By Beth Newman
1. No Maybes for Abey
Morningside coach, David Lake, left it up to Kent Abey to tell him when he’d be ready to return from a broken leg, and it turned out the Panthers co-captain was a pretty good judge of that. Three goals in the first term, five overall, and the key forward shrugged off any question marks about his match fitness. A great reader of the game, Abey didn’t miss a beat against Labrador, with some strong marks. While he kicked a bag, the veteran was involved in plenty more scores on the day.
2. Palmer can play
New Broadbeach ruckman, Brayde Palmer, played in SEQAFL Div 3 last year, but he had no trouble lifting to the QAFL stage on Sunday. The 21 year-old is still pretty raw, but he showed in just the one game that he has huge potential, taking some good grabs as well. With the Cats needing some talls this year, Palmer has come in at the right time and could be a key player for them through the season.
3. Survival of the fittest
Every game was played in crazy conditions on the weekend, each more bizarre than the last. The sweltering humidity of Saturday was replaced by a torrential shower on Sunday, with reserves games called early in the intense downpour. The teams that copped the best with the conditions were the ones who won out, in matches that turned into wars of attrition. Cramps were the killers for a number of teams over the course of the weekend, and those who could get through generally nabbed a win.
4. Next generation standing up
While the talk was on some of the more experienced guys in the lead up to round one, it ended up being the younger players who took the reins as the matches ran their course. Surfers’ Chevy Palmer, Sandgate’s Nick Jackson, Scott Miller at UQ, Bill Pendlebury at Morningside and Brad Scheer at Palm Beach to name a few, were all impressive. No doubt there’ll be a few coaches happy with those youngsters who were thrown into the deep end this weekend, and it won’t be the last we see of any of these rising stars.
5. Gorillas go alright at night.
Wilston Grange and Western Magpies played out a Saturday night match on the weekend, in front of an impressive crowd. A physical contest between two potential contenders was a solid start for the timeslot. The Gorillas will play an ANZAC eve match against Sandgate in round 3, and you can expect plenty more people to head down to that after Saturday night, particularly with Wilston Grange nabbing a first-up win.