Wilston Grange 10.17.77 defeated Palm Beach Currumbin 10.8.68
With one minute to go, it all to play for, and just three points in it, this one was always going to break one teams heart.
When the siren went, it was the Lions left lying on the ground, shattered, wondering what might have been, as 2015 was ended prematurely.
As for the Gorillas, their win locks in a top three finish, a double chance, and a massive clash with the Magpies next Saturday at Yeronga.
There was a clear trend in the first half. The Gorillas would jump out of the blocks, pile on two or three goals, like they did in the first through Kuret, Williams, and Nixon-Smith, before the Lions would peg them back late.
Goals to Brookes, Harrison and Stubbs, all in time on in the first quarter, gave the Lions a three-point lead at the first change, but the Gorillas missed some very getable goals.
Wilston Grange opened it right up in early in the second. They kicked the first four of the quarter, and it looked like they were going to run away with it.
They were on top in the middle, poised with the football, and were finishing off in front of the sticks.
With their season slipping away, Palm Beach responded in the best way possible.
Jones changed the tempo with one from a set shot, before youngster Jackson Collins kicked two in 30 seconds.
At half time, the Gorillas lead was 11-points.
As they teams came out for the second half, so did the rain, and it must be said, the Lions reveled in it.
Todd Bryant was like a kid on Christmas. His straight lining of the contest was getting the ball going the Lions’ way, and they were up and about.
Palm Beach kicked all three third quarter goals, to go in to the final break eight-points up.
The last quarter was everything you would expect.
It was tense, there was a copious amount of pressure, there were nerves, there were errors, and there were heroes.
Both teams left absolutely nothing in the tank, but the Gorillas had a bit more polish.
Foster kicked one at the 13-minute mark to put them one-point in front, but they couldn’t shake off Palm Beach.
Palm Beach’s last roll of the dice came with one minute to go. They took the ball down the far win, ran in numbers, and put a long ball in 35 meters out.
There was one bloke in the way though, Frazer Eaton, who refused to let the ball past him multiple times in the last quarter. Massive.
As Seamus McDonnell’s goal sailed through the posts, the siren went
The Gorillas had done it. They are guaranteed at least two more games this year, a position Palm Beach would have loved to be in.
Matt Trewhella – Wilston Grange
“It was just a really tough game.
“We said if their good players played well, they would stay in the game, and their good players played exceptionally well.
“I thought we were going to kick ourselves out of it though. They were getting momentum from out misses.
“We got the win in the end, and some of our guys had some big last quarters.”
Chad Owens – Palm Beach
“They did every single thing we asked them to do today, at the end of the day, we probably just lacked that little bit of polish.
“Defensively I thought we were super, our kids were massive today.
“They had a few blokes down, but they found a way to win.
“At the end of the day, we don’t go through, and that hurts.”
Broadbeach 24.16.160 defeated Sandgate 7.8.50
Broadbeach’s revival this year has been the biggest turnaround of 2015.
At the half way point of the year, the Cats had won two games of footy. Now, they are preparing for an elimination final against Morningside next week.
Games like yesterday, where they go in heavy favorites, have seen a few slip ups from the Cats this year. Not this weekend.
They had too much to play for against Sandgate, who pushed them early, but were ran off their feet in the end.
Searl kicked the first of the afternoon for the Cats in the opening two minutes, before Aden Rutledge responded for the Hawks five minutes later.
It was a very free flowing game of football in the first quarter, which was evenly poised early, before the Cats just started to creep away late.
A Sam Gribble goal close to the quarter time siren cut the Cats lead to eight-points at the first break.
The second quarter was when Broadbeach put the foot on the throat.
They kicked 10 goals to Sandgate’s one, including three to Stevenson, to sail off into the sunset.
At half time, the Cats were 63-points up.
Jordan Maynard came out and kicked the first of the second half for Sandgate, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding. The Cats were on a mission.
At the last break, they were 80-points up, and were staring down the barrel of a finals berth.
The Cats did what they needed to do in the last, running out 110-point winners, with Hayley finishing with nine goals.
Their link up game and pressure was too strong for the Hawks, who can now rest up and focus on 2016 after a battered and bruised second half of 2015.
Cancel the post season holiday, Cats fans, 2015 is still alive.
Brett Andrews – Broadbeach
“Every time this year we have had to win, we have, so you have to have confidence in that.
“I was just happy that we stuck to it for all four quarters.
“Once we ran and got it out wide, we were hard to stop. We spread really well today and the discipline was good.
“Now we are here, hopefully we can give it a shake.”
Graham Adams – Sandgate
“We are disappointed with today, but now we have to move on and try and get things right for next year.
“Our first quarter was good, but probably after that we didn’t have too many positives.
“They are a good side, they play some good footy, and will really test a few sides.”
Labrador 27.22.184 defeated Mt Gravatt 7.6.48
It might not have been the contest they were after, but four quarters of sublime football is the next best thing for Labrador as they head into September.
They were comprehensive in every aspect of the game against Mt Gravatt. They have sent a real message out to the rest of the competition that their form is as good as ever.
As for the Vultures, 2015 caught up with them this weekend. There wasn’t much left in the tank to give.
Josh Baxter, who finished with a whopping 11 goals to take out the league goal-kicking crown, started the day in the best way possible, but the Vultures jumped the better.
A couple of goals to Saunders and one to Crawley had them 12-points up 10 minutes into the game.
That was when Labrador flicked the switch.
They piled on the next five of the quarter to lead by 20-points at the first break.
Labrador had the Vultures on the ropes for the rest of the day.
They kicked nine goals to one in the second quarter to head into the sheds 71-points up, and that was pretty much the ball game.
They could have put the cue in the rack in the second half, knowing the job was done and finals were just around the corner, but they were relentless.
At three quarter time, they skipped out to a 101-point lead, and when the final siren rang, it was a 136-point win.
A win of that magnitude takes hitting the finals with a full head of steam to a whole new level.
Rest up, Tigers, the real stuff starts now.
Steve Daniel – Labrador
“It’s not really what you want heading into the finals series, but we are really happy with the way we went about things.
“We had a really good start, and we stuck to our basic structures really well.
“Lets not hide the fact also that these bigger grounds suit us a lot more. We won’t shy away from that.
“I think there was a patch for about a month where we were just going through the motions, and we got found out a couple of times, so it was nice to be as comprehensive as that.
“The seasons over, and the real stuff now begins.”
Brad Pollock – Mt Gravatt
“I think our boys had the cue in the rack today. It was a perfect storm.
“Labrador took full advantage today, they were exceptional.
“The boys are just worn out. We copped a lot of injuries today, which didn’t help, but we just looked like a team that had reached the end of it’s tether.
“Once they hit their straps, they looked more like AFL players.”
Morningside 13.12.90 defeated Surfers Paradise 11.9.75
The Demons went down swinging, but Morningside had a nice little tune up before their finals campaign.
They did the work early, so that when Surfers Paradise came back at them, like they were always going to do, they didn’t have to panic too much, knowing there is bigger fish to fry next week.
Surfers were the better team in the opening ten minutes, being very proactive with ball in hand, but could only put two goals on the board through Fraser and Corbett.
When Morningside settled, they were able to get the game on their terms, and make the most of it.
In a ten-minute period, they put on four unanswered goals, to lead by 23 at the first change.
The Panthers turned it on in the second quarter, and it was all starting from the back half.
Nick Tomlinson was best on ground in game 250, setting up the play beautifully by foot.
It was two goals a piece for the quarter at the 20 minute mark, but Abey was able to kick two, and Niland-Rowe one, in red time to give the Panthers a handy 46-point lead at the main break.
As the rain started to fall in the second half, the Demons stepped up to the plate.
Daniel Green was an absolute bull in the middle. His work rate was elite.
Surfers brought themselves right back into the contest in a five goal to one quarter, to trail by 20-points at the final break.
They threw everything at them, but just couldn’t bridge the gap. Morningside did what they needed to do in the last, getting the win, and more importantly, staying healthy for next Sunday’s do or die clash with Broadbeach.
When the siren rang, Morningside were 15-points in front.
That may be the last time we see the Surfers Paradise seniors this year, but they can hold their heads high. They had a crack all year, and have laid a foundation for a red-hot go in 2016.
David Lake – Morningside
“Our first half was really good. If I’m honest, once it started raining I think some of our blokes started thinking about next week.
“We did the work early though, which was nice.
“In the wet, their skill level was probably higher than ours, but we did what we needed to do.
“It was good to get the win, get away unscathed, and now we can focus on this weekend.”
Peter Young – Surfers Paradise
“I thought we started really well, but they settled and got on top.
“We panicked a little bit in the second quarter.
“We got the run on in the last quarter, but we missed a couple of easy ones, and just ran out of time in the end.
“They are a really good side, full credit to them. It’s good to see where we are at against a top side like them.
“We are there abouts, we go into next year with some real confidence.”
Western Magpies 17.12.113 defeated UQ 8.9.57
Hear that? That’s the sound of the Magpies attack looking for a bit of the limelight, because it’s definitely as impressive as their defence.
When we think of the Magpies, we think of their team ethos this year, ‘defence first’, but what is just as impressive, is their ability to score on the rebound as well.
Stopping UQ has been no easy feat lately, but the Magpies were able to set up in a way that choked them in through the middle, and limited their inside 50’s by taking away their short kick.
It was a tight tussle early, with both teams locked on 13-points at quarter time, but the scoring opening up in the second.
The Magpies kicked five, but UQ’s two goals kept them within touch.
Matt Davis was racking up the touches for the Magpies, and Darren Pfeiffer seemed to be everywhere for the Red Lions.
The third quarter was when the Magpies showed why they are second on the ladder, and why they are a real show at pinching a flag this year.
They hunted in packs, with their targets in red and blue, and then put the hammer down once they got the ball in their hands.
They piled on seven unanswered goals to blow the game to smithereens, and put the result beyond doubt with a 61-point three quarter time lead.
It wasn’t the overall result they wanted, but the Lions were able to send the year off with a last quarter win, kicking four goals to three, to cut the deficit to 57-points by the end of the game.
It’s show time now for the men in black and white. First act is the Gorillas next Saturday.
Glenn Humphrey – Western Magpies
“It was good to get the win, we were clinical when we needed to be. We understood what they were trying to achieve and trying to do, but we took that ability away from them, by covering their use of the football early on.
“Our third quarter was reasonably special, we did the hard work early, and were good enough to finish off.
“Now it’s finals footy, this week is a new game, it’s different to what we have done so far.”
Gareth Begley – UQ Captain
“It was disappointing, we have been playing good footy but couldn’t stitch it together yesterday.
“Their contested ball in the middle broke us apart toward the end unfortunately.
“They bottled us up really well, we just broke down on the half forward line. That was the difference.”
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles