WITH the bye keeping the Brisbane Lions out of action, it was a rather quiet week in Queensland footy. The Suns were stunned at home by a resurgent Saints outfit, while Queensland’s own managed to qualify for Division One of the AFL National Inclusion Carnival.
Queenslanders pick up wins at National Inclusion Carnival
Queensland has been quite impressive over the first two days of the 2018 National Inclusion Carnival, winning four of their total eight games to qualify for Division One in the tournament. The AFL National Inclusion Carnival brings together footballers with intellectual disabilities from across the country to take part in a round-robin carnival with teams representing the Northern Territory (NT), NSW/ACT, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria Country, Victoria Metro, and Western Australia.
The Lightning Carnival was held on Tuesday June 19, where all states and territories played off against each other to determine which sides would make up the two divisions. In a great show of endurance, the lads from Queensland played seven games over the course of the day and picked up four wins. Queensland got off to a flyer with two wins against NSW/ACT by nine points and the NT by four. Then they hit a speed bump when they had to play Vic Metro and Vic Country, and South Australia the next three games who are the strongest sides at the carnival and now fellow Division One rivals. Queensland though came home with a wet sail beating hosts Tasmania and then Western Australia to qualify for Division One.
The first round of Division One contests kicked off on Wednesday June 20 when Vic Metro flexed their muscles defeating South Australia 76-8 whilst Queensland went down to Vic Country 67-28. Queensland played South Australia today and will face Vic Metro on Friday June 22.
Suns downed by Saints in a thriller
With Brisbane having the bye this weekend and pressure mounting on both St Kilda and Gold Coast for a win, these two desperate sides didn’t disappoint. St Kilda managed to put together a miraculous final quarter comeback to overrun a stunned Gold Coast by two points at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night. The Saints trailed by 31 points at the final change, but stormed home, kicking five unanswered goals to win 11.14 (80) to 11.12 (78) and snap a seven-game losing streak.
Small forward Jade Gresham was the hero, snapping a goal from deep in the right forward pocket with one-minute remaining to give Alan Richardson’s men a much-deserved win. Gold Coast did not score a single point in the final quarter, continuing a miserable run of final terms in the past month, in which they have scored just two behinds.
Lachie Weller, Alex Sexton, Tom Lynch, Jarrod Witts and Jarrod Harbrow were among Gold Coast’s best with Lynch and Sexton kicking three goals apiece to lead the Suns. Looking forward, Gold Coast travel to Tasmania to face Hawthorn on Saturday afternoon.