Fightback lets Blues keep honour
BY the time the siren sounded to end the first quarter of their clash away to third-placed Maroochy/Northshore, Coolangatta-Tweed Heads could have packed up, jumped back on the bus and headed home.
They had leaked 5.4-34 while only managing to snare themselves 2-0.12 and were beaten across the park in most aspects of the game.
However, they showed a real sense of character – lacking in recent outings – and pushed the heavyweights all the way up to the final hooter, going down just 12.11-83 to 7.8-50.
“The result was disappointing but the effort from all was outstanding,” Blues coach Grant McKenzie said.
“I’m the happiest I’ve been with the boys all year because they were committed and worked tirelessly.
“Maroochy are third for a reason and I thought we looked pretty handy against them.
“It’s a bit early to say we’ve turned a corner but we were definitely more disciplined and competitive this week.”
After a slow start, the Blues came out ready for battle in the second term and turned the tables to close the gap by six points to a more respectable 6.7-43 to 4.3-27 by the half-time hooter.
A 3.3-21 to 1-0-6 third quarter drove the penultimate nail into the Blues’ coffin, but although the result was seemingly beyond them, Coolangatta launched one last attack on the game in the final quarter.
Playing their best football in more than a month, Coolangatta took it to their hosts, but three missed opportunities from right in front prevented the visitors from mounting any sort of comeback.
Mitchell Brewer led the way off the boot for Coolangatta with a solid four-goal effort but Jamie Beer-Carey, Paul Philip and Wade Maxwell were the only other Blues to find the target.
Jason Smith was superb around the ruck and captain Doug Hawkins, Brendan White and Ogla Pena were also solid.
Unfortunately, Daniel Carey will be out for several weeks with a broken collar bone.
As a result, Coolangatta remain seventh on the ladder while Maroochy strengthened their position in third.
Meanwhile, Noosa remain on top after hammering Surfers Paradise (eighth) 15.19-109 to 11.3-69, while Palm Beach (fourth) climbed back into contention with an upset 11.7-79 to 7.6-48 victory over second-placed Sandgate, fifth placed Burleigh proved too good for Mayne (10th) 19.7-121 to 13.15-93 and Wilston Grange leaped to sixth after edging out Springwood (ninth) 11.23-89 to 13.8-86.