WITH both the Under 18 girls and Under 16 boys National Championships hitting the Gold Coast, there was a rare chance for Queensland youngsters to strut their stuff in front of a home crowd on the big stage. With important wins across all levels, it’s fair to say they did the State proud.
Strong performances by QLD state sides
In the midst of National Championships across ages and genders, Queensland more than held their own this past week. On Monday was Queensland’s first game in AFLW Under 18 Championships against likely favourites Vic Country at Metricon Stadium. Although our girls went down 67-11, there were several standout performers putting their hands up for All-Australian honours. Zimmorlei Farquharson was the star for Queensland alongside Ellie Hampson, Lily Postlethwaite and Kitara Farrar.
In Queensland’s second encounter with Vic Metro it was a game of history with the Maroons getting up by eight points. AFL Queensland’s Ant Wingard brought to attention that it was Queensland’s first ever win over Vic Metro. The Maroons’ win came off the back of a goalless first quarter where only one Vic Metro behind was scored. The reminder of the clash was tight and Queensland’s grunt proved the difference in the 27-13 win. Postlethwaite and Farquharson were again fantastic, as was Isabel Dawes in a great team effort.
In the boys Under 16 Division 2 National Championships, Queensland had a hard-fought win over state of origin rivals, NSW/ACT from Metricon Stadium on Tuesday. It was a tale of two quarters in the first half as Queensland assumed the lead with five first quarter goals. NSW/ACT wrestled back control in the second cutting the margin to five at the half.
The Maroons put the pedal down in the third quarter with four goals to establish a 21-point lead before a tense last term with NSW/ACT dominating the ball in their forward half but could not capitalise, allowing the Maroons to win 83-68.
Shanta Cashen-Harris was inspirational in the third to help turn the tide of the game for Queensland whilst Riley Johnson managed two impressive set shot goals.
In the Under 17 Futures game at Southport on Wednesday, Queensland again stuck it to our state rivals, beating NSW/ACT by 32 points. With the game on a knife’s edge at the start of the fourth and Queensland up by 10 points, the home side managed to storm home strong. The final score was 74-42.
It was William Martyn grabbing 30 touches and laying 10 tackles who was best on ground alongside strong performances from Queenslanders Corey Joyce with 24 touches and Tom Jeffrey with two goals and nine marks.
Lions roar at the Gabba, while Sun sets over Gold Coast at Etihad
In front of their home fans desperate to see another win, the Brisbane Lions were clinical in beating fellow cellar dwellers Carlton 120-55 on Saturday afternoon. After a tight first quarter where the Lions took a two-point lead, Brisbane accelerated away and never looked back. The Lions would kick 15 goals to Carlton’s five over the next three quarters with Dayne Beams racking up 40 touches.
In perhaps a breakout game, Eric Hipwood showed all his ability when things go right, kicking six goals from an efficient 15 disposals. Hipwood was the beneficiary over some silver service from midfielders Alex Witherdan with 31 touches and Tom Cutler with 28. Daniel Rich and Luke Hodge also continued their dominant half-back tandem with 28 and 25 possessions respectively.
Charlie and Ed Curnow were the shining lights for the Blues with Charlie kicking three goals and Ed collecting 26 disposals in a far outplayed side.
The win is the Lions’ third for the year ahead of a tough game against the Hawks at their Tasmanian fortress Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile in another frustrating day for the Gold Coast Suns, they went down to the North Melbourne Kangaroos 95-58 from Etihad Stadium on Sunday. After the Roos surged out of the blocks kicking four goals to one in the opening stance, Gold Coast fought back with four goals in the second to be down 46-35 with a real sniff.
Unfortunately, it was more of the same for the Suns as they conceded five goals to one in third to make things almost impossible in the last term to comeback. The final quarter was predictable with both sides kicking two goals apiece to finish proceedings with a North Melbourne victory.
For Gold Coast, Jarryd Lyons was impressive with 26 possessions and seven tackles alongside Jarrod Harbrow and Lachie Weller with 25 touches each.
The Suns face Essendon Saturday night from Metricon Stadium.