Mt Gravatt sounded a serious warning that they are on the march with a stunning demolitiion of Labrador at Cooke-Murphy Oval this afternoon.

Sunday 4 July 2010

The sleeping giant might have just awoken after Mt Gravatt produced a brilliant display to destroy the previously buoyant Labrador by 74 points at Cooke-Murphy Oval today.

Last year’s grand finalists have endured a difficult season with injury and unavailability of players, but now look poised for a big run home.

Josh Vearing, Tom Tarrant and Darryl White donned the blue and white guernsey after long layoffs today, while Ryan Head was in his second senior game back and Ash Evans his third.

The result was a high-powered nailing of the competition’s previously second-placed side, 19.14 (128) to 7.12 (54).

After a tight first quarter, the Vultures booted six goals to two in the second term and withstood an early third quarter charge by the Tigers to blast seven more goals and open an unassailable 61-point lead at the last break.

Evans was irresistible in the midfield, dominating against a Tigers onball brigade that has placed enormous pressure on opponents in previous weeks.

The Syd Guildford Trophy winner, Joe Grant Medal winner and premiership player of 2007 has been hit hard by injury since then, but has rebounded strongly from a knee reconstruction.

White also played with great freedom after missing four weeks due to NT Under 18 coaching duties, while Tarrant was solid.

His brother Adam was outstanding opposed to Tim Notting in a duel where both players did some good things for their respective sides, Notting finishing with three goals.

The Vultures had the luxury of leaving last year’s Grogan Medal winner Nathan Gilliland mostly at half-forward, and he responded with six goals.

Co-captains Gilliland and Vearing led the team strongly with assistant coach Neville Miller, as head coach David Lake was absent on duties with the Papua New Guinea international team.

Gilliland admitted it was the Vultures’ best win of the season.

“It helps to get quality, experienced players back like Tom, Josh and Darryl,” he said. “We had a really good week on the track and played a lot more direct.

“We used the ball well and didn’t turn it over as much as we had been. And Ash Evans was on fire.”

Aiden Pratt and Dean Page were also outstanding for the Vultures, Pratt kicking three goals alongside utility Michael Schultz and key forward Shane Morrison.

Labrador ace Mat Clarke worked overtime against the odds in defence and was his side’s best, while Shane Paterson and Jason Howard tried to lift the Tigers.

The loss saw Labrador drop from second to third on the premiership table, but they remain three wins ahead of the pack below them.

Mt Gravatt vaulted into fifth place and suddenly are just percentage behind the fourth-placed NT Thunder.

Mt Gravatt face a danger game at Aspley next Saturday and Gilliland is taking nothing for granted.

“Beating the second team on the ladder gives us confidence but we have to back it up,” he said. “It’s just as a big a game as today was for us.”

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