Surfers survives in QAFL slog

By Beth Newman


Surfers Paradise kept the fight for the final five a bit more interesting with a 10.13 (73) – 5.10 (40) win over Wilston Grange.

With the Gorillas leading by nine points, the teams exchanged goals in the third, before a Jake Ryan kick beat everyone over the line for an unlikely goal, igniting the Demons’ run home.

The Gorillas went goalless after that, while Surfers added five to their tally, with Tayler Rolfe getting reward for superb effort through the day.

It was a performance that would have been unlikely from the Demons last season, and coach, Beau Zorko.

“The group has certainly matured and this shows how much work they have done,” he said.

“Big Mick (Cunningham) was great, and the little fellow out of retirement (Ryan) was great as well,” he said.

Cassidy Haberfield and Rolfe revelled in the contest and Zorko said they certainly would not have been afraid of the weather radar.

“I think they might have done a rain dance  this week,” he joked.

Grange assistant coach, Kris Jahnke, said the Gorillas’ concentration lapsed after a gruelling first half.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to scrap out a game and we’re pretty hard at it in the contest,” he said.

“When the ball was in the air we all flew for it and they (Surfers) often just sit one out the back.

“They played smart footy.”

Jahnke said Dave Kettle’s performance set the example for their next generation.

“He was really hurting and given the game was lost, he was pretty much our only player that would battle it out,”he said.

Wilston Grange lost Lee Smith (ankle) and Zach Templeton (concussion) to injury through the day, rubbing salt in the wound.


Palm Beach stormed home for the second straight week to nab an important win over Broadbeach.

Leading by 13 points at the major break, the Lions kicked 12 goals to three in the second half to take a convincing 18.16 (124) – 7.9 (51) win over the Cats, leapfrogging them into second spot.

Lions coach, Daryn Cresswell, said he was pleased with the way his side absorbed Broadbeach’s pressure early, before kicking away.

“At this time of year everyone is up for it (the challenge),”he said.

“We absorbed that pressure early and were able to win our way back on top.

“Our pressure around the contest was at its best and we were able to execute what we’ve been doing at training.”

Josh Woolley in the half back line was one of Palm Beach’s best, continuing his strong form in the lattter half of 2014, while Jackson Emblem was also impressive in the win and Bryce Perry-Bolt booted three in his return from injury.

For Broadbeach, it was another case of their side falling short against a flag contender, with the Cats’ only losses this season coming against Palm Beach and Morningside.

Cats coach, Wayne Petterd, said his side simply couldn’t keep up with the Lions.

“They out ran us, outmuscled us, outfought us,” he said.

“We normally finish games off well, so maybe it is a confidence thing or a mind set thing.

“When we come up aginast sides like Palm Beach and Morningside we’re happy to just run with them for a while.”

Broadbeach’s Mitch Kavic worked hard on debut in the midfield, but Petterd said it was a day of few winners for the Cats.


Morningside will have some selection headaches on its table after a 17th straight win on Saturday.

The Panthers once again showed their depth in a 22.23 (155)  – 2.4 (16), without co-captain Paul Shelton and first-choice ruckman Peter Mollison, who was a late withdrawal.

Their replacements in Bill Pendlebury and Sam Brown, who gave twin Josh a fairytale 100th, were impressive, leaving the Panthers coaching staff with some difficult decisions.

Panthers coach, David Lake, said the win over UQ was their most complete of the season.

“Those goals over the back, there were none and it was a day where they could have been,” he said.

“We didn’t have a bad moment.”

Dustin Gordon had three goals by quarter-time for Morningside, finishing with five for the day, but it was his forward pressure that was just as damaging.

Lachie Russ was once again a standout for the Panthers, while James O’Donnell handled the ruck duties almost singlehandedly in the absence of Mollison.

For UQ, it was a difficult day exacerbated by a horror run of injuries, with Cain Tickner (hamstring), Jack Pershouse (knee), Michael Swann and Dan Mauch (hand) all on the pine before half time.

Red Lions coach, Matt Stewart, said his charges showed some character in challenging circumstances, but the Panthers were simply too good.

“We learned that as a group we do fight and we don’t give in,” he said.

“We also learned that there’s a fair gap between where we are and where we need to be.”

Ryder Court was one of the best for UQ, in his third senior game, while Al Carlson continued his consistent year.


Mt Gravatt has one foot in fifth spot, after a 12.15 (87) – 1.3 (9) win over Sandgate.

With the motivation of a finals spot in the back of their minds, the Vultures one of their more dominant games of the year.

Redland-listed Craig Malone was unstoppable in the ruck, a handy addition for Mt Gravatt.

“He didn’t lose a tap out all day, he used his height advantage and his big frame, and he was giving us first use,” Mt Gravatt coach, Brad Pollock, said.

“He must have had 100 tap outs.”

Todd Carbone underlined his versatility with six goals for Mt Gravatt, while Troy Rogers’ return from injury went off without a hitch.

Pollock said the game showed another element of his side, who proved their ability in the wet.

“We’ve got young boys and they’re lightly framed so history tell you (in wet conditions) that bigger bodies can cause upsets,” he said.

“(The boys) did everything we asked of them in atrocious conditions. They played in front all day, they were good in the clinches and kicked 12 goals to one.”

After a competitive showing against Palm Beach last week, Sandgate couldn’t stay with Mt Gravatt, coach, Ian Carter, said.

“Today proved that they are certainly a finals contender and we a re at the bottom of the ladder,” he said.

The performance of 17 year-old Blake Hartley was a silver lining for the Hawks, with fellow teen, Fraser Jones, also working hard.

“From a kids’ point of view, we’ve got some really good underage players who are going to be important for the club going forward.”


Labrador has set up an epic regular season conclusion against Broadbeach next week, after a 75-point win over the Western Magpies.

After a competitive first half, the Tigers kicked away to a 18.13 (121) – 6.10 (46) win, putting them a game behind the third-placed Cats, but with superior percentage.

The result means next weekend’s match against the Cats will likely decide which side receives a crucial double chance in the first week of finals.

Labrador coach, Steve Daniel, couldn’t find too many faults with his side after their poised performance.

“We played team-oriented football, used the first option, shared the football and made rally good decisions,” he said.

“It was a really super team effort and that’s what we’re most excited about going into next week.

Simon Seddon was the best for the Tigers, while Adam Baird was strong on the wing and Kurt Niklaus held Magpies spearhead, Jordan Bain, to just two goals.

It was a bittersweet day for Nick Stockdale, who booted six before suffering a possible broken hand midway through the final quarter.

Magpies coach, Glenn Humphrey, said his side found the footy but made poor decisions once they did.

“When the boys have opportunities, they’re not concentrating and I’m not sure if it’s mental fatigue or actual physical fatigue,” he said.

“The simple fact is we weren’t good and in the end we weren’t fit enough.”

Humphrey said the performance was particularly disappointing after the Magpies’ impressive game against the Cats last week.

Ben Jaenke-Cain was the Magpies’ best yet again, under a heavy tag, while Mitchell Stallard continued his 2014 improvement on the wing.

It was a bittersweet day for the Tigers who will be sweating on the fitness of  Niklaus (rib), Tom Daniel (calf) and Stockdale as they approach finals.

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