Category: Queensland

Devils kick last eight goals of the game to sink Bluebirds

AFTER conceding the first goal of the game, it was all Yeronga South Brisbane as the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s side claimed a remarkable 47-point win over Coolangatta Tweed on Sunday. The Devils had a terrific back-end of the season, coming from fourth on the table to defeat danger side Coorparoo in the elimination final, then the top two teams in succession, from minor premiers Bond University last week and the Bluebirds in the decider.

Jordan Zanchetta won the best on ground medal, but it could have gone to any number of players for Yeronga South Brisbane, who booted 8.8 to 0.2 after the first eight minutes. The midfield brigade of Zanchetta, Courteney Bromage and Emily Bates, and the outside run of Jacqui Yorston was outstanding for the winners, while Zimmorlei Farquharson looked damaging every time she went near the ball.

For the Bluebirds, Alex Hamlyn was a standout in defence, trying incredibly hard with a number of intercept marks, whilst the likes of Beth Pinchin and Selina Priest were also gallant. Courtney Ugle got better as the game went on, and Ebony Peterson was another who showed some great signs despite the lob-sided scoreboard, as all those players were among our best in the contest.

The first term started well for the Bluebirds, as Leah Kaslar had the first shot on goal registering a behind. A few minutes later, Paige Parker marked strongly on the lead and converted from just inside 50 to get the higher ranked side up and about at Bond University. Unfortunately, that would be where the celebrations ended as the last eight goals of the game went in favour of an impressive Devils outfit. Despite this, the Bluebirds never really looked completely out of the contest until midway through the final term.

Pic: RF Photography

Later in the first quarter it was great work from Farquharson at the top of 50 to sidestep her opponent and kick long to a pack that was roved by Sam Virgo who centred it to Lucy Bellinger at the top of the square for a quick snap and goal. Not more than a few minutes later, Bellinger was in the thick of it again, hitting up Lexia Edwards who clunked a massive contested mark going back with the flight and drilled the goal with a minute left on the clock to hand her team a five-point lead at the break.

Peterson was getting busy, while Bromage was absolutely everywhere in the first half, but it was Yorston with her slick skills hitting up Edwards early in the second. Looking like she was going to convert back-to-back goals, spotted a leading Lauren Arnell and surprised the defence to set it up. The veteran who would become a 16-time premiership player by the final siren and made no mistake with a goal from 20m out.

The Devils could have blown the game apart in the second term, but inaccuracy and pressure from the Bluebirds’ defence kept them in it. The Devils kicked 2.5 to 0.0, but it was Hamlyn and Priest who showed courage in defence. In one instance, Priest flew across the marking contest as third up, copped a huge knock in the path of Edwards and had to come off a bit sore, whilst Edwards was bleeding from her head. With all that going on, it was Courtney McDonnell who decided to put in her contender for goal of the day, sidestepping Hamlyn and with the outside of the boot curled it around and in.

Once again it was Edwards early in the third term that almost had a huge major, but her shot on goal at the 32-second mark missed to the right. Zanchetta was starting to build as Yorston, Bellinger and Edwards were combining strongly in the first half. Kate Surman looked to come off sore but returned to play a key role in the second half for the Bluebirds. Most of the premiership quarter was an arm-wrestle with Keyshia Matenga providing some run but a couple of great tackles by Jade Pregelj helped the Devils counter.

Picture: RF Photography

Ugle was also starting to build, but it was Farquharson who had the moment of the term. With another quick step to the right and shot on goal just inside 50 missed, but she read the kickout perfectly to intercept and this time convert the goal midway through the term from 30m out. It was the only goal of the term, but it provided the Devils fans with much celebration from their young gun. Meanwhile Coolangatta had a number of chances late in the term, with Peterson hitting up a leading Holly Mirfield in the 17th minute but her set shot 20m just stayed left of the post. It was the Bluebirds’ first score since the eighth minute of the second term.

With one last roll of the dice, Coolangatta Tweed had to start the final term strongly facing a 29-point deficit at three quarter time. They looked good in the opening couple of minutes as Parker got it out of the middle and hit up a leading Kaslar 40m out. Unfortunately the set shot fell short and the ball was locked up, and then in a cruel twist of fate, the Devils went end-to-end aided by a huge bump from Farquharson in midfield and landed in the arms of Edwards 35m out. In what effectively iced the game, she kicked the goal that her opponent missed up the other end, and drove another nail into the coffin for the result.

Coolangatta refused to give up despite the goal, with Lauren James trying to repeat her six-goal heroics from last week with a couple of snaps on goal, but it would not work as this would be Yeronga’s day. Once against rebounding off half-back, the Devils ran it down the other end with Virgo cleverly putting it over the tip for McDonnell to run in and kick her second and ice the game. It was party time from then on, as Bromage, Yorston and Zanchetta enjoyed a great finish to the match. A late goal to Virgo stretched the final margin out to 47 points, the highest of the game. When the siren sounded just after 22 minutes, it marked the end of a terrific performance by Yeronga South Brisbane and despite the Bluebirds’ best efforts, they could not hold up the overwhelming inside 50s from the Devils.

COOLANGATTA TWEED 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 (9)
YERONGA STH BRISBANE 2.0 | 4.5 | 5.7 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:

Coolangatta: P. Parker.
Yeronga: L. Edwards 2, C. McDonnell 2, L. Bellinger, L. Arnell, Z. Farquharson, S. Virgo.

ADC BEST:

Coolangatta: J. Zanchetta, C. Bromage, Z. Farquharson, E. Bates, J. Yorston
Yeronga: A. Hamlyn, C. Ugle, E. Peterson, B. Pinchin, S. Priest

Picture: RF Photography

QAFL Women’s Grand Final preview: Coolangatta Tweed vs. Yeronga South Brisbane

THE big day is almost here, and the two best teams in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition are into the decider with Coolangatta Tweed and Yeronga South Brisbane to face off from 2pm tomorrow at Bond University.

The Grand Final will be a repeat of the 2016 decider, when Coolangatta Tweed – led by best on ground Leah Kaslar – won in a thriller by two points. Inaccuracy cost the Devils in that one, booting 4.11 to the Bluebirds’ 5.7 at Leyshon Park. That was Coolangatta Tweed’s first premiership, with Yeronga South Brisbane’s first of the QAFL Women’s coming a year later when the defeated Coorparoo by 18 points and Emily Bates won best on ground.

The sides have played twice this season with Coolangatta Tweed getting up on both occasions. Way back in Round 3, the Bluebirds won by 19 points, 7.9 (51) to 5.2 (32) with Georgia Breward starring, and Ahlani Eddy and Uma Brennan both booting two goals apiece. With neither side stacked with its AFL Women’s talent at that point, the Round 8 repeat on August 8 is the match to look at.

Coolangatta Tweed won 4.6 (30) to 3.8 (26) in a four-point thriller, which helped the Bluebirds secure a top two spot. A tight tussle all day, Coolangatta Tweed booted the only goal of the third term to edge ahead and then hold on in a tense final term. Four players – Kitara Farrar, Sally Riley, Paige Parker and Holly Mirfield – all booted goals for the winners, while Sam Virgo (two goals) and Adrienne Keeffe (one) were the goalkickers for the losers. Alexandra Hamlyn, Keyshia Matenga and Ebony Peterson shone in the win for the Bluebirds, whilst Lily Bougoure, Dee Heslop and Sarah Duncan were named the best for the Devils in defeat.

The Bluebirds come into the match off the back of four consecutive wins, though granted three of them were against the bottom three sides. A confidence-boosting 22-point win over Maroochydore has the second placed side primed for a title tilt, as they look to make it three wins this season against their opponents.

Lauren James was unstoppable last week slotting six goals which took her to the top of the Bluebirds’ goalkicking with 11, one ahead of Kaslar (10). Farrar (nine), Selina Priest (seven) and Riley (six) have all been prominent, while Hamlyn, Peterson and Kate Surman have been impressive players throughout the season.

For the Devils, they have won four of their past five, with only a defeat to Bond University in the penultimate round of the regular season costing themselves a top two spot. A huge win over the University of Queensland, followed up by high-scoring wins over Coorparoo (nine points) and Bond University (35 points) has them full of confidence.

Lexia Edwards has slotted 14 goals for the Devils this season, four ahead of both Lucy Bellinger (10) and Virgo (10). Courtney McDonnell has eight, while AFL Women’s Draft Combine invitees, Madison Goodwin and Zimmorlei Farquharson both have six majors to their names. Bates has been phenomenal this season, as has Jordan Zanchetta who shared in the QAFL Women’s league best and fairest. Jacqueline Yorston, Vanessa Hart and Lauren Arnell are others who have been strong for the Devils this season.

It is a tough match to call, and should go down to the wire. On our Final Siren Podcast this week previewing the clash, special guest Lily Postlethwaite predicted the Devils to win by around four goals with either Zanchetta or Bates to win best on ground.

Picture: AFL Queensland

Out to impress: QAFL Seniors Grand Final preview – Broadbeach vs. Morningside

AFTER nine regular season rounds and two enthralling weeks of finals, it all comes down to this. Undefeated minor premier, Broadbeach meets Morningside (2nd, 7-1) in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Grand Final on Saturday afternoon, and there is plenty of young talent primed to impact on the big stage.

In a new-look QAFL preview, Draft Central again narrows its focus to the young guns in action across the two best sides in the competition, including a bunch of Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS Academy products. We take a look at who shone when the sides previously met in 2020, while also touching on the strengths of some budding AFL Draft prospects in action.

2020 QAFL Grand Final

Broadbeach vs. Morningside
Saturday, September 26 | 2:30pm
Leyshon Park, Yeronga

Previous meeting…

Round 9 – Broadbeach 13.16 (94) def. Morningside 6.8 (44)

GOALS:

Broadbeach: C. Nutting 3, C. Cameron 3, J. Moncrieff 2, J. Fisher 2, R. Gilmore, B. Chadwick, B. Reeves
Morningside: L. Edwards 2, M. Hammelmann, S. Crozier, E. Mallan, B. Coleman

BEST:

Broadbeach: K. Boakye, E. Reeves, M. Lower, C. Cameron, B. Lowe, S. Mills
Morningside: W. Pendlebury, E. Mallan, L. Russ, R. William, B. Kethro, H. Joyce

It took until the final home-and-away round for the season’s two undefeated outfits to meet, with Broadbeach the side which would stand clear after a statement-making 50-point victory. The Cats’ range of scoring options ensure they pulled away strongly in the second half, overcoming some early woes in front of goal to put Morningside to the sword. Usual suspect and former Gold Coast forward Connor Nutting booted three goals in the winning effort, with fellow SUNS Academy graduate Ryan Gilmore and Bailey Reeves also hitting the scoreboard. For the Panthers, who showed plenty of room for improvement, current Brisbane Academy prospects Saxon Crozier and Blake Coleman also found the big sticks, but 24-year-old leading goalkicker Matt Hammelmann was kept to just one major in a big tick for Broadbeach’s defence.

The finals journey…

After both earning a week’s rest as the top two ranked teams, the preliminary finals proved a relatively straightforward stage for either side. Broadbeach scrapped to beat Sherwood, who employed some defensive tactics, to the tune of 43 points to book its spot in the decider. It should prove a handy tune-up for the Cats as their defence held up well, though the finishing up forward could do with some sharpening. Meanwhile, Morningside held off a pesky Palm Beach Currumbin (PBC) to advance via a 19-point victory. Crozier, Coleman, and Hammelmann were all again among the goals, but Victorian recruit Matthew McGannon was named best afield for his efforts through midfield. The Panthers will need another big effort from their forwards this coming Saturday.

Ones to watch…

A race against time will determine whether leading Queensland draft prospect Alex Davies returns to action for Broadbeach. The big-bodied inside midfielder has only managed one outing for the Cats in 2020, and is recovering from an elbow injury which saw him miss the Academy Series. It could be a risk to play him ahead of next month’s draft combine, but he would add clean extraction skills in what is usually the most hotly contested game of the season.

Conversely, another current SUNS Academy player in Aiden Fyfe promises to break the game open for Broadbeach, with his sharp ball use by foot and outside run making for valuable assets when the Cats are in need of a spark. Set to be stationed either off half-back or on the wing, Fyfe looms as a good counter to some of Morningside’s runners. Namely, Saxon Crozier‘s capacity to penetrate on the outer will be a key to much of the Panthers’ success, along with Blake Coleman‘s creativity in attack. Both make up two of the leading Lions Academy prospects for 2020, and have adjusted well to senior football.

Staying with the midfield battle, Broadbeach’s Bailey Reeves has a good mix of ball-winning traits both inside and out, and should battle well against the likes of Toby Triffett and Matthew McGannon, two of Morningside’s prime movers. Up forward, livewire small Josh Gore will look to go big having turned heads in his over-age year. The SUNS Academy graduate should keep a Panthers defence which boasts Nathan Colenso busy alongside the likes of Connor Nutting and Ryan Gilmore. Both Gore and Nutting have booted 17 goals this season.

Tip: Broadbeach by 15

Featured Image: Broadbeach young guns Alex Davies and Josh Gore celebrate after a goal | Source: Russell Freeman Photography

QAFL Women’s Semi-Finals wrap: Devils cause upset to face Bluebirds in final

YERONGA South Brisbane has toppled minor premiers, Bond University to book its place in the 2020 Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s Grand Final against Coolangatta Tweed. This year’s decider will see the second and third placed sides do battle for the ultimate prize on the weekend.

It was a memorable win for the Devils who grabbed the lead early, held off a second term fightback and then finished strongly to run out 35-point winners over the Sharkettes. Yeronga South Brisbane slotted three goals to one in the opening quarter to lead by 11 points at the first change, before Bond University hit back with three goals to two, cutting the deficit to just four points at the main break. Putting the foot down, Yeronga South Brisbane stepped up in the premiership quarter and final term to pile on six of the last seven goals to run out 11.6 (72) to 5.7 (37) victors.

Young gun Zimmorlei Farquharson slotted three goals and was named among the best for the Devils, as Sam Virgo (two goals) and Madison Goodwin (two) also hit the scoreboard multiple times. Jacqui Yorston (one) was among four single goalkickers, named in the best with Emily Bates, Jade Pregelj, Vanessa Hart and Mia Walsh. Lauren Arnell, Lexia Edwards and Lucy Bellinger were the other goalkickers in the famous win.

For Bond University, Taylor Smith kicked a couple of goals in the third term, with Casidhe Simmons, Jess Maher and Charlotte Hammans also kicking goals in the loss. Maddison Levi was outstanding in the loss, Hammans tried hard with the young brigade of Serene Watson, Lauren Bella, Lily Tarlinton and Annie Muir but could not help their side across the line.

In the Bluebirds’ win over Maroochydore, they controlled play for the most part, winning the first two terms to lead by 10 points at quarter time and 27 points at half-time. Maroochydore fought back in the third quarter to boot three goals to two and claw the deficit to within 21 points at the final break. Whilst the last term was even – both side booting a goal – Coolangatta Tweed had done enough in the first half to run out 11.4 (70) to 7.6 (48) winners.

Lauren James was massive for the winners, slamming home half a dozen goals in a huge performance up forward. She was joined by Kitara Farrar (two) as a multiple goalkicker, whilst the likes of Leah Kaslar, Leigh Alder and Hannah Martin all slotted a goal apiece. Lucy Turney, Paige Parker and Alexandra Hamlyn were all amongst the best players on the ground, with Kate Surman, Ebony Peterson and Casey Samuels also impressed in the win.

For the visitors, Shannon Campbell‘s terrific season up forward came to an end, but not without finishing on a high note of slotting three goals. Kelly Woods and Jacqueline Dupuy both kicked majors and were named among the best, whilst Tahlia Mead and Jennifer Carden-David also kicked goals in the loss. In terms of top performers, Chloe Gregory, Rachel Crack and Lily Postlethwaite all stood out, with Jessee Sills also named among the Roos’ best.

QAFL WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

Bond University 5.7 (37) defeated by Yeronga South Brisbane 11.6 (72)
Coolangatta Tweed 11.4 (70) defeated Maroochydore 7.6 (48)

Picture: Obtained via Gold Coast Bulletin (supplied by Coolangatta Tweed)

QAFL Scouting notes: Semi-finals – Morningside and Broadbeach book spots in decider

IT was semi-final weekend in the QAFL, and the competition’s two best sides performed superbly after their week off. Broadbeach were far too good for Sherwood, keeping them to just four goals in a 43-point victory. Morningside led comfortably for the majority of their clash against Palm Beach Currumbin on the back of strong performances from Matthew McGannon, Nathan Colenso and William Pendlebury. They ran out 19-point winners, thus ending Palm Beach’s recent stranglehold on Grand Final day and setting up a blockbuster. It will be Morningside’s first QAFL decider since 2015, while the undefeated Broadbeach will be hoping to avenge their 2018 Grand Final defeat. When the two teams played each other earlier this month, Broadbeach got the chocolates with a thumping 50-point victory. This was a Broadbeach home game and Morningside’s only loss of the season to date, so fans should expect a closer contest next Saturday.

MORNINGSIDE:

#23 Blake Coleman

Coleman has had a fantastic draft year and put in another impressive performance against Palm Beach. The Brisbane Lions Academy prospect started the game on fire, kicking the first goal of the match just two minutes in. This came from a set shot after he earnt a free kick for a hold in a one-on-one contest deep inside forward 50. Coleman is such a dangerous threat in one-on-one situations because of his amazing combination of strength, speed and agility, so his defenders often panic in these situations and give away cheap free kicks. Coleman showed how skilled he is when he produced a brilliant handball in the first term on the up, out of congestion, to a teammate in the corridor. This started some great running play by his teammates and resulted in a goal. Coleman has great versatility too, because he can fly aerially with his fantastic leap or stay down and use his pace to crumb the contest. Despite predominantly being a forward, he usually also gets some midfield minutes because he is a clever stoppage player. However, he was not given many opportunities in the middle on Saturday.

#27 Saxon Crozier

This was one of the best games I have seen Crozier play, which speaks volumes given that it was a semi-final. He played his usual wing role and ran very hard to impact the contest offensively and defensively. Crozier pushed forward on multiple occasions to take uncontested marks inside 50 and earn shots at goal. Although he missed one shot in the first term, he made up for it with a lovely set shot in the third. Crozier’s great fitness level and willingness to push to the next contest made him very difficult for the opposition to stop, as he got a lot of handball receives and frequently found himself with plenty of space on the wings. He has clearly mastered the art of controlling possession as well, as he chipped the ball around a lot in the defensive half with teammates. This helped his side regain composure when Palm Beach started to get back into the game, and it was handy in the last quarter because it took some time off the clock. Crozier’s performance was fantastic and he will undoubtedly be one to watch in next week’s Grand Final.

#32 Nathan Colenso

Colenso had an outstanding game at half-forward for Morningside. He started the match with a beautiful front and centre crumb on the 50, and then quickly gave the ball on the up to a teammate running past. This early possession gave him some confidence, and it led to him flourishing for the rest of the match. His game style is very well suited to finals footy, as he shows a lot of aggression towards the contest and his opponents when they have the ball. This was highlighted when he laid a strong tackle in the forward half to earn a holding the ball decision in the first term. Colenso is a great long kick of the footy, as shown when he nailed a set shot from just inside the 50-metre arc. He followed this up just moments later by setting up another goal with a lovely weighted kick to a teammate. Throughout the day, Colenso applied some strong forward pressure and used his strength to shrug off tacklers and keep his feet after contact. His body use in marking contests was fantastic and he linked up well with other forwards, including Coleman and Liam Dwyer, to set up scoring opportunities. Colenso had a passage of play in the second quarter that was definitely one for the highlight reel. It started at half-back when he took the ball cleanly, drew an oncoming tackler and fed the handball inside to a teammate. He then pushed hard forward to get on the end of the play and kick an important goal for his side on the run. Colenso was a strong contributor for Morningside and he will be hoping to thrive once again in next week’s decider.

#35 Toby Triffett

Triffett had some good moments for Morningside in their victory. In the first term, he took a fantastic overhead mark on the wing whilst under pressure and linked up well with teammates to transition the ball forward. He spent time in the midfield throughout the day, where he read the ball nicely off the hands of the ruckmen and won some contested possessions and clearances. In the second half, he laid plenty of strong tackles and gave no space to his opponents at stoppages. He capped off the game with a smart kick inside 50 to find Dwyer in the last quarter for a scoring opportunity.

BROADBEACH:

#31 Aidan Fyfe

Fyfe is an athletic half-back that played his usual intercepting role beautifully for Broadbeach. He has a great leap and strong hands, and he sits off his opponent while getting into great positions behind the play so he can use these attributes to stop the opposition’s forward bursts. This was evident just before quarter time when he took a brilliant intercept mark in the middle of the ground and delivered the ball nicely to forward Jordan Moncrieff. Although Moncrieff’s marking attempt was well spoiled by a defender, the play still led to Broadbeach’s fourth goal of the day. Fyfe is a good ball user in defence, as he has an effective left foot kick and can also deliver cleanly on his right. He is a crafty player as well, which was shown when he cleverly snapped a pass around an opponent to find a teammate on the wing in the second quarter.

#35 Josh Gore

Gore was very lively up forward once again for the Cats. He applied some great forward pressure by using his electric pace and strong tackling ability. At forward 50 stoppages he frequently burst through the contest at speed and took opposition players with him, thus creating space for his teammates. Gore was also good at pushing up to the wings to provide a lead-up option for teammates coming out of defence. He was confident taking marks in the hands and his kicking was quite efficient. Gore only kicked one goal for the day, but it was an absolute gem in the second quarter. He drifted off his opponent into the pocket to take a nice mark, then he went back and kicked a difficult checkside from tight on the boundary. This gave Broadbeach a healthy lead and they never looked back.

#56 Bailey Reeves

Reeves had a solid impact for his team on the wing. He is one of the hardest runners offensively and defensively in the Broadbeach side, and his willingness to produce second, third and fourth efforts was on show once again in this game. This was particularly evident in the second quarter, when Reeves worked hard to get across and commit an important spoil inside his side’s attacking 50. He also regularly picked the ball up cleanly, held his own in marking contests and attacked the footy with ferocity. Although he did make some disposal errors as the day wore on, he never dropped his head and always worked to redeem himself at the next contest.

SHERWOOD:

#45 Jack Briskey

Briskey was one of Sherwood’s best performers on Saturday. He played as a deep defender for most of the match and was extremely reliable, frequently using his size and strength to win or halve one-on-one contests. Broadbeach were great at locking the ball in their forward half and getting repeat inside 50s, so Briskey and the other Sherwood defenders were under constant pressure all day. Despite this, Briskey continually stepped up for his team defensively. He always positioned himself well, gave his opponent no space to work with and saved some certain goals with fantastic spoils. Briskey also laid some strong tackles in the defensive 50, attacked the ball hard in congestion and provided an option for teammates to link up with coming out of defence. While his performance was mostly strong, Briskey did make some skill errors throughout the day. In the third term, he took a brilliant intercept mark in the defensive goal square but immediately turned the ball back over with a poor kick down the middle, luckily resulting in just a behind. In the final term, Briskey was pushed forward to give his side a strong leading option. He took some nice marks and provided a decent presence up there, but unfortunately it was too little too late for Sherwood.

Picture: RF Photography

Out to impress: QAFL Seniors weekend preview – Semi Finals

AFTER nine regular season rounds and a bumper elimination weekend, semi-finals time has arrived in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL). Week two of the postseason sees the top couple of sides return from a week off; as undefeated minor premier, Broadbeach hosts Sherwood (4th, 4-4), while Morningside (2nd, 7-1) takes on Palm Beach Currumbin (3rd, 6-2).

In a new-look QAFL preview, Draft Central again narrows its focus to the young guns who will look to make a splash on the big stage this weekend. Get to know the prominent Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS Academy players set to take the field, as well as the other young prospects who have impressed over the course of the season.

Semi Final 1:

Broadbeach vs. Sherwood
Saturday, September 19 | 2:30pm
Subaru Oval, Broadbeach

Sherwood will hope an upset is brewing when it travels to face undefeated minor premier, Broadbeach on Saturday. While the Cats were able to put their feet up in a well-earned bye week, the Magpies toiled for a five-point win in their knockout clash with Maroochydore. The competitive nature of the game should bode well for the underdogs, who could jump the highly-fancied hosts out the gates. Conversely, it could see Broadbeach come in the much fresher side.

The Cats’ bench is littered with young talent, headlined by prolific goalkicking small, Josh Gore. The crafty forward booted four majors in the Round 4 meeting between these two sides in 2020, so will again look to make a splash. Fellow Gold Coast SUNS Academy members Aiden Fyfe and Bailey Reeves join Gore on the five-man interchange, both top-aged prospects. Fyfe is a terrific user of the ball on the outer, while Reeves can play both sides of midfield and find plenty of the pill. 20-year-old SUNS Academy graduates Connor Nutting and Ryan Gilmore have both been named up forward for Broadbeach. Meanwhile, leading Queensland prospect Alex Davis remains on the sidelines with an elbow injury.

Over-age Brisbane Lions Academy gun Bruce Reville again takes his spot up on the wing for Sherwood, looking to provide plenty of drive going forward. Look for him to potentially rotate through the front six, or even into the centre bounces should the Magpies require a spark. Raw 20-year-old tall Samson Ryan will ply his trade in the ruck, with the ultra-athletic Jack Briskey set to provide some key position support from the bench. Fellow Lions Academy top-ager Connor Bulley has been named as an emergency for Sherwood.

Semi Final 2:

Morningside vs. Palm Beach Currumbin
Saturday, September 19 | 2:30pm
Jack Esplen Oval, Morningside

Palm Beach Currumbin (PBC) will be tasked with completing a 52-point turnaround against Morningside since the two sides’ previous clash in Round 8, as they meet again at the semi-final stage. The Lions enjoyed a 50-plus point win of their own to advance to this stage, having finished just one game shy of the Panthers in third. Last week’s hitout puts PBC in winning form, but is hardly the competitive finals outing they may have sought before this clash.

A couple of leading Brisbane Lions Academy prospects – Blake Coleman and Saxon Crozier – again take their place in the Panthers’ side. Coleman will look to rotate forward off the bench, providing clean hands and speed at all levels. Crozier will ply his trade off half-back with a booming kick and outside run in his arsenal. Another academy product, Toby Triffett comes in on the bench alongside Coleman, while Nathan Colenso has been named at full back, and 20-year-old Gippsland Power graduate Matthew McGannon roams through midfield.

Exciting smalls Ethan Hunt and Liam O’Brien will look to provide plenty of drive for PBC on the outside, having both fit in on the Lions’ interchange alongside 19-year-old Ashton Crossley. Top-age Gold Coast Academy prospect Jack Johnston comes in at centre half-back and will have his hands full, while Riley Buckland is another to keep an eye on with his run and attack in the forward half. Former Northern Knight Jamison Shea, who averages over two goals per game, should also make an impact in the front six.

Featured Image: Blake Coleman hunts the ball for Morningside | Source: RF Photography

QAFL Women’s weekend preview: Semi-Finals – Top four sides remain in title hunt

IT was fitting that the two highest ranked teams in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition won through their respective elimination finals last week, allowing the top four teams to remain in the hunt for the 2020 QAFL Women’s flag. In the two do-or-die semis, top of the table Bond University will host fourth placed Yeronga South Brisbane, while second placed Coolangatta Tweed takes on third placed Maroochydore.

You have to go all the way back to Round 1 to find the last time Bond University lost. Since then, they have strung together nine wins, as well as two COVID-related cancellations. Given one of those cancellations was against bottom two side Wilston Grange, it is fair to say the Sharkettes could have been even further ahead at the top of the table. For the Devils, they lost to Bond University back in Round 11 to effectively lose the chance at a top two spot, but have won four of their past five matches, and are coming off the back of a nine-point win against Coorparoo so they bring form into the clash.

The Round 11 battle between the sides has been the only clash thus far, with Bond University winning in a low-scoring match, 4.6 (30) to 1.5 (11). Trailing at both quarter time and half-time the Sharkettes kicked the last four goals of the game, with a three goals to zero third term being the difference. Jess Maher kicked a couple of goals for the winners, with Maddison Levi and Taylor Smith also snagging a couple, while Emily Bates kicked the opening goal of the game for the Devils.

Having had a nice rest over the first weekend of finals, the potent Sharkettes forward line returns with Smith leading the way with 15 snags in 10 matches, and being one of her side’s best throughout the season. The team has plenty of good young talent with Annie Muir and Annise Bradfield also named among the best on multiple occasions, as has been the case with Gold Coast’s Lauren Bella, and both Krystal Scott and Lucinda Pullar.

For the Devils, Lexia Edwards leads all-comers in the goalkicking with 13 majors in 11 games, ahead of Lucy Bellinger (nine), Courtney McDonnell (eight) and Sam Virgo (eight). The experience of Bates, Jordan Zanchetta, Jacqueline Yorston and Lauren Arnell has been telling this year and the quartet have been among the top players for Yeronga South Brisbane in 2020.

The Sharkettes will head in as favourites for the clash, but the Devils will hope to catch the rested Bond University off early, trying to take full advantage of the fourth placed side’s recent form.

Coolangatta Tweed comes into its semi-final clash against Maroochydore having won six of its past seven games, and having only dropped three matches for the season. No doubt avoiding Coorparoo in the finals would have been a relief for the Bluebirds, who have suffered two defeats at the hands of the Kings, whilst the other loss came against Bond University in the first match back from the restart on July 11.

Meanwhile Maroochydore is on a four-game winning streak, having had some percentage-boosting wins in the final fortnight to leap up to third, After dropping back-to-back games against Coorparoo and Yeronga South Brisbane following a COVID-19 related cancellation, Maroochydore looked to have slipped down the order after such a strong start to the season. The Roos have picked it up since and enjoyed a good run home.

The last time these sides played was on July 25, when Coolangatta Tweed got home in a five-point thriller, 3.4 (22) to 2.5 (17). It was neck-and-neck for the most past, with the Roos leading by seven points at the first change, then the Bluebirds holding a solitary point advantage at the next two breaks. Kicking the only goal of the final term, Coolangatta Tweed held on in a low-scoring win. Leah Kaslar booted one of her side’s three goals and was named among the best with Alexandra Hamlyn and Keyshia Matenga, while for the Roos, Mikayla Pauga was the best and also slotted a goal, with Sophie Bale and Maggie Harmer also named among the best.

Looking across the whole season, Kaslar won the club goalkicking for the Bluebirds with nine majors, two ahead of youngster Kitara Farrar and another AFL Women’s talent in Selina Priest. The AFL Women’s experience of Kaslar and Sally Riley has helped the Bluebirds this season, with Hamlyn, Matenga, Kate Surman and Ebony Peterson all featuring in the bests five times.

At the Roos, Shannon Campbell has been the competitions most reliable goalkicker with 18 majors in 10 games, and also been named among the best five times. Pauga is next, with 13 goals and six bests. Overall Harmer leads the way in the coaches votes, with eight bests in 12 games, one ahead of young gun Lily Postlethwaite, whilst Isabel Dawes and Ruby McDowell also feature highly.

Coolangatta Tweed will be favourites in this game, but Maroochydore is a huge chance based on recent form and will be looking to carry that form into the semi-final with no turning back for the loser.

QAFL WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS:

Bond University vs. Yeronga South Brisbane
Coolangatta Tweed vs. Maroochydore

Picture: RF Photography

QAFL Women’s weekend wrap: Elimination Finals – Roos and Devils book spots in semis

MAROOCHYDORE and Yeronga South Brisbane are through to the semi-finals after winning their respective elimination finals on the weekend in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) competition. The Roos accounted for University of Queensland by 53 points in a one-sided contest, while the Devils knocked off a title contender in Coorparoo by just nine points.

In what was a low-scoring start, Maroochydore led by just six points at the first break, then piled on four goals to zero in the second term to race out to a 31-point advantage. By the final break the margin was 51 points with a further three goals added to the total. Both sides added two goals in the final term – which included the Red Lionesses only two majors of the game – which meant Maroochydore got up 10.9 (69) to 2.4 (16).

Shannon Campbell booted five goals in the big win for the Roos, as the home side had six individual goalkickers. Also named among the Roos best were Brisbane AFL Women’s young guns, Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes, as well as Ashleigh Hales, Jacqueline Dupuy and Maggie Harmer. For the Red Lionesses, Dakota Davidson finished her season off with another two goals, while Mia Teubler, Jamie Stone and Nat Grider were all named among the visiting team’s best.

In the other game, Yeronga South Brisbane kicked five goals to zero in the third term to set up a memorable nine-point victory over Coorparoo. The Kings actually led by a point at quarter time and three points at the main break, having edged ahead when the siren sounded in each quarter. That soon changed with the Devils booting 5.2 to 0.1 in the third term to race away to a 28-point lead, and whilst they only managed 0.2 to the Kings’ 3.3, it was a big enough advantage to get home, 8.10 (58) to 7.7 (49).

Lexia Edwards snagged three goals in the win, while Jordan Zanchetta and Emily Bates both kicked a goal apiece and were named among the bests. Also named in the bests were Devils talents, Jade Pregelj, Lauren Arnell, Madison Goodwin and Emmii-Lee Zanker-Close. For the Kings, Tori Groves-Little and Jamie Stanton both snagged two majors, as Tahlia Hickie, Ally Anderson and Jess Wuetschner used their AFL Women’s experience to snag a goal apiece. Meg Muir and Charlotte Edmunds were also named among the Kings best in the loss.

Next week the Devils will face the top of the table Bond University for a spot in the grand final, while the Roos will take on second placed Coolangatta Tweed in the other semi-final.

QAFL WOMEN’S ELIMINATION FINALS RESULTS:

Maroochydore 10.9 (69) defeated University of Queensland 2.4 (16)
Yeronga South Brisbane 8.10 (58) defeated Coorparoo 7.7 (49)

Picture: AFL Queensland

Out to impress: QAFL Seniors weekend preview – Elimination Finals

AFTER nine regular season rounds, finals time has arrived in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL), with the top six sides set to battle it out for premiership glory. Week one provides a pair of elimination finals, as Sherwood (4th, 4-4) hosts Maroochydore (5th, 4-4), while Palm Beach Currumbin (3rd, 6-2) takes on Mt Gravatt (6th, 3-5). Undefeated minor premier Broadbeach and second-placed Morningside (7-1) await in the semi finals stage, and have both earned a week off.

In a new-look QAFL preview, Draft Central narrows its focus to the young guns who will look to make a splash on the big stage this weekend. Get to know the prominent Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS Academy players set to take the field, as well as the other young prospects who have impressed over the course of the season.

Elimination Final 1:

Sherwood vs. Maroochydore
Saturday, September 12 | 2:00pm
McCarthy Homes Oval

Two sides with identical records will do battle as Sherwood takes on Maroochydore in the first elimination final, set to play out at McCarthy Homes Oval. The clash serves as somewhat of a reverse fixture to the clubs’ Round 6 meeting, which the ‘Roos won by 31 points on home turf. Despite that result, it’s the Magpies who hold a superior ladder position on account of their percentage buffer.

Bruce Reville is a name which jumps off the hosts’ team sheet, named at half-forward. An over-aged Brisbane Lions Academy member, Reville ran out in this year’s Academy Series in between his five outings for Sherwood. Listed at 185cm, Reville is a smooth moving and versatile prospect who can play both sides of midfield, and find the goals while stationed up forward. He proved as much with two goals against Labrador last week and his run-and-carry could serve to open up the contested nature of finals football.

Fellow Lions Academy products Jack Briskey and Connor Bulley have both been named as emergencies for the Magpies, while former academy ruckman Samson Ryan has been tasked with the ruck duties. Briskey, a promising athlete with raw potential, faces a fight to squeeze back into the side despite recently earning a National Combine invite.

Potentially a matchup for Reville on Maroochydore’s side is Carter Michael, one of the leading Lions AFL Draft prospects in 2020. The 187cm left-footer moves well and while he may start on the wing, can also move to half-back or into the midfield. Another couple of academy products will line up for the ‘Roos, with 19-year-old bigman Max McDonald named on the bench, while top-ager Ben Thomas slots in at half-back for just his third game at the level in 2020.

This game promises to be a cracker, with both sides evenly matched across the park and some young talent primed to make an impact. With even more prospects waiting in the wings for a late change, all of the aforementioned players could prove game-changers for either side.

Elimination Final 2:

Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Mt Gravatt
Saturday, September 12 | 2:00pm
Salk Oval

Palm Beach Currumbin (PBC) will fancy its chances of advancing into week two of finals, but can take nothing for granted as Mt Gravatt comes to town. The Lions are the top-ranked side in action this week, and come up against the only finalist with a negative record. The Vultures will be up against it, especially given they went down to PBC by 48 points just last week.

18-year-old Liam O’Brien is among the young Lions to be taking the field, named alongside former Suns Academy midfielder Ashton Crossley on the bench. O’Brien is a state Under 16 representative who can craft on the outside, while Crossley provides a big body on the inside. The Lions have also named Riley Buckland, a promising 19-year-old who has played into some great late-season form and retains his senior spot. Ethan Hunt was not so lucky, listed as an emergency after seven top flight appearances.

Diminutive, but tough Lions Academy bottom-agers Lochlan Harrop and Sam Winterbottom are both set to line up for Mt Gravatt, named in the midfield and forwardline respectively. Harrop should bring some good hardness and versatility to the fore, while Winterbottom is a classy small who could wreak havoc inside 50. Others around the academy traps to be named include Ethan Kerr (interchange) and Zac Young (half-forward). While the deck is stacked against Mt Gravatt, the Vultures’ young talent should benefit from the finals experience, and give it a red-hot crack against good opposition. The Lions’ experience depth bode well for them after a solid regular season. They’ll be raring to go.

Featured Image: PBC’s Ashton Crossley gets a kick away | Credit: Jerad Williams/Gold Coast Bulletin

QAFL Women’s weekend preview: Elimination Finals – Roos and Devils earn hosting rights

FINALS fever is here in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition, with Maroochydore and University of Queensland facing off, before Yeronga South Brisbane and Coorparoo do battle. For the losers, it is season over, while for the winners, preliminary finals dates with Bond University and Coolangatta Tweed await.

MAROOCHYDORE vs. UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND

The third placed Maroochydore hosts the sixth placed University of Queensland in the opening game of the round, with the winner set to play second place Coolangatta Tweed in the semi-finals. Finishing the season with seven wins, three losses and two draws, Maroochydore will be the clear favourite compared to the Red Lionesses who finished the QAFL Women’s season with three wins, eight losses and a draw.

Prior to the COVID-19 postponement, Maroochydore raced out of the blocks to win all three of its games – including a thriller against the Red Lionesses – then by Round 5 had four wins and a draw to its name. They stumbled a little over the next few rounds with losses to Coolangatta Tweed, Coorparoo and Yeronga South Brisbane around a precautionary draw with top of the table Bond University. A nine-point win over the Red Lionesses gave the Roos confidence again and they went on to finish the season with a three-game winning streak, smashing Aspley Hornets 95-0 to grab third spot on percentage, and then taking care of Wilston Grange, 43-9.

The University of Queensland had the opposite start to the season as Maroochydore, dropping all three games prior to the break, and losing by a narrow two points to Yeronga South Brisbane in the first game back in Round 4. They clicked into gear with impressive wins over Wilston Grange and Aspley Hornets to look like a team on the move up the ladder. Unfortunately for Red Lionesses fans, that was a false mirage as they only won one of the last six games, and that was against the Hornets by four points – the closest the Hornets came to a win. Despite this, the University of Queensland can take plenty out of two narrow losses to the Roos, knowing they match up well and would have been their preferred opponent out of the other top four teams.

Shannon Campbell finished the year with 13 goals in nine games, and was among the best on multiple occasions, Mikayla Pauga remains a huge best and fairest chance, averaging a goal a game and named in the best every second game on average from her 12 matches. Ashleigh Hales (six goals), Chloe Gregory (five), Jacqueline Dupuy (five) and Jennifer Carden-David (five) have also been consistent sources of goals this year. Maggie Harmer‘s seven bests from 11 games has her with the most consistent performances this season for the green and golds, while Brisbane Lions young gun, Lily Postlethwaite has six with Pauga. Others who have shone include Ruby McDowell (five), Bella Smith (four), Isabel Dawes (four) and Tayla Gesch (four).

Dakota Davidson has been the clear standout in front of goal, snagging 13 majors in nine games, named in the best on three occasions for the Red Lionesses. Greta Bodey has not played in a month, but prior to that she kicked eight goals in five games, while Megan Hunt – potentially leading the club’s best and fairest with seven bests – has six majors. Sophie Ure (four goals) has also been productive in her nine games. Aside from Hunt, players further up the field have also been named among the best many times, including Jane Childes and Mikayla Martin (both six). Jamie Stone has five bests ahead of Alexandra Moran, Breanna Koenen, Mia Teubler and Sara-Jane O’Grady who all have four.

Maroochydore go in as strong favourites on recent form, though University of Queensland will have confidence from pushing the Roos twice.

 

YERONGA SOUTH BRISBANE vs. COORPAROO

In the second match on Saturday, fourth placed Yeronga South Brisbane plays host to fifth placed Coorparoo for the right to take on minor premiers, Bond University in the preliminary finals. There is not much separating both these sides on the ladder, with the Devils snatching the home ground advantage in the final round with a win over the University of Queensland, whilst the Kings went went down to the Sharkettes to drop to fifth. In season 2020, the Devils finished with seven wins, three losses and two draws, while the Kings had the seven wins and five losses, just five points behind.

Yeronga South Brisbane comes into the match off the back of some pretty good form, winning three of the past four games, and that loss came against Bond University a fortnight ago. The Devils have been running hot since the break, starting with a couple of draws in Rounds 4 and 5, then narrowly avoiding a remarkable third draw in a row with a one-point win over Wilston Grange. They found their form again after Round 7’s win over Aspley Hornets, with wins over all the other sides except the top two. In the two matches with Coorparoo, they won in a high scoring Round 1 clash, 69-54, then again three weeks ago, 46-28.

Coorparoo started slowly this season, having a couple of losses in Rounds 1 and 2, then got on the board with a comprehensive 57-point win over Aspley Hornets. Upon returning to the QAFL Women’s, the Kings had the fortune of playing the last placed Hornets again and smashed them by 93 points, a record that would stand until the Roos’ 95-point shellacking over them. They easily accounted for Coolangatta Tweed and looked the team to beat, before falling to Bond University by 21 points in Round 6. From there, the Kings picked up three consecutive wins, before dropping games to both the Devils and Sharkettes in the final three rounds either side of a 40-point triumph over Wilston Grange.

Yeronga South Brisbane shares the goals around with Lexia Edwards (10 goals) averaging a goal a game to lead the Devils in goalkicking this season. Lucy Bellinger is not too far behind with eight goals – five of those in one game against the Hornets – and named among the best four times. Courtney McDonnell (seven), Sam Virgo (seven), Adrienne Keeffe (four) and Madison Goodwin (four) have also been prominent in 2020. Jordan Zanchetta has been the stand out for the Devils, named among the best five times in her 10 games, just ahead of Bellinger, Emily Bates, Jacqueline Yorston and Vanessa Hart who have all earned four bests nominations. Hart has only played the six games since the break, which makes her the in-form player.

For the Kings, the AFL Women’s experience is at the top of the table with Jamie Stanton kicking a competition-high 15 goals to share the leading goalkicker award with Bond University’s Taylor Smith. She has been named in the best on five occasions, and has clearly been the standout and one of the league’s top performers since returning to the Kings’ outfit in July. Also fantastic, Jess Wuetschner has booted 12 goals in eight games, one more than Emma McKenzie (11) and just ahead of Chelsea Chesterfield (10). Kelsey Crosbie who has remarkably not played since March, booted eight goals in three games to remain inside the top five, one ahead of Tori Groves-Little (seven). Jade Ellenger leads all-comers when it comes to bests with eight nominations from 12 games ahead of Stanton’s five, and then a host of experienced players on four such as Ally Anderson, Emma Zielke and Tahlia Hickie.

Yeronga South Brisbane have the form against Coorparoo, but the Kings can never be discounted with the stack of AFL Women’s talent on the list.