By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend
After defeating just one of the top six teams across the home and away season, Maroochydore has firmed as one of the bolters of the QAFL Senior competition when it took down reigning premers Morningside in the elimination Semi Final at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday.
After trailing by four-points at quarter-time, the Roos from the Sunshine Coast showed just why they are the best finishing team in the competition with yet another dominant final term to win by 33-points.
The Panthers were shell-shocked by a fast-finishing Surfers Paradise outfit in week one of the finals and needed to start strongly and make a statement with such an incredibly talented team on the park.
However, for the second week in a row gun forward Mitch Scholard kicked the opening goal of the game to give Maroochydore the dream start.
Morningside’s depth and talent had it respond well with Warren, Jeffrey and Russ all chipping in for goals at 10-minute intervals to help guide their team to a four-point quarter-time lead.
Household names Toby Triffet and Darcy Cameron-Reeves looked unstoppable for the Panthers.
Goals were like gold in a tight start to the second term with both teams playing hard, competitive football. You wouldn’t expect anything less from two well-matched teams looking to keep their season alive.
Ben Warren kicked his second goal of the day at the 12-minute mark of the second term to bring some spark into the Panthers’ team but it was quickly shut down by Lachie Lang and Scholard as the Roos opened up a nine-point lead heading into time-on.
Will Pendlebury pressed forward to goal for the Panthers to cut the margin back to one-point, but it was Maroochydore that finished strong with a late goal to Robinson to lead by seven-points at half-time.
With Edward Malan making an impact for the Panthers and Sam McLachlan lifting for the Roos, the game was on a knife’s edge across the third term with neither team able to land a telling blow.
The final term saw the game open up a bit more and the run from Maroochydore’s backline increase with Alexander Jacobs and Ben Kethro contributing some herculean-like efforts to deny the Panthers’ forward line of easy avenues to goal inside their forward 50.
The backline held firm for the Roos in the last quarter as the midfield started to shut Morningside’s key ball winners out of the game and help apply scoreboard pressure to set up a remarkable 33-point win.
Maroochydore 2.3, 6.4, 8.7, 11.13 (79) defeated Morningside 3.1, 5.3, 6.7, 6.10 (46)
Goals: (Maroochydore) M. Scholard 2, L. Laing 2, B. Sloan, M. Steven, D. Lanthois, J. Giles, L. Robinson, J. Whaley, D. Tanti 1.
(Morningside) B. Warren 2, T. Jeffrey, L. Russ, W. Pendlebury, S. Crozier 1.
Best: (Maroochydore) S. McLachlan, L. Laing, J. Bury, B. Kethro, A. Jacobs, J. Giles.
(Morningside) T. Triffett, E. Mallan, C. Rossetti, S. Godfrey, D. Cameron-Reeves, B. McCarthy.
Picture by: Deion Menzies, Highflyer Images