Lions trounce the Vultures and the Magpies march on
By TERRY WILSON
PALM Beach Currumbin will prepare for a knockout showdown against Morningside next weekend in a battle for a place in this year’s QAFL grand final.
The Lions booked a revenge shot at the Panthers after an impressive win over Mt Gravatt in an elimination final sat Salk Oval on Saturday, powering to victory by 18.10 (118) to 7.14 (56).
This was after Mt Gravatt led by two points at quarter-time before things went base-up.
From quarter-time on the Vultures kicked 4.12 to PBC’s 15.10. Those statistics summed up perfectly the domination the Lions asserted over the visitors.
The win gives PBC the chance to avenge a horrible loss the last time they visited Morningside territory at Jack Esplen Oval when they were hammered by 16.17 (113) to 9.7 (61).
Last weekend, though, and a week after beating the Vultures by eight goals, the same teams went at it again and a seemingly rejuvenated Lions outfit was just too good all over the ground.
It is worth noting that with three key performers – midfielders Jason Burge and Tom Thynne along with defender Jackson Emblem – back in the side, the Lions regained their mojo that went missing against Morningside in the eighth round.
It is also worth noting that Burge, Thynne and Emblem, in that order, were at the top of the PBC best players list.
Surprisingly ruck pair Jon Croad and Brayden Crossley missed that best-players group but they were outstanding and gave champion Mt Gravatt big man Andrew Smith a solid working-over.
Also a reinvigorated utility Nick Crowley, used in a variety of roles this season by coach Jess Sinclair, fired up appreciably at centre half-forward and kicked 4.1.
Jamison Shea (3.0) and Max Spencer (3.2) joined Crowley in providing the Lions with multiple avenues in attack.
In the opposite camp only Jonah Licht (3.3) threatened danger but after two goals in the opening term, was well held by the veteran Emblem.
Mt Gravatt fielded a very young side and could not match it with their more experienced opponents. Joel Leahy tried hard in the tough going but found the opposition midfielders overwhelming.
For Mt Gravatt the result made it three times in a row they have lost an elimination final on the Gold Coast.
It followed on losses to Surfers Paradise in 1998 and to Broadbeach last year.
In Brisbane on Saturday the brave run of competition newcomers Maroochydore ended when they lost their elimination final to Sherwood at McCarthy Homes Oval.
The Magpies got home by 8.14 (62) to 8.9 (57) but only after they trailed the Roos by 10 points at half-time and by 20 points at three-quarter time.
It was in the fourth stanza when the challenge was issued that the Magpies dug deep.
They turned possible finals elimination into a positive victory that has earned them a shot at unbeaten Broadbeach in a preliminary final next weekend on the Gold Coast.
Four unanswered goals in the term – the Roos kicked only two behinds – got them home.
The Magpies’ best two players, Will Fletcher and Ryan Harwood, kicked telling goals in the late comeback.
Joining them in the Magpies’ best were on-baller Riley Easton and towering young ruck Samson Ryan.
For the Roos, who have had a good return to the state league, Jai Larkins, possible club best and fairest Josh Govan and Jacob Simpson did well.