Thursday 15 September 2011

The State League competition in Queensland 21 years ago was a very different beast to the new NEAFL competition that has been so successful.

Back in 1990, the QAFL was a nine-team competition. There was no Broadbeach or Labrador from the Gold, and there was a team for the Sunshine Coast – Caloundra.

Southport went through the season unbeaten.

They beat Morningside by an amazing 144 points in the second semi-final with Cameron O’Brien booting 13 goals at full-forward.

That was the biggest win over the Panthers prior to their 119-point shellacking at the hands of the NT Thunder in April.

The Winfield State Championship was a feature of the competition back in 1990, a Statewide knockout competition involving regional centres against city clubs.

There was even a City v Country game played mid-week at the Gabba.

All major fixtures were played on the ground – shaped obscurely due to the greyhound track ringing the playing arena and with a capacity of about 15,000 – including the grand final.

The lesson for Morningside from that game is as relevant now as it was 21 years ago – don’t waste your opportunities in front of goal.

The Panthers kicked 3.8 to 2.2 in the first quarter of that grand final after starting rank underdogs, and they will need a strong start against favourites NT this Sunday at Victoria Point.

Morningside generated 23 scoring shots to 21 by three-quarter-time of that grand final but trailed by 13 points, before being overrun to lose by 59 points to the powerhouse Sharks.

Southport rover Jason Cotter won the Grogan Medal that year on the last card of the night from roving teammate Robbie Jones.

Promising Western Districts ruckman Peter Bogoyevitch was third, closely followed by Zillmere’s Robbie Dickfos.

Current Southport Sharks general manager Dean Bowtell, under coach Craig Crowley and Cotter were all in the Hardiflex QAFL Team of the Year.

There was a high-powered coach group that season – Ian Nankervis (Caloundra), Kevin O’Keefe (Coorparoo), Graeme Gellie (Mayne), Ray Byrne (Western Districts), Michael Dickfos (Windsor-Zillmere), Geoff Jennings (Kedron-Grange), Don Smith (Sandgate), Marty King (Morningside) and Gavan McGuane (Southport).

The bye had been created after traditional clubs Wilston-Grange and Kedron merged the previous season.

The grand final was filmed by Channel 7 and replayed on free to air TV later that night. 

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