Top of the Table Clash heads Div 1 Round 7

Four of the top 5 play each other in an exciting round of the Pineapple Hotel Cup Div 1 competition. Noosa travel to Chelmer to face ladder leaders Western Magpies

By Terry Wilson
Gold Coast Bulletin

NOOSA have regained a couple of big weapons for their top of the table clash against the Western Magpies at Chelmer on Saturday. Crack forward Danny Brewster, already with 26 goals from only four matches this season, and ruckman Peter Trompf are making timely returns for the match of the round.

 That adds up to ao a lo of offensive firepower  and Trompf back in gives the Tigers extra grunt for contests around the ground. Coach Wayne Fletcher said forward Danny O’Brien is likely to miss with a slight calf strain.

The Magpies have two changes, losing Will Fozard (unavailable) and Dylan McDonald and regaining regular A grader Chris Judson and ruckman Dominic Beer.

At this stage of the season, the Magpies sit on top of the Pineapple Hotel Cup ladder and Noosa are just behind them, which adds to the importance of the clash.

Fletcher describes the match as “a good challenge for us down in their territory’’.

“They’ve kicked some big scores and I watched them last week and there certainly wasn’t with the way they played last week against Maroochydore,’’ Fletcher said.

“They jumped out of the boxes and pretty much had the game under control at quarter-time.’’

His opposite Peter McClennan made a surprising admission that he does not want wet conditions, similar to those which cost the Magpies in their round three match against Wilston-Grange.

The Magpies have lost to Wilston-Grange, Noosa have lost to Surfers Paradise. Surfers Paradise then beat the Grange last weekend.

“I know they (Noosa officials) watched us against Maroochy,’’ McClennan said. “We’re ready to play, but we want a dry track.’’

McClennan said it is impossible to line up form so early in the season, but he admitted a huge respect for the premiers of 2010 and 2011

So far Noosa have lost to Surfers Paradise, the Magpies have lost to Wilston-Grange and Surfers have beaten the Grange.

Asked if this was a reasonable form line, McClennan responded: “Until we play a side for the first time I’ll judge it then.There are too many variables and different players are coming and going at the moment.”

“We have heaps of respect there but we just can’t wait to play them  but I prefer on a dry track.’’

FORMER ladder leaders Wilston-Grange have a nine-year bogy to smash if they are to take the points away from Palm Beach-Currumbin at Salk Oval today.

The last time a Gorillas outfit succeeded at the Currumbin creekside venue was in 2003 in the old AFL South Queensland competition.

Since then, the Lions have won five in a row at home  and that record should remain intact after the weekend given the severely weakened state of the Brisbane club.

The Gorillas have made six changes for the trip down the M1, adding to the already unavailable list that includes key playmakers Matt Shir, Lee Smith and Will Thwaite, among others.

Yet Palm Beach themselves have five changes.They are playing Simon Russell (Southport) on permit and regain James Drake, Mick Atkinson, Aaron Lohrey and Jordan Wallace.Those to make way are Tyson Dyer, Nathan Brown, Troy Brown, Luke Sicker and Tyler Cornish.

The Lions are getting the Grange on the rebound after Surfers upset them last round, and coach Deryn Cresswell is wary.

“The bottom line is that we haven’t beaten anyone higher than us on the ladder and this is a test against quality,’’ he said.

In the buildup to the match, there was a hot whisper doing the rounds that former Brisbane Lion Albert Proud was linking with Wilston-Grange after word that he has had a falling-out with NEAFL club Mt Gravatt.

 But Gorillas coach David Martin quickly quashed the rumour.“I don’t know him and I haven’t spoken to him,’’ Martin said.

The revolving door continued to spin at Hickey Park on selection night, the Gorillas forced into six changes. Out of the side this weekend are Brodie Shade, Dan Brittain, Matt Stevens, Rory Molan, Lachlan Moir and Billy Driffield.

The Grange are bringing in Cam Pickering, Dean Warren, Scott Dalton, Lou Knox, Josh Ubank and Sean Cook, all handed the chance to cement spots in the seniors side.

“We’re having a horror week, but it gives blokes an opportunity  and that has been a difficult thing to do so far this season,’’ he said.

SURFERS are set to blood another junior product, 17-year-old James McNamara in their Gold Coast derby against Coolangatta at Sir Bruce Small Park today.

The left-footer is set to play on a wing and joins Dan McGavin in the only two changes the Demons made to tackle the Blues.

Coolangatta, way off the pace at the moment, are likely to be boosted by two Southport players Evan Dureya and Arnold Knight, as well as Aaron Nicholls from Broadbeach.

Surfers coach Beau Zorko has his guard up, despite the Demons rolling Wilston-Grange last round.

“We dropped this game at this time last year and it ended up being a significant contributing factor in costing us a spot in September,’’ coach Beau Zorko said.

BURLEIGH regain forward goalsneak Nathan Sullivan and Nick O’Reilly for their away match against Mayne at Everton Park in Brisbane.

They are in for Gavin Pratt (ankle), one of the Bombers’ better performers in recent weeks, and the omitted Oliver Rennie.

Tall utility Tim Schlaghecke could be a late withdrawal through injury and Jack Wells is on standby for him.

 Doubleday described as “amazing’’ a situation at Burleigh where the club has yet to win a game but continues to run on the heart of loyalty.

 “Even though the way we’re going, we still had 46 at training on Thursday night,’’ coach Zane Doubleday said.

 TO SAY a game between sides that are winless and occupy 9th and 10th place on the ladder should be an interesting affair may seem a bit strange, however both Springwood and Maroochydore will be throwing everything they can into this game, for obvious reasons.

The game has even more significance to the Pumas as they are celebrating a reunion of their 2002 Premiership wins with players travelling from as far away as Perth and Melbourne for the weekend.

“Not only is it important for the club to break the ice this season, said Springwood Football Manager Adrian Wallen, “it would be a big boost to do it in front of all the previous players who have come back for the reunion.”

Roos President Craig Scrace said, “We will be doing everything we can to win the 4 points, we have been improving week by week and a due for a victory.”

Given the desperate need for both sides to get on the winning side of the ledger there will be few “beg pardons’ at Lowe Oval on Saturday.

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