Vultures circle in QAFL Finals

By Beth Newman

They’ve made a habit of comeback wins in 2014, but it was a bridge too far for Broadbeach in an elimination final against Mt Gravatt.

The Cats never really found their feet in the sudden-death clash, ending their season, losing 19.19 (123) – 11.1 (76).

With big man Craig Malone doing the bulk of the ruck work for Mt Gravatt, the Vultures cleaned up in the midfield, with ‘Tiny” helped out by the slick work of Will Hamill and Dom Nash.

Mt Gravatt played a string of must-win matches to even make the final five, but it was Broadbeach who showed the signs of fatigue from a long season in the match.

The Vultures played to their strengths, showing some electrifying pace around the ground, but it was some of their more unorthodox elements that broke the Cats.

Usual backman, Jesse Green, booted six goals for the Vultures, to more than double his season tally.

“Jesse’s played down back and through the midfield for us this season, but he’s just got that x-factor, so we thought he’d add something up there,” Mt Gravatt coach, Brad Pollock, said.

Broadbeach had taken victory in both of the sides’ home and away clashes, but the prior record meant nothing to the Vultures, who played one of their most damaging games of the year.

A late Broadbeach flurry in the third term, narrowing the margin to 29 points put a Cats comeback on the agenda, but three unanswered Vultures goals in the last quarter put the result beyond doubt for even the most optimistic Cats.

The loss was a disappointing full stop to Broadbeach’s season, with the Cats playing close to their worst game of the season, coach, Wayne Petterd, said.

“We butchered the ball, basically,” he said.

“I was hoping to get some finals reward for this group, so that’s the sad thing on my behalf.

“It was probably our worst game for the season.

Broadbeach forward Taylor Haley has been a focal point for the Cats all season and he was almost a lone soldier, kicking six as Broadbeach played for their QAFL lives, Petterd said.

“Without him (Haley), we would have finished bottom three,” he said.

“That showed again today. We’ve jut got to get him some support.”

Petterd said it was disappointing to see the side’s more experienced players go missing at H&A Oval.

“The core group that has carried the side all year, when you wanted them to, they didn’t.”

“That’s probably partly due to opposition pressure as well.”

There will be a couple of changes for Mt Gravatt during the week, with Malone ineligible now that Redland’s NEAFL season is over, while Jonah Licht has a suspected wrist fracture.

The result means that Labrador hosts Mt Gravatt in the minor semi-final next Sunday, while Morningside takes on Palm Beach on Saturday.

See how the match played out, here.

Listen to our post-match interview with Vultures captain, Joe Murphy.

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