Tag: jacob simpson

State leagues preview: Pressure on undefeated sides

AS the weekend approaches, state leagues around the country prepare for another big round of footy. With high stakes across the board, don’t be surprised to see some thrilling contests.

Victoria:

The VFL will be holding less games this week, with eight teams set to have a bye this weekend as the competition breaks up the matches with the added interstate teams. However, this does not mean there will be a shortage of exciting matchups.

The Casey Demons were hoping to maintain their spot on top of the ladder with a win over the Sydney Swans at Casey Fields on Sunday morning, however that encounter has been delayed due to COVID-19 related issues. The Demons find themselves in first place after starting the season 3-0 with a handy percentage and their big win over North Melbourne last round will give them plenty of confidence despite not being able to head into a clash with the struggling Swans side. Sydney have started the season with just one win from their three games, with their heartbreak from last week’s three-point loss a driving factor for the Swans players.

Sunday afternoon will also see the Carlton Blue travelling to Whitten Oval to take on the undefeated Footscray Bulldogs in a tantalising matchup. Carlton have been no slumps this season, winning two out of their first three matches, and dominating Essendon by 49 points in round three. They will fancy themselves against the Dogs here, but it will be a tough task to slow down their opponents. Footscray soundly defeated the Northern Bullants to the tune of 43 points last week, marking their third win by over seven goals. Prized Bulldog Jamarra Ugle-Hagan continues to find his feet at this level, so expect him to have a big presence in the forward line. Carlton’s Will Setterfield will be looking to perform at the level that has seen him collect over 25 disposals in each of the last two games.

South Australia:

The SANFL season is flying as South Australia’s premier league heads into their sixth round of action. The most intriguing matchup of the round comes first as the Woodville-West Torrens host the South Adelaide Panthers in a clash that will prove vital for each of the two sides. The Panthers have lost just the one match from their first five games, good enough for second place on the ladder. Their chances will be bolstered by the return of Matthew Broadbent and Liam Fitt, while 17-year-old Matty Roberts will make his debut after a strong performance in the U18’s last round. The Eagles sit just behind their opponents in third place, having won one less game, but will be driven by last round’s loss to Port Adelaide. The inclusion of star forward Jack Hayes will give them a huge confidence boost heading into a crucial game on Saturday afternoon.

The Central District Bulldogs will be looking for their second win for the season as they prepare for this round’s match against Norwood at X Convenience Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs have had a less than ideal start to the season, finding themselves on the bottom of the ladder after six rounds, and have decided to change things up at selection. Key forward Connor McLean has been named in the forward pocket, in an attempt to stretch Norwood’s defence. Norwood could be recalling Mitch Grigg, who is named on the extended bench after his shocking relegation to the reserves in recent weeks. Grigg collected 20 touches in last week’s match, so don’t be surprised to see him line up for the senior side this week.

The SANFL showdown always delivers a buzz around Adelaide, with this year proving no exception, as the Port Adelaide Power and the Adelaide Crows prepare to go to war on Saturday afternoon at Adelaide Oval as a curtain raiser to the AFL match between the two sides. The Power find themselves just inside the top five based on percentage, but last week’s ten-goal win over the Eagles will see them enter this match with their tails up. Experienced defender Tyson Goldsack will debut for the side having overcome a knee injury, while potential draftee Jase Burgoyne will line up for the Power in his debut as a part of his work in the Power’s Next Generation academy. The Crows sit on the same amount of wins as their fifth-placed opponents, but find themselves down the pecking order in eighth place. They will unleash Tasmanian development player Oliver Davis on the wing, after being recruited from Clarence for the rest of the season.

Kicking off the Sunday football action, the North Adelaide Roosters will host the West Adelaide Bloods at Prospect Oval on Sunday afternoon, with both sides keen to take home a very important win. The Roosters have started the season with just the one win from five games, so a triumph in this match would be vital for reigniting their 2021 season. They will welcome back utility Sam McInerney, who will play his first match since 2019, following a series of back injuries, while former Hawk Billy Hartung has been named on a wing in his first game of the year. The West Adelaide Bloods will be hoping to ride the momentum of last week’s win over Central District into this week, as they look to enter the top five with a victory on Sunday. They will be welcoming mature-age recruit Nick Steele, who will be lining up at centre-half-forward for his first SANFL match.

Sturt face a tough task this round, as they face off against the top of the table Glenelg at ACH Group Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the round. Sturt have started the season with two wins and three losses from five games, with their round five triumph over the Crows coming by just one point. They have not confirmed their changes yet, with all inclusions named on the extended bench, and one of these inclusions is former Power player Riley Grundy, who could debut to boost his side’s backline. Glenelg have started the season like a house on fire, winning all five of their matches to date, and will be looking to keep their unbeaten streak rolling. As a result of their hot start, they will likely enter the clash unchanged.

Western Australia:

The sixth round of WAFL action kicks off with an absolute blockbuster, as Claremont travel to Leederville Oval to face off against a fired-up Subiaco side on Saturday afternoon. Claremont have not put a foot wrong in their start to the season, ending round five with a 4-0 record as the dominant team of the competition. Forward Jack Butler kicked five goals from nine scoring shots, so expect Subiaco to send their best defender to keep an eye on him all day. Subiaco started the season 3-0, but were handed their first loss of the season by South Fremantle in round five, so look for them to come out eager to make amends. Ruckman Lachlan Delahunty will play a crucial role in his side’s success, and if he can back up last week’s 21 disposal and 29 hitout effort, Subiaco’s midfield should gain ascendancy.

Perth will be hoping to move up the ladder with a second consecutive win as they prepare to take on a Peel Thunder side in a similar situation. Both sides sit at 2-2 on the season and a third win could see the victor move into the top four after this high-stake game. Perth broke a two-game losing streak with a five-goal win over East Fremantle last round in a promising display and would love to back it up this round. Brady Grey played his best game of the season last week, with 29 disposals, 11 marks and nine tackles, and was crucial in the win, and should prove important again this week. Peel Thunder dominated West Coast last week, crushing their opponents by 79 points, so they will be confident in their ability heading into this clash. Blair Bell is fresh off a six-goal haul against the Eagles, so keep an eye on his presence around goal.

Swan Districts will be looking to edge closer to top spot on the ladder with a win over a faulting West Perth team at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday afternoon. Swan Districts are on a three-game winning streak to see them currently sit with a 3-1 record in second place and will be heavy favourites this week. Midfielder Samuel Fisher is averaging 34.5 disposals on the season in a blistering start and should rack up plenty of the ball in this clash. West Perth have only managed the one win in the 2021 season, and look unlikely to snatch one here, but if they do, it could kickstart a promising campaign.

East Perth will have the opportunity to grab their first win of the season on Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Fremantle Community Bank Oval to take on South Fremantle. East Perth have started the season with a disappointing 0-4 record and sit second last on the ladder. Last week’s performance was promising as they pushed second placed Swan Districts right to the final siren, only falling two goals short of a massive upset. If they can bring a similar effort this week, they may finally sing the song. Edward Simpson booted five snags in the loss and should once again give defenders a headache. South Fremantle have won two games in a row to finally build some momentum as the season progresses. A win here could push them into the top three, so they will be eager to walk away victors. Haiden Schloithe has displayed his talents as a goalkicking midfielder all year so expect Saturday to prove no different.

The final match of round six will see East Fremantle host a West Coast side that is yet to compete all year, as the sides go head-to-head at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday afternoon. East Fremantle are making a strong push for the top four, but last round’s loss to Perth made that slightly harder. They will be looking to grab this game with both hands early on, with Cameron Eardley likely to prove influential through the midfield. West Coast have simply looked off the pace all year, yet to register their first win and have been soundly beaten by plenty of sides. A bright spot for the season has been Hamish Brayshaw, who will look to find plenty of the ball around the ground.

Queensland:

QAFL action begins at 1:00 on Saturday afternoon, as Surfers Paradise host Noosa at Sir Bruce Small Park, as both sides look to recover from shaky starts. Surfers Paradise have won just the one game so far this year, and a loss here could see them fall right down in the race for the flag. Luckily for them, they face an out of form side, and a win would likely pump some life into their season. Look for Alby Jones to back up last week’s strong outing. Noosa are yet to win a game after four games and will be desperate to change that with a win this round. They were competitive against Sherwood Districts, but missed an opportunity to defeat a side that was also searching for their first win. Ryley Buntain has delivered two fantastic performances in losing sides, so he will be eager to walk off a winner.

Labrador will be thrilled with the opportunity to jump up the ladder as they head into Saturday afternoon’s clash with Mt Gravatt at Cooke-Murphy Oval. Labrador sit fourth on the ladder with three wins and one loss from their matches this year, and a win could see them reach second depending on results around the league. Heading into the match as favourites, their motivation will be high to continue to set themselves up as the season progresses. Former AFL gun Pearce Hanley has been on fire in the last two weeks, so if he is once again allowed to roam free, Labrador will be hard to stop. Mt Gravatt have won only the solitary game this year but have had two byes in five weeks. Nevertheless, a second win is crucial, and Saturday provides a perfectly good opportunity. Gavin Grose’s start to the year has been eye catching and should continue in this match.

A fresh Morningside team will be hosting Redland-Victoria Point at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday afternoon in an exciting matchup. Fresh off the bye, Morningside will be ready for the challenge from a strong Redland-Victoria Point side, as both sides look to climb the ladder with an important win on Saturday. Redland-Victoria Point’s Harrison Kerr has booted 11 goals in his past three games and will need to be held accountable if Morningside are to slow down the scoring of their opponent.

Sherwood Districts will be looking to cause an upset as they prepare to host an impressive Maroochydore at Sherwood Oval on Saturday afternoon. Sherwood Districts have only won a single game this season, while their opponents have won three, so a boilover here looks unlikely, but stranger things have happened. Maroochydore sit second on the ladder, and if ladder leaders Broadbeach are beaten this round, a big win in this match could see them move to the top of the table. Keep an eye on Maroochydore’s Jacob Simpson, who has performed strongly all year. Sherwood Districts’ William Fletcher has been equally impressive and has also put his hand up as one to watch.

Wilston Grange face the tough task of slowing down the ladder leaders, as they host the undefeated Broadbeach at Hickey Park on Saturday afternoon. Wilston Grange have a 1-3 record after four games in an underwhelming start to the year, but a win here would truly send a message to the rest of the competition. They have the ability to kick a winning score, highlighted by Will McKenzie’s seven goals in his last two games. Broadbeach will be a tough beast to tame though. 4-0 on the season, they simply know how to get the job. With the top spot comes the pressure, and they will be eager to show they can more than handle it. Liam Nelson has been strong in the last three games and will be hoping to maintain this.

Tasmania:

The sixth round of TSL football kicks off with a bang as Clarence host competition powerhouse Launceston at Blundstone Arena on Saturday afternoon. Launceston have looked unstoppable but face arguably their toughest challenger this week on their home deck. Clarence have looked fantastic this year, especially since returning to Blundstone Arena, and will fancy themselves a strong chance to knock off the reigning premiers on Saturday. The inclusion of experienced forward Josh Green should make them more dangerous forward of the ball. Launceston will be regaining stand-in captain Jake Hinds after serving his suspension, while Dylan Riley will be eager to continue the run of form that has seen him boot 19 goals in the last two matches.

Another key clash this weekend comes in the form of North Hobart taking on Glenorchy at North Hobart Oval on Saturday afternoon. Both sides sit with a 1-3 record and changing that to 2-3 is crucial for the season moving forward. North Hobart will bring in ruckman Logan Elphinstone to establish some midfield dominance. Glenorchy will be regaining the services of experienced midfielder Sam Rundle who should prove a crucial inclusion to the side.

The Tigers and North Launceston will clash at UTAS Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the final match of the round. The Tigers have a 3-2 record and had their colours lowered by a firing Clarence side last weekend, so they will be desperate to get back on the winners list. Star Elijah Reardon was kept reasonably quiet last round so he should be keen to bounce back in this game. North Launceston sit at 2-2 having played one less game than their opponent, but will regain the services of Bradley Cox-Goodyer, setting up a thrilling clash.

Picture credit: The Examiner

State Leagues Wrap: Weekend of thrillers

AS the weekend came to an end, so did a round of exciting football around the country. State leagues saw plenty of contests that came down to the wire, while other teams flexed their muscles with big wins.

Victoria:

VFL action kicked off on Thursday night with the Casey Demons’ big win over North Melbourne as VFL finally returned to Marvel Stadium. The Demons kicked a whopping 19 goals and finished the game as 107-point winners in a game that would not have impressed North Melbourne fans. Sam Weideman kicked four goals as he continues his ripping form that is sure to earn him an AFL recall in the near future. Unfortunately for him, Casey’s AFL affiliate Melbourne is absolutely flying at the moment, but if the key forward keeps up these performances, he will be hard to ignore come selection time. For the Roos, ruckman Tristian Xerri fought hard, and won the duel with Casey’s rucks, collecting 16 disposals to go with his 35 hitouts.

Collingwood stole a victory at the death as they snuck away with a three-point win against the Gold Coast Suns at Olympic Park Oval on Friday afternoon. With his 20th disposal, Magpie Reef McInnes kicked a goal at the 26-minute mark of the final term to put his side in front, and the rest is history. Young Pie Oliver Henry’s three goal haul would have impressed coaches, while Sun Will Brodie dominated in the midfield, collecting 41 touches and laying 11 tackles.

Geelong held off a fast-finishing Sydney side to claim a tense four-point win at Tramway Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Swans led by three points heading into the final term but Logan McDonald’s three goal effort was not enough to get the Swans home. Charlie Constable found the ball 28 times in a promising display, while Josh Jenkins booted two goals. For the Swans, Lewis Taylor and Robbie Fox combined for 59 disposals and looked dangerous whenever the ball was in dispute.

Essendon’s fast start couldn’t be maintained, eventually falling to Carlton by 49 points at Windy Hill on Sunday afternoon. The Bombers led by 14 points at the first break, but a five goal to nil second term got the Blues in front, and they never looked back. Out of favour Blue Will Setterfield continued his strong VFL form with a 26 disposal effort as he continues to push for a recall, while Nic Newman returned from a serious knee injury sustained last year to gather 23 disposals in a promising outing for Blues fans. First game Don Nick O’Kearney gathered 36 disposals in an eye-catching performance.

South Australia:

Round 5 of the SANFL began with an upset, as Norwood took down the previously undefeated South Adelaide Panthers at Coopers Stadium on Friday night. The Redlegs kicked a whopping five goals to one in the second goal to give themselves a 26-point lead at half time, and the Panthers simply couldn’t get the comeback done in time. Norwood midfielders Matthew Nunn and Jacob Kennerley combined for a whopping 29 tackles with 16 and 13 respectively, while former Crow Richard Douglas racked up 30 disposals. Joseph Haines was the Panthers’ best with 28 touches.

Glenelg remain the best team in the competition after their 31-point triumph over the North Adelaide Roosters on Saturday afternoon at Prospect Oval. A four-goal lead at quarter time was a sign of things to come, as Glenelg rode the first quarter effort until the final siren. Former Tiger Liam McBean kicked a bag of five of Glenelg, while midfielder Luke Partington had 35 disposals and seven clearances. Thomas Schwarz kicked three goals for the Roosters.

A strong final term saw West Adelaide claim their second win of the season, taking down Central Districts by four goals at Hisense Stadium on Saturday afternoon. There were only four points separating the two sides at three quarter time, but West Adelaide were able to extend that lead after kicking four goals to none in the final term. Edward Allan was strong in the midfield for North Adelaide, finishing with 22 disposals, five clearances and 11 tackles, while teammate Thomas Keough kicked four snags. For Central Districts, Justin Hoskin’s 26 disposals and two goals were excellent.

Over at Unley Oval, Sturt were able to pull off a heist, stealing a one-point win from the Crows on Sunday afternoon. Sturt’s Ashley Johnson kicked his fourth goal 26 minutes into the final quarter to give his side a one-point lead that proved to be enough. He was well aided by teammate Albania Davis who had 33 disposals, 11 marks and a goal. Crows skipper Matthew Wright kicked three goals in what could have been a match-winning performance.

Port Adelaide’s ten goal win over the West-Woodville Torrens was set up by a clinical second quarter performance at Alberton Oval on Sunday afternoon. The Power kicked seven goals in the second quarter to take a 47-point lead into half time, which they only improved on in the second half. Port’s skipper Cam Sutcliffe was marvellous rotating through the midfield and forward line, finishing with 25 disposals and three goals, while Tom Rockliff had 34 touches and eight clearances. Eagles mid James Tsitas had a whopping 39 disposals for the losing side.

Western Australia:

In the WAFL, Round 5 kicked off with Swan Districts surviving a massive scare from an East Perth side who are still searching for their first win. The inaccuracy of East Perth really hurt their chances, kicking 7.13, while Swan Districts kicked 10.8 to run out 13-point victors for their third win of the season. Swan Districts midfielder Samuel Fisher had the ball on a string as he worked his way to 37 disposals and a goal, while teammate Frank Anderson had 35 touches of his own. Edward Simpson was nearly the hero for East Perth, booting five goals in a near match-winning performance.

Perth were able to cruise to their second win of the season with a triumph over East Fremantle by five goals at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday afternoon. A six-goal opening term set up the win, with the home side unable to close the gap in the next three quarters. Brady Grey was the star for the victors, with 29 disposals and a huge 10 inside 50’s for the match, while Doultan Langlands kicked three goals. For East Fremantle, Cameron Eardley led the way with 32 touches.

Despite a slow start, Claremont were able to find their rhythm in the second quarter, steamrolling their way to a 52-point win over West Perth at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Claremont trailed by two goals at quarter time, before kicking six goals in the second term to get the game back in their control. Claremont’s Lachlan Martinis racked up a whopping 42 disposals and nine marks in a dominant display, while Jack Buller kicked five goals for the victors. For West Perth, Shane Nelson had 39 disposals in an impressive display.

South Fremantle caused a major upset with their 18-point win over Subiaco, handing them their first loss of the year at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday afternoon. Subiaco were at the top of the table heading into this game, while South Fremantle had only won the two games, but they turned the table in this dominant display, set up by their seven goal second term. Haiden Schloithe put in a star turn for the winners, ending the match with 39 disposals and two goals in a clear best on ground performance. For Subiaco, Gregory Clark led with 30 touches.

West Coast’s struggles continued on Sunday morning after being convincingly beaten by Peel Thunder to the tune of 79 points at David Grays Arena. The Eagles trailed by seven goals at half time, and could not get themselves back in the game against a dominant Thunder side. Blair Bell kicked six goals for Peel, while teammate Josh Treacy kicked five of his own. West Coast’s Hamish Brayshaw performed admirably with 29 disposals.

Queensland:

QAFL’s fifth round of action kicked off with a blockbuster as Labrador upset Maroochydore by 12 points at Maroochydore Multisports Complex on Saturday afternoon. Labrador had one less win than the home side heading into this clash, but a strong third term saw the visitors take a lead that they would end up holding for the remainder of the game. Labrador’s Pearce Hanley once again claimed best on ground honours, running riot through the midfield as he continues to show that age will not slow him down. For Maroochydore, Jacob Simpson fought hard all day to be his side’s best.

Redland-Victoria Point cruised their way to their third win for the year against Mt Gravatt on Saturday afternoon at Southside Toyota Oval. Redland-Victoria Point jumped to an early lead in the first quarter and then only extended their control from there, waltzing to a crucial win that keeps them well in the hunt for top spot on the ladder. Redland-Victoria Point full back Mitchell Stallard was named his side’s best after a dominant display in defence. Gavin Grose was Mt Gravatt’s best for the second week in a row.

Sherwood Districts have finally found their first win for the season, defeating bottom-placed Noosa by 22 points at Rococo Oval on Saturday afternoon. Noosa remain winless, but Sherwood Districts will be hoping this is the triumph that kick starts their season. For the winners, Joshua Coombes led the way with three goals up forward, but it was truly a team effort that delivered the win. For Noosa, Ryley Buntain was his side’s best for the second consecutive week.

A bag of seven goals from forward John Anthony has led Palm Beach Currumbin to an important win over Wilston Grange at Salk Oval on Saturday afternoon. Anthony’s bag of seven was inspiring and proved crucial to Palm Beach Currumbin securing their second win of the season, shooting them up the ladder. Anthony was his side’s best, but had plenty of help from teammate Matthew Gahan. For Wilston Grange, Isaac Corvo was a clear standout.

Broadbeach kept their unbeaten streak rolling with their fourth win of the year, defeating a brave Surfers Paradise side by 10 points at Subaru Oval on Sunday afternoon. A close game all day, Broadbeach kicked three final quarter goals to seal the game to hold off the upset. For the winners, Liam Nelson was the star, leading his side all day in a best afield display, while Alby Jones was the bright spark for Surfers Paradise.

Tasmania:

TSL action resumed this weekend, as Clarence continued their hot streak, knocking off the Tigers at Kingston Twin Ovals on Saturday afternoon. The victors led all afternoon, and never looked like giving up the lead on their way to recording their third win of the season. For Clarence, Oliver Davis was best on ground for the second week in a row. For the Tigers, Blake McCulloch stood out through the backline to end the day as his side’s best.

North Hobart have recorded their first win for the 2021 season, kicking away in the last quarter to defeat Lauderdale by 18 points at Lauderdale Oval on Saturday afternoon. There was two points separating the sides heading into the last quarter, but North Hobart were too strong, kicking four final quarter goals on their way to a maiden win for the year. For the victors, Thomas Liefhebber was outstanding all day, while Jye Menzie kicked four goals. For Lauderdale, Alex Hevey never gave up and performed admirably.

Launceston continue to uphold their status as league powerhouse, demolishing Glenorchy by 148 points at Windsor Park on Saturday Oval. Launceston hit the 100-point mark by half time, and Glenorchy never stood a chance against this well-oiled machine. Launceston star forward Dylan Riley backed up his 10-goal haul last week with a nine-goal effort this round, putting emphasis on the importance of shutting him down. For Glenorchy, Nick Reibelt impressed despite the loss.

QAFL Player focus: Carter Michael (Maroochydore/Brisbane Lions Academy)

IN our latest edition of the Player Focus, we take a look at how Brisbane Lions Academy prospect Carter Michael fared in Maroochydore’s QAFL Elimination Final against Sherwood. Although his side went down by five points, Michael showed glimpses of why Brisbane fans should be excited about his potential. His strongest asset is his booming left foot kick, which makes him an ideal person to take the kick ins for his side. Most of his disposals in Saturday’s final came from kick ins as a result, but he had some effective moments in general play as well.

Q1:

Despite spending time in the midfield during last week’s clash, Michael started this game on his customary half-back flank. He was in the thick of the action straight away, running past for a handball receive that did not quite him as he would have liked. Once the ball hit the deck, he dove into congestion to cause a stoppage. He started the game with a defensive approach, as he stayed very tight on his opponent and did not run off to provide an attacking option as much as usual. At a stoppage in the defensive 50, Michael won a contested possession but was immediately tackled for a ball up. A few minutes later, he ran hard in transition to pick up a loose ball in defensive 50, got the arms free of an oncoming tackler and dished out a handball.

After a Sherwood behind, Michael took the kick in and used his booming left foot to get the ball to a contest just in behind centre wing, and it trickled over the boundary line. He tried to be more conservative with his next kick in by going short to the pocket, but uncharacteristically he missed his target and it went out on the full. With his next one, Michael chose to go long to a contest down the line. Sherwood kicked 14 points for the match and Michael received 11 or 12 extra kicks as a result.

Late in the quarter, Michael started to get more involved in the game. Shortly after laying a solid tackle in defensive 50 to stop Sherwood’s forward momentum and force a stoppage, he ran around the back of a teammate that received a free kick and delivered a beautiful short pass to a teammate leading up on the wing. When Sherwood next went inside 50, he flew as a third man up into a marking contest to spoil the ball nicely over the boundary line.

Q2:

Michael had a very quiet second term. He took a kick in at the seven-minute mark and went long down the middle and hit ruckman Jacob Simpson lace out. This kick was fantastic because it opened up the game for his side and cleared the defensive zone.

He also had a nice moment where he contested a mark at half-back, collected the ball with one take at ground level and then dished it forwards cleanly to two running teammates. This started a great passage of offensive transition play which resulted in a goal over the back of Sherwood’s defence. Although Michael did not have any impact for the remainder of the quarter, his side was playing well and went into half time with a 10-point lead.

Q3:

Michael took another kick in early in the third where he went long down the line. Although it was marked by the opposition, this was because his teammate did not read the flight of the ball well. From his next kick in a minute later, he went up the middle and found a teammate in the centre square in between three Sherwood players. This was an incredibly difficult kick to pinpoint, yet he had the confidence to go for it (in a tight elimination final, no less) and executed it effectively which was outstanding.

His next kick was from an out-on-the-full free kick in the back pocket, from which he cleared the defensive zone and found a teammate on the wing. Although most of his kicks were great, at this stage they were all coming from behinds or other free kicks, which showed that Michael was struggling to find his own footy in general play.

At the 11-minute mark, Michael ran back to take a nice intercept mark in front of Sherwood’s Zane Lovell. He followed it up by delivering a nice short kick to a teammate on the wing. From his next kick in, Michael smartly ran wide to push the defenders in that direction before pulling his kick straight down the corridor to find teammate Thomas Holt. It was very windy at this point, so Michael’s ability to hit a flat 50 metre kick was very handy for his side coming out of defence.

Michael went up for another intercept mark in defence shortly after, but he and his teammate got in each other’s way. Fortunately for them, the crumber for Sherwood only snapped a behind. With that kick in, he went long to a contest on the wing. A few minutes later, Michael got a handball receive and fumbled it, but cleaned up his own mess and handballed back to an open teammate.

There was a lot of spice in the game late in this quarter, and the ball was consistently locked in Maroochydore’s defensive 50. Sherwood failed to take their chances though, so Michael had a couple more kick ins where he just went long to one-on-one contests on the wing. He and the other defenders held up well under immense pressure and got their side to three quarter time with a 20-point lead.

Picture: RF Photography


Q4:

At the opening centre bounce of the final term, Michael came off the back of the square, collected the ball cleanly, used his pace to break away with a few quick steps and delivered the ball inside 50. This is the type of running play that Michael has done well in the last few weeks but did not do often on Saturday. After the next stoppage, Sherwood got the ball forward but Michael worked back to take the ball cleanly and dish it out the back to a teammate.

From a kick in, Michael found a teammate 50 metres away for an uncontested mark. This was an important kick to hit because Sherwood had just slotted back-to-back goals so his side was under the pump. At the 12-minute mark, Michael gave an important handball over the top to start a link-up chain for his side down the wing. Shortly after, he affected a spoil on his opponent that was leading up at the ball carrier. Michael had two more kick ins where he simply bombed it long down the line to a contest, which was definitely the safest option at the time given that his side was only up by a goal.

When Sherwood kicked another goal and took the lead, Maroochydore’s coaching staff immediately threw Michael into the midfield. This demonstrated how much trust they have in him as a young player, and he rewarded them by having a decent impact in there. He got a couple of quick touches, rushed an important kick forward and applied good body pressure on the opposition. On the back of good midfield work from Michael and others, Maroochydore had multiple shots on goal and took a one point lead late in the quarter. However, they could not capitalise on the hard work by kicking a goal.

Sherwood and former Brisbane Lions player Ryan Harwood then kicked a miraculous goal from a stoppage in Sherwood’s forward pocket to put them five points ahead. A few minutes later, the siren sounded and Sherwood ran out victors in a thriller.

Closing Thoughts:

Competing in an elimination final at League level will prove valuable experience for Michael, as this level of football is not something that many young prospects get exposed to. His skills were typically outstanding throughout the game, and there is no doubt that his left foot will be a major weapon at any level of football that he plays. He has shown in recent weeks that he is also a good contested player, but he did not get many opportunities to showcase this on Saturday. In saying that, it was great to see Michael get some midfield time late in the contest after his inspired bursts in that role last weekend. Although half-back is probably his strongest position at this stage, he has a great size and speed that could help him become a very effective midfielder in the years to come.

For more news and updates about the AFL Draft, follow Tom Cheesman on Twitter.

QAFL weekend preview: Round 9 – Top two battle for minor premiership

A BATTLE to decide the minor premiership is what confronts top two sides, Broadbeach and Morningside this weekend, with the final round of Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) action taking place. Both sides have won every match thus far, to sit on seven wins from eight games – with one bye – heading into Round 9 of the competition prior to finals. Both teams will secure a top two spot, but first placed will take on the winner of fourth or fifth and avoid the third placed finisher in the preliminary finals.

While Broadbeach has had the much superior percentage – 239.39 per cent – Morningside has won a number of tight contests to ensure it sits on 28 points heading into the final round. Regardless of the match’s result, neither side can drop outside the top two. It is a similar story for third placed Palm Beach Currumbin that has had a strong season in response to its grand final loss last year, only dropping games to the top two sides. It has helped the Lions sit eight points clear of the mid-table crunch, and guarantee themselves third spot and facing sixth in the first week of finals.

Seven teams are still in contention for six spots, with effectively the clash between Maroochydore and Surfers Paradise determining the final spot on the ladder. Realistically, the Roos just need to be avoid getting smashed, as they are 15 per cent clear of the reigning premiers who have had just the two wins this season and had a couple of of forgettable matches in 2020. If Maroochydore win – or at least do not lose by a considerable amount – then they will play finals and potentially move up a spot in the process. The Demons must win if they are to be any chance of defending their 2019 title, but in counter contrasting to the Roos, must win, and win well. Roughly around an eight-goal win – depending on the scores – would be needed for an unlikely finals berth.

However, what makes it interesting is the fact that fifth placed Mt Gravatt – who take on Palm Beach Currumbin – hold a near-identical percentage to Maroochydore (just 1.27 per cent more). What that means is, it is possible for Surfers Paradise to have a win – realistically will need to still be a pretty healthy win – while getting into finals if Mt Gravatt suffers a disappointing loss. In the scenario that the Lions account for the Vultures well and the Demons win, then Maroochydore would actually move up to fifth despite the loss, and Mt Gravatt drop out of the six. However if Surfers only wins by a little and Mt Gravatt push the Lions, then Maroochydore can leapfrog Mt Gravatt, but the Vultures remain in sixth.

Sitting pretty in fourth is Sherwood, a side that holds its own destiny in its hands. Realistically the equation is simple – win and get third spot, lose and potentially drop as far as sixth. The Magpies have a superior percentage to the other 3-4 sides, with 98.91 per cent and no chance of any other side overtaking them on percentage – barring some 200-point shellacking – so they will have pole position in terms of home ground advantage for the elimination final if they can win. They will play one of the other three teams depending on the results, unless they lose and both Mt Gravatt and Maroochydore win, which means they will slip to sixth. They take on eighth placed Labrador which has avoided the wooden spoon – unless they cop a big loss and their percentage drops them below last placed Wilston Grange who have the bye.

Heading into the final round, Matt Hammelmann has the leading goalkicker award sewn up barring a big bag from one of his nearest rivals, having booted 33 goals in seven games at an impressive 4.7 goals per game. He leads another former Brisbane forward in Liam Dawson (26 goals in seven games), from Broadbeach’s Jordan Moncrieff (25 in six) and Maroochydore’s Mitchell Scholard (25). Young gun Josh Gore is fifth on the table with 16 goals in six games.

In terms of top performers for the season, Labrador duo Fraser Thurlow and Matthew Lee have stood up to be named in the best all seven times, as has Morningside’s Matthew Payne, and Wilston Grange’s Will McKenzie (seven from eight). Mt Gravatt’s Luke O’Sullivan and Maroochydore’ Jacob Simpson have featured in the best six times, while Hammelmann, Scholard, Palm Beach Currumbin’s Zac Harrison, Wilston Grange’s Isaac Corvo and Maroochydore’s Josh Govan, have all featured in the best on six occasions. When it comes to Rising Star possibilities, Wilston Grange’s Tahj Abberley, Broadbeach’s Bailey Reeves, and Surfers Paradise duo Myles Jewell and Max Pescud are all among the mix.

QAFL ROUND 9 RESULTS:

Broadbeach vs. Morningside
Labrador vs. Sherwood
Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Mt Gravatt
Surfers Paradise vs. Maroochydore

QAFL weekend preview: Round 8 – Last chance saloon for bottom few teams

TWO rounds remain in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) competition, with minimal time for sides to try and squeeze into the top six spots for finals. The top three sides – Broadbeach, Morningside and Palm Beach Currumbin – are locked away for finals and considering percentages, have the top three spots booked. Top two get a week off though, so there is plenty to play for. At the other end of the ladder, Wilston Grange and Labrador can mathematically still make it despite having just one win on the board after seven rounds, but need results to go their way.

There are a number of ladder defining games this weekend starting with Maroochydore and Labrador. The winner will go a long way to booking a finals spot, whilst the loser will be in danger of missing out. For the Tigers in particular, a loss could be deadly, given they have a lower percentage than the fifth placed Sherwood, who would then be the only team Labrador could overtake. Maroochydore can secure a finals spot with a good enough win and build a large enough percentage gap to make it difficult for the sides below the Roos to make it.

Another season-defining clash is between Sherwood and Surfers Paradise which is linked the aforementioned match. If the Magpies get up with the Roos, it will all but lock away the top six spots with a round to play. The Demons showed they are not done with yet, getting a vital win over Wilston Grange last round. They will need to win here to be a realistic chance to defend their title, and if they do, will move up to at least sixth on the table, though a loss – holding the lowest percentage of any of the nine sides – would be fatal for their post-season hopes.

At the other end of the ladder, Morningside hosts Palm Beach Currumbin in the standout match for the round. The pair are fighting over a week off with the Panthers undefeated, but playing the other top two sides in the final fortnight. With Broadbeach next week, Morningside will get a good idea of where it sits in the scheme of things, while Palm Beach Currumbin will be desperate to knock over another contender and take prime position inside the top two. Considering the Lions will have an easier opponent next week, they know they will all but secure a top two spot with a win here, whilst Morningside will achieve that if the Panthers can get up.

In the final game of the round, a top-against-bottom clash looms as a potential blowout, but Wilston Grange came close to a win against Surfers Paradise last week. Broadbeach look good to be the premiership favourites, winning all six games and will have Morningside next week. A win here will secure the Cats inside the top two, but a loss just opens the door for the other top three sides. Realistically, Broadbeach should get the job done, though the Gorillas have their backs against the wall knowing a win is the only option to play finals, no matter how tough the task might be.

In terms of the competition’s leading goalkicker, Matthew Hammelmann seems to have one hand on the trophy after eight snags last week to take his total to 28 for the season. He overtook Broadbeach’s Jordan Moncrieff who had an uncharacteristic game that even saw him miss from on the line as his ball drop missed the boot. Nonetheless, Moncrieff sits three goals back, and three ahead of Maroochydore’s Mitchell Scholard. The other player with 20 majors is Liam Dawson who will return this week after a week off. In terms of young guns, Josh Gore (13 goals in five games) and Max Pescud (12 in four) have been the key scorers.

Looking at some of the top performers around the league, Mt Gravatt – who has the bye this weekend – has Luke O’Sullivan who has been named in the best six of a possible seven times, snagging six goals in the process. Morningside’s Matthew Payne, Labrador duo Fraser Thurlow and Matthew Lee and Wilston Grange’s Will McKenzie have also earned best honours in six matches. Scholard and Roos’ teammate Jacob Simpson are the next most with five bests for their respective sides.

For Brisbane Lions fans, it might be one of the last couple of weeks to see Tahj Abberley in action as Wilston Grange need to do the unthinkable and upset Broadbeach with Gold Coast fans being able to see the likes of Gore, Bailey Reeves and Aidan Fyfe running around for the Cats. Blake Coleman and Saxon Crozier will run out for the Panthers against Jack Johnston for the Lions, whilst Rhys Nicholls and Carter Michael are among those who might cross paths in the Maroochydore-Labrador game. The Magpies will need to find a way to stop Pescud who slammed home 6.5 for the Demons last week in the win, in a big weekend for QAFL action.

QAFL ROUNDS 8 FIXTURES:

Maroochydore vs. Labrador
Morningside vs. Palm Beach Currumbin
Sherwood vs. Surfers Paradise
Wilston Grange vs Broadbeach

Picture: RF Photography

QAFL weekend wrap: Round 5 – Magpies and Vultures snatch crucial wins

SHERWOOD and Mt Gravatt have snatched crucial wins against bottom two sides, Wilston Grange and Labrador respectively to ensure the Magpies and Vultures remain in touch with the top three of the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL). While two of the top three sides – Broadbeach and Morningside – continued their undefeated run and Palm Beach Currumbin had the bye, the Magpies and Vultures now sit outright fourth and fifth on eight points, eight behind the top three, but four ahead of the rest of the pack.

Liam Dawson booted another five goals for the Magpies in their 33-point win over the Gorillas, piling on six goals to three in the opening term. Wilston Grange came back into the contest in the middle of the match, cutting the deficit to 11 by half-time and still being within 17 points at the final break, before the home side kicked away again with five goals to two in the last term to run out 14.3 (87) to 8.6 (54) in an accurate display of goalkicking.

Aside from Dawson’s five snags, Claye Beams scored three, and Brody Lumber booted two in an even term performance. Sampson Ryan (one goal), Aaron Highlands and Errin Wasley-Black were all named among the best for the Magpies in the win. For the Gorillas, Oscar Stewart and Josh Baxter booted multiple goals with two apiece, as Sam Gribble and Andrew Boston (both one) hit the scoreboard and were named amongst the best with Will McKenzie and Bae Gallop.

It took the full four quarters for Mt Gravatt to shake off a determined Labrador side, but finally did so with a four goals to one final term. The Vultures trailed at quarter time by 10 points, hit the front by 13 in the second term, but had their lead cut to two by three quarter time. Inaccuracy was hurting the Tigers, as they watched the Vultures run over the top of them with the breeze, booting 4.1 to 1.3 in the final term, for a Mt Gravatt victory, 11.7 (73) to 7.13 (55).

Jonah Licht starred up forward for the winners, slotting five goals in a best on ground performance, while Luke O’Sullivan was the other major goal kicker with two. Lochlan Harrop and Daine Macdonald were both among the best in an impressive performance by the visiting side. For the losers, Daniel Middleton booted three majors and was named among the best, as Fraser Thurlow continued his ripping form for the Tigers, joining Matthew Lee and James El Moussalli in Labrador’s best.

There was no stopping Jordan Moncrieff once again, as the Broadbeach forward powered his way to half a dozen goals in a dominant 70-point victory over reigning premiers, Surfers Paradise. The honeymoon period certainly appears to be over for the Demons, who have just one win from five rounds – albeit including a bye – but were smashed in the opening half, as the Cats piled on eight goals to one. The one-sided affair continued in the second half, though it was a little closer as Broadbeach ran out 13.15 (93) to 3.5 (23) winners.

Despite booting six majors, Moncrieff was not named as best on ground by the Cats, as Tyrone Armitage earned that honour. Harrison Arnold, Ethan Reeves and Kwaby Boakye were others who stood out in the huge win, while Clay Cameron and Connor Nutting booted two goals apiece. Harrison Fraser was the sole multiple goal scorer for the Demons, booting two of his side’s three majors, as Perry Lewis-Smith, Jack Prestegar and Myles Jewell were nominated as Surfers Paradise’s best in defeat.

Anything Moncrieff could do, Matt Hammelmann decided he could do better, one-upping the Cats forward in Morningside’s 15-point triumph over Maroochydore. The former Brisbane forward slammed home seven majors to be the leading goalkicker from the round, in a weekend that had five players slot five or more goals in a memorable Round 5 for the big men.

One of those was Maroochydore’ Mitchell Scholard who continued his unbelievable form with another five majors to ensure his team remained in the hunt for a win. They very nearly got there too, with Maroochydore leading at each break and by as much as 13 points at the last change. A four goals to zero final term saw the Panthers run over the top of them and win 14.9 (93) to 12.6 (78). Three of those four goals came from Hammelmann as he singlehandedly spearheaded the attack and dominated inside 50.

James Rayner (two goals) was the other multiple goalkicker for the Panthers, while Sam Godfrey, Peter Mollison and Will Pendlebury all were named as the best players in the win. Jacob Simpson and Jai Larkins joined Scholard in the Maroochydore bests, as Jackson Bury (two goals) was the other multiple goalkicker for the green and gold side.

QAFL ROUND 5 RESULTS:

Broadbeach 13.15 (93) defeated Surfers Paradise 3.5 (23)
Labrador 7.13 (55) defeated by Mt Gravatt 11.7 (73)
Morningside 14.9 (93) defeated Maroochydore 12.6 (78)
Sherwood 14.3 (87) defeated Wilston Grange 8.6 (54)

Bye: Palm Beach Currumbin

QAFL weekend preview – Round 5: Panthers eye off top spot at season midpoint

ALL Queensland Australian Football League (AFL) games return to the traditional 2pm on a Saturday timeslot, with the eight teams preparing for some huge contests over the weekend. Round 5 marks the midway point of the nine-round season, with top of the table Palm Beach Currumbin having a bye this weekend.

BROADBEACH vs. SURFERS PARADISE
Subaru Oval

One of the games of the round, the third placed Broadbeach Cats take on reigning premiers, Surfers Paradise Demons. Whilst the Demons are fifth with just one win from three games, their losses came against top two sides, Palm Beach Currumbin and Morningside – the latter just last week and losing in the last minute. They will need to quell a red-hot Broadbeach outfit that has a whopping 209.86 per cent, with the top three teams eight points clear of the rest of the competition. If the Cats, Tigers and Panthers all win this weekend, that gap will extend to 12 to all bar one team with just four rounds remaining.

So far Bailey Reeves is the sole Cat to have been named in the best in every game, though Jordan Moncrieff is the danger man, slamming home a massive 17 goals in three matches to be the competition’s leading goalkicker. Over-ager Josh Gore is not too far behind on eight majors, whilst the likes of Blake Erickson, Jed Turner, Kai Sheers and Bradley Lowe have been amongst Broadbeach’s best this season. For the Demons, Max Pescud had his best game of the season with three majors last week and would be competing well in the best and fairest, as only Kain Ford has been named in the best more times (three). Defender Myles Jewell, and Matthew Green have also stood out, while Tyson Brazel has six majors to his name, the same as Pescud.

Broadbeach has been the more consistent team this season so should win in a thriller.

LABRADOR vs. MT GRAVATT
Cooke-Murphy Oval

Down the other end of the ladder, both Labrador and Mt Gravatt have benefited from such an even competition outside the top three. The Vultures have the one win – by a point – while the Tigers are yet to taste victory, which means if the home team gets up, there will likely be a remarkable five teams on one win at the end of Round 5, If the Vultures get up, then their finals plans could be right on track after a disappointing first couple of rounds, potentially leaping up to fourth with a victory.

In an even spread of goalkickers, Daine Macdonald leads the way for the Vultures on five, with Harry Milford (four), Jonah Licht and Luke O’Sullivan (both three). O’Sullivan has been superb this season, whilst Todd Carbone is another who has really stood out, as the likes of Ethan Kerr and Thomas Matthews are young talents to watch. The Tigers have had a rough draw this season, but would eye this game as a genuine chance to taste victory. Ex-AFL talents, Bryce Retzlaff (six goals) and Jono Beech (five), and young talent Blair Rubock (three) are the sole multiple goalkickers. Fraser Thurlow and Matthew Lee have had terrific starts to the season despite the Tigers slow start.

Likely to be a close game, but Mt Gravatt should be confident in their chances here after a narrow loss last week.

MORNINGSIDE vs. MAROOCHYDORE
Jack Esplen Oval

In an exciting clash, second placed Morningside has the chance to take top spot – even if temporarily – with a win over Maroochydore. The Panthers escaped thanks to a Jack Payne goal in the last minute against the Demons last round and could go five from five and move ahead of the Lions who have a bye this weekend. While the Panthers will ultimately have their own bye in the remaining rounds, it will put them in a good position for the run home. Maroochydore has already had its bye, back in Round 1, but has not been able to pick up a win since, though an upset here could see them jump to fourth on the table.

Matt Hammelmann has been a reliable source of goals this season for the Panthers, with the former Brisbane player snagging 13, ahead of Luke Edwards (seven) and Jack Rolls (five). Payne has been named among the best every game this season, with James Cowlishaw and Tom Griffiths also impressive. Along with Griffiths, Blake Coleman, Saxon Crozier and Nathan Colenso are other teenage talents to watch out for. It is a different story for the Roos with Mitchell Scholard well out in front of the club goalkicking with 12 majors, as Jesse Malthouse and Lachlan Robinson come in next with two apiece. Brent Pearson, Jacob Simpson, Jai Larkins and Josh Govan are others who have stood up this season, while Carter Michael is a top-age Academy prospect to keep an eye on.

Morningside are in terrific form and should win, though Maroochydore could end the Panthers’ run.

SHERWOOD vs. WILSTON GRANGE
McCarthy Homes Oval

Sherwood Magpies had a terrific Round 1 win but has slumped to three consecutive losses since then. Luckily their percentage is high enough to still be in fourth, but they have to win against the Gorillas in this one. The winner of this game will have the opportunity to go fourth, showing just how even the league is in 2020. Wilston Grange needs to back up its narrow win over Mt Gravatt last week with another victory here and build momentum, but it will be difficult against a Sherwood side that has realistically played pretty well against stiff opposition.

Liam Dawson has been the standout goalkicker this season, slotting 14 majors for 2020, six ahead of Brody Lumber (eight). Claye Beams has hit the scoreboard in his return to the QAFL with seven majors, with Thomas Baulch (four) also doing well in front of the big sticks. Ryan Harwood and Dawson have showed how crucial they are to the club, named among the best every week, while Cade Scott and Jack Austin are among the rising talents in the team. Josh Baxter is the leading goalkicker for the Gorillas with five goals, as Aaron Francis (four) and Sam Gribble (three) are not far behind. Wilston Grange have a number of young stars to watch, led by Tahj Abberley, with Kuot Thok and Noah McFadyen other names who have proven to be future talents.

Sherwood is favoured to break its losing streak in this match, but Wilston Grange have been getting better and better as the weeks go by.

QAFL weekly wrap: Round 4 – Top three gain breathing space as Gorillas return favour to Vultures

A WEEK after Mt Gravatt snatched its first win over Maroochydore by a point, the Vultures were on the receiving end of the narrowest result, going down to Wilston Grange by that exact margin in Round 4 of the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL). The Gorillas leapt off the bottom of the table in the process, leaving Labrador as the only winless side and the Tigers unable to do anything about it on the weekend having had the bye. In other results, the top three sides in Palm Beach Currumbin, Morningside and Broadbeach all recorded wins.

In the game of the round, Morningside enjoyed a come-from-behind victory over reigning premiers Surfers Paradise, handing the Demons their second loss from three games. The Panthers moved to 4-0 on the table with the 8.9 (57) to 8.7 (55) victory, which saw them boot five goals to two in the second half to run over the top of their opponents. The Demons led by as a much as 20 points at the main break and 13 points heading into the final term, but could only manage one major to three in the final term to go down by a narrow two points.

Matt Hammelmann continued his good form with three majors for the Panthers, as Reuben Williams slotted two and was named amongst the best. Lachlan Russ, Thomas Griffiths and James Cowlishaw were also impressive in keeping the Panthers’ undefeated start to the season alive. Young talent Max Pescud booted three goals in Surfers Paradise’s defeat, named among the best as only one of two multiple goal kickers for the Demons. Tyson Brazel (two goals) was the other, whilst Jack Brauman (one) and Myles Jewell stood out in the match.

A match-winning goal to Kuot Thok in the 22nd minute of the final term helped the Gorillas secure a much-needed victory over Mt Gravatt. Wilston Grange burst out of the blocks in the opening term to boot three goals to one, but only managed two goals in the next two quarters as they watched their lead evaporate and eventually disappear completely with the Vultures taking an eight-point advantage into the final break. Luckily for the home side, they got their act together with two early goals, before the Vultures hit the front in the last five minutes, only for Thok to stand up and win the match with a vital major.

Aaron Fabian and Josh Baxter both booted three goals in the win, while Taylor McCubbin, Andrew Boston and Lions’ Academy member Tahj Abberley were named among Wilston Grange’s best. For the Vultures, Harry Milford was the sole multiple goalkicker with two snags, as Kyle Walsh (one goal), Orien Kerr (one) and Luke O’Sullivan all stood out in defeat.

Palm Beach Currumbin has flexed its muscles in a commanding 61-point victory over Maroochydore on the road. Last year’s grand finalists continue to look like the team to beat, shaking off an early challenge from the Roos to run away with the contest. Early in the second term, the Roos drew within six points, but only scored another three goals from there as the Lions piled on 13 of the next 16 majors, including an eight goals to two second half to storm to a 17.5 (107) to 6.10 (46) victory.

Jarryd Douglas slotted three majors, but was far from alone with another five multiple goalkickers, including Tyler Cornish, Jack Bates and Brock Askey who all slotted two majors and were named in the Lions’ best. Zac Harrison and Nicholas Crowley were also impressive in the huge win. For Maroochydore, Mitchell Scholard‘s goalkicking form continued with another four snags taking his total to 12 from three games. Unfortunately he was once again a lone target up front with the team only booting the six majors. Brent Pearson, Josh Govan and Jacob Simpson were the best Roos on the day.

In the other game, Jordan Moncrieff and Josh Gore had big days out to lead Broadbeach to a stunning 15.13 (103) to 10.6 (66) victory over Sherwood. Piling on seven goals to three in the opening term, the Cats immediately had the upper hand, but had to fight for it through the middle of the match as the Magpies closed the gap to four goals at the final break. A four goals to two final term in favour of the visitors saw the margin blow back out to 37 points by the final siren.

Moncrieff was once again best on ground as he led his side with seven majors to be the leading goalkicker in the competition with 17 from three games at almost six a match. Over-ager Gore played a very handy supporting role wiht four snags, whilst Blake Erickson, Josh Searl and Harrison Arnold were also impressive in the Cats’ big win. Former Brisbane talents, Claye Beams (three goals) and Liam Dawson (two) hit the scoreboard with multiple majors, while Aaron Highlands and Ryan Harwood were named the Magpies’ best in defeat.

QAFL RESULTS:

Maroochydore 6.10 (46) defeated by Palm Beach Currumbin 17.5 (107)
Surfers Paradise 8.7 (55) defeated by Morningside 8.9 (57)
Sherwood 10.6 (66) defeated by Broadbeach 15.13 (103)
Wilston Grange 8.5 (53) defeated Mt Gravatt 71.0 (52)

QAFL weekly wrap: Round 1 – Magpies storm to win as Lions win grand final rematch

A FOUR quarter performance from Sherwood Magpies has seen them storm to a big 33-point win over Mt Gravatt in the opening round of the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL). After a tight opening term which resulted in the Magpies leading by eight points at the first break, the home team gained some separation with five gaols to three in the second term. In a mirrored second half to the first half, Sherwood booted nine goals to six to record an 18.13 (121) to 12.6 (78) victory.

Former Brisbane Lions key forward Liam Dawson snagged four goals in the win alongside Brody Lumber, while Claye Beams (three goals) was another former AFL talent on the Magpies’ team. Thomas Baulch was named best on, booting two goals in his side’s win, while William Johnson was the other multiple goalkicker with three. For the Hawks, Michael Doust was one of four multiple goal kickers in the 33-point defeat, as Gareth Hunt and Ethan Kerr were nominated as Mt Gravatt’s best.

Meanwhile the most talked about match of the round turned into a fizzer, with last year’s runners-up, Palm Beach Currumbin easily accounting for reigning premiers Surfers Paradise in the grand final rematch. Mitchell Johnson snagged four goals for the winners, as former Gold Coast Suns’ forward Ashton Crossley kicked a major. Brock Askey (two goals) and Jonathan Croad (one) were among the best. Queensland teenager Max Pescud got on the board for the Demons with a major, one of five individual goalkickers, while Jack Yelland and Matthew Green were Surfers Paradise’s best on the day.

Morningside also accounted for Labrador thanks to a five goals to two final term, kicking away in the last quarter to run out 13.9 (87) to 9.10 (64) winners. At the 13-minute mark of the final term, a fourth goal to former Lion Bryce Retzlaff drew the Tigers within five points, before the Panthers kicked away with the last three goals of the match, including a fifth goal to another former Lion in Matt Hammelmann. He was named in the best along with Jack Rolls (two goals) while top-age talent and Brisbane Lions’ Academy young gun Blake Coleman snagged a goal in the win. For the Tigers, Alex McKay and Fraser Thurlow were deemed the top players.

In the tightest contest of the round, Maroochydore got off to a perfect start with a 12-point triumph over Wilston Grange. The Roos held the Gorillas scoreless in the first term and led by 21 points at the main break before the visiting side hit back. Wilston Grange drew within 12 points at three quarter time, and kept closing within seven points in the final term, but could not quite bridge the gap. Mitchell Scholard booted three goals in the win, while young Brisbane Lions Academy talent Carter Michael was named in the best along with Josh Govan and Jacob Simpson. Corey Gladdish, Kuot Thok and Luca Mason all booted goals for the Gorillas and were named in the best despite the defeat.

QAFL ROUND 1 RESULTS:

Maroochydore 9.10 (64) defeated Wilston Grange 8.4 (52)
Morningside 13.9 (87) defeated Labrador 9.10 (64)
Sherwood 18.13 (121) defeated Mt Gravatt 12.6 (78)
Surfers Paradise 5.8 (38) defeated by Palm Beach Currumbin 12.9 (81)