By Beth Newman
SURFERS V MORNINGSIDE
A gulf of class separated Surfers Paradise and Morningside, as the Panthers continued their undefeated start to the season on Saturday.The Demons are still a young side and it showed in pivotal moments, as Morningside’s experience held strong in a 22.11 (143) – 14.8 (92) win.
Morningside’s backline stood solid, even after losing Josh Brown to a groin injury in the opening stages, with Nick Tomlinson and Michael Wyld leading the way.
At the other end, Blane Delbridge continued to entrench his senior spot, with four goals, while Nathan Kinch produced yet another brilliant game.
Panthers coach, David Lake, said his side showed more of their best than previous weeks.
“We put more of what we want out more often, it was just occasionally tht we let them back in,” he said.
“Our second and third quarters were where we need to be.
Lake praised the continued improvement of players like Alastiar Nash, full back Ben Niland-Rowe, and Wyld.
“It’s about happiness, they’re winning and enjoying themselves,” he said.
Surfers Paradise fought hard all day, and it was one of their youngest members who proved the most impressive, in Cassidy Haberfield, who showed his trademark gutsiness in the stoppages.
Demons coach, Beau Zorko, said he was pleased with his side’s effort against the Panthers.
“We have been criticised at times for having a really good win and then a flat week the next week, but I thought the effort was great today,” he said.
Demons big man, Michael Cunningham, was also a standout against one of the QAFL’s form ruck pairings in Peter Mollison and James O’Donnell.
In a blow for Surfers, Southport-listed Ben Merrett was on ice early after an injury.
Find out how this game unfolded, live, here.
SANDGATE v PALM BEACH
No one can take Sandgate lightly.
That was the message the Hawks sent, albeit in a 13.4 (82) – 15.7 (97) loss, against Palm Beach on Saturday.
Palm Beach was well aware of the Hawks’ danger coming into the match, with their pressure giving them a five-point half time lead, and Lions coach, Daryn Cresswell, said it was another tough clash at Lemke Rd.
“You’d think there’d be a lot of time and space in a ground like that, but there was not a lot of space out there to move,” he said.“
“I thought our leaders really stood up after half time.”
Sandgate young gun, Nick Jackson, has settled well into his newly adopted forward spot, with five goals, while Aden Rutledge produced another impressive performance.
Hawks coach, Rob Dickfos, found plenty of positives for the second straight week.
“Both sides were on, as far as I was concerned, there was nothing between either side,” he said.
“It was a tremendous, hard game and in the end they got on top when it counted.”
The Lions were hit by injury in the match, with Sam Kitchin (shoulder), Shaun Wilson (hip) off the ground before half-time, while Bryce Perry-Bolt suffered a calf strain in the third quarter but played out the game, snagging five majors.
While the Hawks will likely lose Jackson, Corey Wagner and Jackson Dickfos to Queensland U18 duties next weekend, Ben Conway is on the verge of a senior comeback after another strong reserves comeback.
Southport’s Zac Callinan is set to return for the Lions next week, while James Carr made it through the side’s reserves match in his return from injury.
UQ v LABRADOR
Labrador ran out 21.11 (137) – 10.4 (64) winners over UQ, but Tigers coach, Steve Daniel, said it wasn’t as easy as the scoreboard made it look.
UQ surprised the visitors with a blistering first half, trailing by only eight points at half time, before being blown away in the second half.
Daniel said the Red Lions handed out a massive lesson to his team early in the game.
“The pressure they put on us in one on ones (was impressive)” he said.
“They played some pretty good footy.”
Labrador’s class showed in the second half, but Daniel said it was their younger brigade, stepping up in the absence of some injured players, who showed their potential.
“it’s hard at the moment because we have a number of players out and we need to struggle through to get those wins,” he said.
“Our kids were really good and played their roles, which is pretty exciting.
“Those boys that came up put their hands up and they were impressive.”
Red Lions coach, Matt Stewart, said consistency was still a major concern for his team.
“In the second half, they forced a lot of turnovers and a couple of our structures got a bit loose,” he said.
“It damages you pretty quickly when you do those things.”
Cain Tickner had another solid game for UQ, as did regular contributors Al Carlson and Michael Stewart.
On a sour note for the Tigers, captain Ryan Davey’s day was cut short with a hamstring injury.
Labrador hopes to welcome back up to five players next week, including key defender Kurt NIklaus.
WILSTON GRANGE v MT GRAVATT
Mt Gravatt kept itself in top five contention, with a 12.14 (86) – 7.16 (58) win over Wilston Grange.
In a close contest a five-goal-to-one final term turned the Vultures’ one point three-quarter time lead into a 28 point win, led by a sensational game from Redland-listed Adam Boon.
Strong run from players such as Frazer Neate, Boon and Joe Murphy was a crucial difference for Mt Gravatt, coach Brad Pollock said.
“Once those guys got the ball, the boys really started to spread and they just played some good footy,’ he said.
“Adam Boon was magnificent.
‘The longer the game went, the more our runners took over.”
Neate could be under in doubt for the Vultures’ round seven clash with Sandgate, after suffering a thumb injury.
Steve Brittain was a lone standout in the Gorillas’ line-up, setting the example for his side.
Gorillas coach, Matt Trewhella, admitted his team had let a crucial opportunity slip.
“It was a defining moment of our season and we needed to win to stay in touch (with finals),”he said.
“We had a game that was winnable and we were leading at half time and threw it away.
“That was disappointing.”
Trewhella said he was unsure how his team would respond to the match.
“It was a test of character and we failed,” he said.
“Some home truths got found out and now we just need to got back to working hard and training hard.”
MAGPIES v BROADBEACH
Broadbeach returned to its run and carry play against the Western Magpies, and it paid off, with a 16.12 (108) – 13.10 (88) win.
Cats coach, Wayne Petterd, said his side had returned to a style they had moved away from in the past fortnight.
“We got back to running and carrying the ball,” he said.
Petterd said his side needed to improve its consistency, after their five-goal half time lead was whittled away to a square ledger by the final change.
“Coming off half time, I think they thought the job was done and that mentality is an experience-related thing,” he said.
“They just stopped running and stopped being competitive.
“We have to maintain (intensity) for four quarters and not think the job is done.”
Taylor Haley continued his purple patch of form with six goals, while Nick Scott and Dan Skrinis were also impressive.
Magpies coach, Glenn Humphrey, lamented his side’s poor second quarter, which left them behind the eight ball.
“Our attack on the football and commitment to working defensively was terrible,” he said.
“For parts they were good enough, but not for long enough.”
Humphrey said his side’s disappointment was compounded by the impact on its season, putting unnecessary heat on them.
“It was a game that got away from us,” he said.
“It puts us back with the rest of the group now and that’s pressure we didn’t need.”
Chris Hunt and Ben Jaenke-Cain were two of the Magpies ‘ best, continuing their consistent 2014 form.