Photo: Mt Gravatt’s Jesse Green runs on to the ground prior to Saturday’s match
By TERRY WILSON
Vultures wear down spirited Hawks
Mt Gravatt 1.1, 7.3, 11.8, 14.13 (97)
Sandgate 4.2, 8.3, 8.6, 10.6 (66)
GOALS: Mt Gravatt: R. Estall 3, D. Nash 2, J. Bain 2, J. Craven 1, J. Green 1, J. Leahy 1, I. Wiencke 1, A. Chapman 1, F. Neate 1, J. Crawley 1; Sandgate: L. Harris 4, A. Fabian 2, C. Barber 1, J. Taglieri 1, J. Preval 1, J. Maynard 1
BEST: Mt Gravatt: J. Crawley, J. Craven, F. Neate, M. Hart, R. Estall, D. Nash; Sandgate: D. Affleck, J. Harding, B. McElligott, L. Harris, J. Preval, C. Bloss
MT Gravatt were anticipating a spirited showing from Sandgate on Saturday and the Hawks certainly delivered in the Indigenous Round clash at Dittmer Park.
Just seven days after a hiding from Western Magpies with a severely depleted side, the Hawks had a much stronger line-up this time around and took it right up to the more fancied Vultures, who eventually took the points by 33 points.
But up to half-time another major upset was on the cards for Sandgate who, two rounds previously, had shocked Morningside.
“They obviously started on fire,” Mt Gravatt coach Daniel Webster said of a first quarter when the visitors led by 4.2 to 1.1, then by 8.3 to 7.3 at half-time.
With Aspley NEAFL-listed Lachie Harris and Zac Buechener available again, and with skipper Aaron Fabian and key position utility Josh Preval also back, this was a far stronger Hawks line-up.
Harris, in particular, took it to the Vultures with three goals in the opening term.
He kicked his fourth on the stroke of half-time but when he left the field near the final break the Hawks had lost the ascendency.
That was due to the Vultures maintaining their pressure levels as the youthful Hawks dropped off a bit.
“They’re a young side and they definitely dropped off in intensity,” Webster said of the Hawks.
“That intensity in the first half was crazy – it was a high-pressure game – but we were able to maintain our pressure and get on top and started to get control in the territory battle.”
Webster said he never felt comfortable in getting the premiership points until late in the fourth quarter.
“The way we’ve been finishing off games it was probably only late in the game that I felt we had it won,” Webster said.
As ruckman Jayden Crawley turned in a best-on-ground performance, playing non-stop after half-time, the Vultures had Fraser Neate on the charge with 20 first-half disposals and Mitch Hart doing a good job on Harris after the break.
And Jasper Craven, the proverbial chip off the old block, also stood out.
Craven is the son of former St Kilda and Brisbane rover Danny, who also coached the Vultures to a QAFL premiership.
“He was clean, sharp and lively and he was the one who gave us a lift in the second and third terms,” Webster said.
Best for Sandgate were Daniel Affleck, Jordan Harding, Benn McElligott and Harris.
Teaching kids the “Palmy way” is working
Palm Beach Currumbin 4.5, 8.7, 10.11, 14.15 (99)
Morningside 0.0, 4.3, 5.6, 8.10 (58)
GOALS: Palm Beach Currumbin: J. Holland 3, J. Burge 3, J. Derrick 2, T. Cornish 2, J. Douglas 1, A. Dawson 1, N. Crowley 1, J. Anthony 1; Morningside: A. Mitchell 5, K. Abey 2, M. Graham 1
BEST: Palm Beach Currumbin: A. Dawson, S. Thynne, J. Burge, T. Cornish, N. Crowley, A. McKenzie; Morningside: J. Cowlishaw, A. Evans, S. Lundie-Jenkins, C. Wearne, N. Beck, A. Mitchell
IT is hardly a secret that Palm Beach Currumbin have recruited well again for this QAFL season but underpinning that drive has been a focus on developing young locals and schooling them to play the “Palmy way”.
Promoting youth is paying dividends for the reigning premiers at the moment, especially notable when the Lions beat Morningside by 41 points at Salk Oval on Saturday.
With a decent run of injuries sidelining key players, the onus has been thrust on the youngsters – and they are answering the call.
And it all boils down to a deliberate plan to build depth on the back of that youth.
“We’re pretty lucky that way,” coach Chad Owens said.
“We did a big pre-season with our kids, we gave them important roles and gave them leadership guys to follow around to teach them those roles.
“We’re lucky that they’ve been smart enough to come in and play those roles.
“The injuries aren’t so bad at the moment because we’re getting exposure into the kids and they’re learning to play the Palmy way – and they’re doing it really well.
“That was probably the most inexperienced side we’ve fielded since 2015.”
Against the Panthers the Lions had two first-gamers in Hunter Hall and Dean Katsiris, both local juniors, as well as other youngsters in Lewis McNally, Lachlan Torpy, Curtis Marsden and Tristan Evert, among others.
They also called up Luke Vanderfeen to fill a role in the ruck, which he did well.
But those injuries keep coming with Tom Thynne (ankle) and Zac Harrison (elbow) on the bench for the second half of what was a challenge for the home side.
“We should get (Jack) Anthony, Brock Askey, Callum McBurnie and Nathan Robertson back for next weekend against Surfers and we should get another five back after the bye,” Owens said.
Saturday’s clash was decided in the first quarter when the Lions kicked 4.5 to zip from the Panthers.
That was the ball game, Morningside coach Steve Wildschut acknowledged.
The 29-point margin was maintained basically for the remainder of the game although the Panthers had their moments when they threatened to take control but they just could not manage it.
“They were better side all day, they kept us at bay once they got that early lead,” Wildschut said.
“Palm Beach had nine scoring shots in the first quarter, then we were playing catch-up.
“We were still patchy and that’s what we’ve been working ion all year, we’ll still continue to work on consistency.”
Big forward Alex Mitchell (5.3) was a problem for the PBC defence while Ash Evans and Campbell Wearne were more than serviceable.
And a sign for the future was the effort of James Cowlishaw on key Lions spearhead Jarryd Douglas (2.3).
“For the amount of footy they had in there I thought Cowlishaw, a five-gamer up against a quality opponent, did a good job on him,” Wildschut said.
Away from the youth, PBC had a winner in Grogan Medallist Jason Burge, who kicked four goals, although it was the work at the back of former Broadbeach and Southport player Adam McKenzie that particularly pleased Owens.
“Adam is having an exceptional year for us,” Owens said of the creative and hard-working half-back flanker.
A death by a thousand cuts
Western Magpies 2.8, 4.13, 10.19, 15.21 (111)
Wilston Grange 1.0, 2.1, 4.1, 7.5 (47)
GOALS: Western Magpies: K. Reed 3, J. De Winter 3, D. Mitchell 2, A. Corrie 2, J. Goodall 2, C. Franks 1, B. Saunders 1, B. Allen 1; Wilston Grange: A. Hughes 2, H. Milford 1, D. Warren 1, J. Farry 1, B. Nelis 1, S. Gribble 1
BEST: Western Magpies: D. Mitchell, J. Macanawai, B. Allen, A. Corrie, B. Jaenke-Cain, K. Reed; Wilston Grange: R. Thomson, S. Gribble, J. VanderWal, M. Heaslip, D. Warren, N. Dennis
THE Western Magpies face some intense kicking practice over the next fortnight after a woeful effort in front of goals against Wilston Grange at Bendigo Bank Oval on Saturday.
Coach Brydan Morgan described events as “death by a thousand cuts” as he watched his Magpies butcher chance after chance.
The Magpies still won by 15.21 (111) to 7.5 (47) but Morgan lamented the lack of killer instinct and the inability to post an even bigger percentage booster.
“We had 2.8 to a goal in the first quarter then 17 scoring shots to three at half-time so we certainly made hard work of it,” he said.
“It was all our fault, it was just bad kicking – and we missed so many easy chances.
“Still, the pleasing thing was that we had 36 scoring shots to 13 for the day so it was a pretty comprehensive win, but if it had been 21.15 (instead of 15.21) it would have been even more dominant.”
The Magpies are now 3-3 for the season after a slowish, if unlucky, start to the campaign and now have two weeks to freshen up and hone those goalkicking skills.
Best for the winners were captain and midfielder Drew Mitchell, Jon Macanawai in the midfield, defender Brady Allen and veteran forward Anthony Corrie.
The Grange, so severely savaged by more than a dozen injuries, tried hard but desperately need luck to go their way if they are to stay in the race for the finals.
Their best were Ryan Thomson, Sam Gribble, Jacob Vanderwal and Mitchell Heaslip.