By Terry Wilson
Morningside prevail in a cracking contest
Morningside 2.3, 3.4, 9.6, 11.9 (75)
Western Magpies 0.3, 4.8, 5.12, 7.15 (57)
GOALS, Morningside: W. Wolbers 3, D. Cameron-Reeves 2, K. Abey 1, E. Mallan 1, A. Nash 1, A. Evans 1, Mitchell 1, C. Wearne 1. Western Magpies: Harwood 2, R. Easton 1, L. Woods 1, L. Dwyer 1, A. Corrie 1, J. De Winter 1
BEST, Morningside: Wearne, N. Beck, J. Cowlishaw, P. Mollison, D. Cameron-Reeves, J. Rayner. Western Magpies: Jaenke-Cain, S. Mills, D. Mitchell, B. Allen, L. Woods.
A FAMILY affair with a difference is behind a charge up the ladder by Morningside who are right back in the QAFL title race after beating Western Magpies in a super game on Saturday.
The Panthers took the cross-Brisbane derby by 11.9 (75) to 7.15 (57) at McCarthy Homes Oval in what winning coach Steve Wildschut described as a high-pressure, finals-type clash.
“It was a cracking game, very physical and very much like a final,” Wildschiut said.
“There were no goals until the 19th minute of the first quarter and it was that way all the way.
“We won the first quarter, they convincingly won the second and we convincingly won the third. And it was tight through the fourth.”
The Panthers have now drawn level with the Magpies and Surfers Paradise on 16 points with Labrador just behind on 12 poised for a tilt at the title.
Wildschiut has no doubts that the Panthers are “starting to track along” and one of the main reasons has been the form of midfielder Campbell Wearne and key defender James Cowlishaw.
The youngsters are unusually connected in that they are step-cousins.
Campbell Wearne is the son of Stephen Wearne, a former player with the Melbourne Demons.
Stephen’s brother David, who played with the Brisbane Bears, is Cowlishaw’s step-father.
“Campbell is having a breakout year, he gets in and under,” Wildschut said of Saturday’s best player.
“And James? That’s three weeks in a row he has taken a big scalp in defence. First it was Jarryd Douglas (Palm Beach), then Rhys Estall (Mt Gravatt) and Jake de Winter on Saturday.
“And he is only seven games into his seniors career after playing rugby union.”
Also helping the Panthers advance their finals claims has been the availability of Aspley NEAFL-listed pair Will Wolbers and Eddie Mallan.
Although Mallan was fairly quiet against the Magpies, big Will was a force with three goals and some strong work in the ruck.
These are the types of experienced players that the Magpies do not have, and it also has to be pointed out that they were missing a handful of top-liners, among them ruckman Andrew Smith (shoulder).
Also hurting the home side was some wasteful kicking for goal that produced 22 scoring shots to 20 from the visitors.
“Kicking was definitely a factor,” coach Brydan Morgan said after his team headed the visitors 45-44 in inside 50s.
“We didn’t take our chances, like we had them in the second quarter but kicked 4.5, then in the third they (Morningside) kicked 6.2.
“If you don’t take your chances against a team that’s on par with you then that’s the difference.”
Away from Wearne and Cowlishaw, Morningside had a winner in centre half-back Nathan Beck and ruckman Peter Mollison was strong throughout.
The Magpies had midfielders Ben Jaenke-Cain and Drew Mitchell and back man Steve Mills as their better performers.
Coming up next weekend for both the Magpies and the Panthers are huge matches on the Gold Coast.
The Panthers have Surfers Paradise at Sir Bruce Small Park and the Magpies take on second-placed Broadbeach at Subaru Oval.
Lions skip two wins clear after ugly win
Palm Beach Currumbin 2.4, 4.7, 6.12, 9.14 (68)
Mt Gravatt 1.1, 3.3, 7.3, 8.7 (55)
GOALS, Palm Beach Currumbin :Douglas 2, J. Holland 2, A. Crossley 1, T. Cornish 1, N. Robertson 1, J. Burge 1, Thynne 1. Mt Gravatt: Bain 4, R. Estall 3, A. Chapman 1.
BEST, Palm Beach Currumbin: Harrison, J. Derrick, J. Woolley, A. McKenzie, J. Holland, T. Thynne. Mt Gravatt: Crawley, M. Hart, J. Huddy, C. McGuren, M. Hamill, R. Estall
PALM Beach Currumbin have a QAFL minor premiership in their sights after what can only be described modern-day term as “winning ugly” against Mt Gravatt on Saturday.
That was the way PBC coach Chad Owens looked at the performance when the Lions stretched their winning streak to eight by downing the Vultures by 9.14 (68) to 8.7 (55) at Dittmer Park.
It certainly wasn’t pretty as the reigning premiers did everything they could to throw away victory.
There were few positives for Owens to take away from the clash. He struggled to name his best player, let alone the usual six.
And, after a sequence of final scores dominated by behinds kicked, he finally conceded this could end up biting the Lions on the backside.
This year, PBC have kicked a total of 110 goals and 126 behinds. It is an imbalance that needs a remedy, Owens agreed.
“We’ll take it,” Owens said of the four premiership points.
“Mt Gravatt really pressured us well today and it was close all the way through.
“Unfortunately, today again, we didn’t take our opportunities. We’ve been talking about that it’s only going to be a matter of time when bad kicking costs us a game of footy.
“Today we were horrible with our effort. We had 6.12 at one stage with more than double forward 50 entries and we were only three points up so it’s not a great result.”
PBC were also guilty of poor handballing under pressure.
“Missing one-metre handballs when blokes are out just kills you because on the transition they couldn’t get back,” Owens said.
Mt Gravatt were not helped when the game’s most dominant forward Jordan Bain went down late in the third quarter after landing awkwardly in a marking contest.
Bain (four goals) was subsequently taken to hospital after the game with what coach Daniel Webster believed was a back-related issue.
“He was playing very well and when key targets are up and about, losing them always hurts,” Webster said.
The game was in the balance in the third term when Mt Gravatt trimmed a 15-point deficit at the seven-minute mark to only three points at three-quarter time despite having only 10 scoring shots to 18 by the Lions up to that point.
After Tom Thynne (PBC) and Rhys Estall traded goals to open the final term it was game on again although when Jimmy Holland (two) and Josh Woolley goaled it was advantage the Lions with a 17-point margin.
After that the PBC coaching box elected to flood the defensive zones and no matter what Mt Gravatt tried they could not land that elusive six-pointer.
“That’s what teams do,” Webster said of PBC’s tactics. “They’re smart to do that knowing it’s a low-scoring game.
“But I thought that overall the difference was they had a couple of players cleaner under the gun.
“If you have players who can hit the ball with pace and do something with it then that’s good.”
Webster was speaking in particular about Josh Woolley, who was moved to midfield after half-time and supplied much-needed poise and polish.
Jed Harrison, Jesse Derrick and Adam McKenzie were good for the Lions while Mt Gravatt’s best were Crawley, Mitch Hart and ruckman Jarrod Huddy.
Big score hides some Grange promise
Labrador 9.4, 13.5, 16.8, 24.11 (155)
Wilston Grange 1.2, 6.3, 9.4, 10.5 (65)
GOALS, Labrador: Retzlaff 8, R. Coombe 6, J. Baxter 2, Z. Brain 2, C. Talbot 2, B. Pitcher 1, Kenny 1, A. Clarke 1, M. Lakeman 1. Wilston Grange: Mason 2, J. James 2, C. Luers 1, R. Thomson 1, J. McMahon 1, H. Warren 1, Farry 1, S. Gribble 1.
BEST, Labrador: Retzlaff, D. Budarick, A. Clarke, J. Kenny, S. Walker, R. Coombe. Wilston Grange: Thomson, J. James, H. Leong, L. Mason, N. Dickson, H. Warren.
AT first glance, a final score-line of 24.11 (155) to 10.5 (65) suggests it was an easy win for Labrador over Wilston Grange at Bendigo Bank Oval on Saturday.
But a margin of 90 points Labrador’s way camouflaged what was a gritty effort from the injury-hit Gorillas because the home side actually won the second and third quarters.
“We actually outscored them in the second and third quarters and that’s what makes it so disappointing when you know there’s enough talent there to compete with them,” Grange coach Nathan Clarke said.
The Tigers came out roaring and put on nine first-term goals, big skipper Bryce Retzlaff booting three of them.
Trailing 9.4 to 1.2 at the first break, the Gorillas then outscored the visitors by 8.2 to 7.4 over the next two stanzas to give themselves a sniff of an unlikely victory.
But five goals in eight minutes to start the fourth by the Tigers put the issue well beyond doubt.
Labrador coach Aaron Shattock spoke of how tough things are for the Grange, crushed by injuries and in the midst of a severe player drain.
The drain is so bad that there were eight youngsters who backed up from the colts to play reserves on Saturday.
“You do feel a bit for them because you know they’re struggling with injuries,” Shattock said.
But sympathy is something that Clarke does not need right now despite the endless queue lined up at the medical room door.
“We actually don’t talk about it (the injuries) that much,” he said.
“Our colts are on top of the ladder and it’s so good that they’re keen to help and play reserves for us. We had eight or nine of them do that this week.”
For Shattock it was pleasing to get the club’s third in of a season in which the Tigers have also had major injury worries.
“It was a good win,” Shattock said. “We haven’t had one like that this year so we’ll take it.
“Still, we haven’t beaten anybody above us on the ladder. But we got better again so we’re heading in the right direction.”
Labrador have a bye next round, followed by a grand final rematch against premiers Palm Beach Currumbin.
With Retzlaff (8) and Rhys Coombe (6) forming a deadly duo up front, the Tigers had good workers in onballers Dyson Budarick and Adam Clarke on song along with Jaicob Kenny in defence.
Captain Ryan Thomson, Jack James, Henry Leong and Luca Mason (two goals) as their best.
Next up for the Gorillas is a Brisbane derby away to Mt Gravatt followed by a bye, then a likely wooden-spoon decider against Sandgate.