QFA Div 4 Finals Preview

QFA Division 4 Major Semi final (1 v 2)

Zillmere (13-1-2) v Western Magpies (10-1-5)

O’Callaghan Park, Zillmere @ 7:30pm


It’s that time of year where the winter chill is passing and the warm spring days are beginning to appear in time for some cracking QFA division 4 finals.

Week one of the finals will see 3rd place Sandgate have the home ground advantage against 4th place Morningside and minor premiers Zillmere against the 2nd place Western Magpies at Zillmere.

The Magpies will be hoping to finally beat Zillmere this season when it counts the most, after losing all three encounters this season.

The last loss came in round 14 where the Magpies almost snatched victory with a four goal to one last term to go down by a point.

Western Magpies coach and key forward Chris Mihalopaulos has taken some confidence out of the close loss.

“Quite a bit of confidence given the fact that we were beyond by four to five goals going into that last quarter. Also, that if we can play that brand of footy that we showed in that last quarter for four quarters then we are more than capable of beating any team in this competition,” said Mihalopaulos.

Zillmere Eagles coach Ben Long also agrees with Mihalopaulos that the footy the Magpies produced in that last term is a dangerous brand that can challenge his Eagles.

“They finished very well that game and that was a good little warning to us that they’re a team when they are up and about moving the footy around, they are as good as anyone else in the comp and really hard to play against. It was certainly a good wake up call for us,” said Long.

Not having lost to the Magpies this season, Long doesn’t believe he or his side will have to change much to win this first semi-final.

“We pretty much stick to our own way and our own game more so than the opposition which has held us in pretty good stead so far. Certainly, we have improved every time we’ve played against them and we know this will be our biggest challenge for sure,” said Long.

Long is aware, however, of the standout forwards of the Magpies this season, including Mihalopaulos and Baker who have kicked 68 goals between them the season.

Long has faith in his defenders to quell the influence of these two key forwards.

“Well last time we played the Magpies Mihalopaulos didn’t kick a goal so we have a matchup in mind for him again. Mihalopaulos has played some high level footy and quality player who seems to step up in finals so he is certainly someone we will be conscience of in that forward line,” said Long.

Out of his own troops, Long recognises the strong years that marquee players such as Colvin and Molan have had. Despite this he insists that it’s his team’s depth across the park that will be the key to winning this weekend.

“I wouldn’t say these two are the key to success. Molan is part of pretty handy midfield and he gets on the end of a fair bit of work from our ruckman and the other onballers help him out as well. Colvin plays full forward and when we are moving the ball well as a team and get it in his area he is pretty hard to beat,” said Long.

The Magpies and Mihalopaulos have their eyes set to slow down Zillmere midfielder Daniel Campbell and forward Cameron Colvin who have been dominant against the Magpies all season.

“Danny Campbell is the main one for us he is one of their onballers and he’s gotten a fair few possessions against us.  Colvin up forward can kick goals for them and they’re just two players, they have good ex QAFL players in that team to watch out for,” said Mihalopaulos.

For the Magpies to finally beat the Eagles, Mihalopaulos simply just needs a four-quarter performance which is demonstrated in their fairly close losses all year to the Eagles.

“Our losses have not been big losses and we’ve given them some head starts so the big one is playing four quarters of team footy.  Over the past four weeks we have really started gelling as a team and playing the game plan and team structures really well. If we do that I think we are more than capable of knocking them off,” said Mihalopaulos.

This semi-final will be on Friday August 18th, 7:30pm at O’Callaghan Zillmere with the winner advancing straight through to the grand final and the loser facing the winner of the other semi-final next week.


2017 Meetings

R4: Western Magpies 7.12 (54) def by Zillmere 11.8 (74)

R9: Zillmere 10.11 (71) def Western Magpies 6.7 (43)

R14: Western Magpies 8.4 (52) def by Zillmere 8.5 (53)


Leading Goal kickers

Zillmere                                                                                         Western Magpies

Cameron Colvin – 32                                                                    Chris Mihalapoulos – 43

Mathew Stevens/Rohan Cash – 18                                            Jay Baker – 25


Times In Best

Zillmere                                                                                         Western Magpies

Zac Molan – 9                                                                                  Gerard Moore – 6

Dennis Fitzgerald – 7                                                                    Andrew Bell, Andrew Thomson, Chris Davis, Sam Long – 5



QFA Division 4 Minor Semi final (3 v 4)

Sandgate (8-1-7) v Morningside (8-8)

Lemke Road, Sandgate @ 7:30pm


The other QFA division 4 final is the Sandgate Hawks taking on the Morningside Panthers at Lemke Road Sandgate, 7:30pm Friday August 18th.

This finals clash has even more potential to go either way with each team taking two wins apiece this season.

The strange thing about these results is that each side has had a convincing win over the other, but there has also been a game decided by less than ten points.

Sandgate coach and player Simon Cannan puts this mixed bag of results down to player availability.

“It just seems to come down to numbers more than anything, people have struggled to put together a full side the last couple months. They have been up and down those results and I think Morningside are the same having players in and out,” said Cannan.

Morningside coach James O’Kane reckons that it’s just a classic case of home ground advantage, and his side are determined to make history at Sandgate.

“They tend to win at Sandgate and we tend, in recent times, to win at Morningside. We’ve never beaten them at home, it’s a final, it’s our first final ever and we are going to have to bring (our) A game to get on top of them,” said O’Kane.

Given the player turnover every week for the Hawks, Cannan says not to read too much into the last result, a big loss to Morningside in round 16.

“It was a pretty disappointing loss but I think our effort that night as far as contest and effort was as good as we have had this year, but unfortunately when you only have 15 guys running around on the field they tend to have loose guys, but we look to plug those gaps with a full squad this week,” said Cannan.

The same sentiments were echoed by O’Kane who is taking nothing for granted from that big winning margin last time.

“They came shorthanded with injuries and work commitments. They will be coming with a full deck this time and we won’t be lowered into a false sense of security that they are going to be an easy beat, they never are and we don’t expect them to be this time,” said O’Kane.

Cannan also mentioned an extensive injury list that has hampered his older side this season. However, he believes age will be a key factor in a Sandgate win this Friday night.

“We have a lot of guys who have played a lot of senior and finals footy several years ago together, so I’m hoping the knowledge and experience of playing together will hold us in pretty good stead,” said Cannan.

Cannan and the Hawks have identified the front half of Morningside’s line-up as the area to watch out for this Friday night.

“They’ve got a couple of pretty good forwards one who kicked a fair few last week against us and their centre half forward got a fair bit of it and their midfield is good as well. We are really going to be one our toes against them this week,” said Cannan.

O’Kane will be looking for his squad to use their young legs to overrun the older Hawks.

“We are hoping to play our game of running fast and linking football. They’re a quality opposition with experienced players so we are hoping to eventually overrun them,” said O’Kane.

Morningside and O’Kane have picked out Sandgate’s dangerous players that his side will be watching out for on Friday night.

“There best players traditionally are Aaron Widt who is the second leading goal scorer in the competition. The Suitor brothers and big Jacques Badenhorst. Badenhorst has been in there best the last three games and was a big contributor in their game last week,” said O’Kane.


2017 Meetings

R1: Sandgate 11.5 (71) def Morningside 5.7 (37)

R6: Morningside 13.7 (85) def Sandgate 2.5 (17)

R11: Sandgate 8.5 (53) def Morningside 7.4 (46)

R16: Morningside 15.14 (104) def Sandgate 4.3 (27)


Leading Goal kickers

Sandgate                                                                                       Morningside

Aaron Widt – 41                                                                            Alec Stibbard – 23

Bradley Suitor – 22                                                                      Jake Evans – 19


Times In Best

Sandgate                                                                                       Morningside

Michael Brady/Rowan Moody – 10                                          Alexander Diamond – 11

Jaques Badenhorst – 8                                                                Jack Angus – 10



By Aaron Goodwin.

Our Supporters