Coolangatta belted in season opener

FISTS flew in a violent third quarter as Coolangatta Tweed Heads were beaten black and blue 14.15 (99) to 6.9 (45) by a tenacious Wilston Grange in their Pineapple Hotel Cup opener at Len Peak Oval Saturday.

Several scuffles broke out during the heated opening round fixture but it was the Blues who paid the penalty with Cameron Busch controversially sent from the pitch after a fight he was seemingly breaking up.

“It's rare to see a blue but they're part of footy ... when people play hard and go at each other things are bound to happen,” Coolangatta coach Scott Lawton said.

“Once the umpires lose control of the game the first thing they look at is sending people off.”

Wilston received two yellow cards for their part in the scuffles.

The Blues' day began terribly when Nick Locke left the pitch just five minutes into the game with a broken collarbone.

Embarrassingly the embattled side managed just one behind in a dismal opening quarter as Wilston raced to a four-goal lead.

Coolangatta managed a game best 4.4 (28) in the second term but was simply inadequate as Wilston kicked 5.6 (36) to extend their lead to 29 at the halfway point.

The Blues looked sharper in the third and final terms and had their chances but they failed to capitalise.

“Our players weren't match focused and ready to go,” Lawton said.

“We lacked the skills and discipline required to win and it was not the way we wanted to start.”

Dylan Cicolella was a shining light in a dull side, controlling the ball well across the back line.

Cameron Maxwell, backing up from the under-18s, also impressed his coach.

In other opening round matches, Burleigh beat Sandgate 18.7 (115) to 7.11 (53), Palm Beach-Currumbin humbled Maroochy-Northshore 20.19 (139) to 12.9 (81), Surfers Paradise thumped Springwood 22.14 (146) to 10.8 (68) and Noosa humiliated Mayne 24.26 (170) to 3.4 (22).

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