark to restore the lead by just two-points.
The next 17-minutes was as close to an arm wrestle as you would get with both teams matching each other defensively. With the margin at one point and 70 seconds left on the clock; Palm Beach Currumbin carried the ball from half back to deep inside its forward line; where Sekac found himself in the right spot at the right time under enormous pressure and his snap from inside 30 metres out sailed through for a goal and put the Lions back in front.
The siren sounded less than 60-seconds later to end an incredible battle with Palm Beach Currumbin advancing to the next stage of the finals and Labrador bowing out of the finals race again at home to pure heartbreak.
REDLAND-VICTORIA POINT held off a fast-finishing Noosa outfit to keep its finals hopes alive with an impressive 14-point win at home in the other Men’s Elimination Final.
The Sharks ran hot early, kicking six of the first seven goals of the contest to open up a handy 32-point lead. Noosa clawed its way back as both teams traded goals in one of the highest-scoring first quarters of the season; (90-points) as the Sharks led 9.2.56 to 4.0.24.
Noosa’s accuracy in front of goal was outstanding in the second term as it soared back into contention with 5.1 to 1.2 in the term to trim a 32-point deficit to just nine.
The third term started off in incredible fashion as the Tigers kicked the opening goal of the half to trim the lead to just three-points; 64-61.
This is where the Sharks stood firm; and they hammered home five of the next seven goals of the quarter to lead by 20-points at the main change.
RVP kicked the opening goal of the final term and held its determined opposition at bay to win by 14-points; 16.6.102 to 14.4.88 and secure a date with PBC in a knock-out Semi-Final.
Matt Hammelmann kicked four goals for the winners while Ethan Johnstone and Aaron Wilson combined with nine of the 14 goals for Noosa.
Maroorchydore came from 20-points down at quarter-time to kick 7.6 to 3.2 in the final three quarters to defeat Wilston Grange by eight-points at Labrador; 7.7.49 to 6.5.41.
Lochie O’Toole was outstanding for the winners while Jackson Gordon tried hard for the Gorillas.
Palm Beach Currumbin kept its season alive with an impressive 10-point over Broadbeach. The Lions trailed by eight-points heading into the final term before kicking four goals to one to secure a gutsy victory; 11.10.76 to 10.6.66.
Cameron Poharama was outstanding with five goals for the winners while a familiar face in the form of Nathan Ablett was outstanding for Broadbeach who will look to bounce back next season.
Labrador sent a major statement to the rest of the competition with an impressive 57-point win over Sherwood; 13.8.86 to 4.5.29.
The Tigers kicked four goals in each of the final two quarters to secure the victory. Alex Fyfe and Ky Nicholls impressed for the Tigers while Jasper Knight and Owen Capling tried hard for the Pies.
Broadbeach came from behind in the first quarter against Wilston Grange to send home 10 goals to four after the opening break to secure an impressive 38-point win; 12.5.77 to 6.3.39.
Cooper; Jeffrey, Kerr and Wells all kicked two for the winners while Ty Gallop was unstoppable with his strong height up forward with four goals for the Gorillas.