Glenmore's Tim Higgins finished with 10 goals in his team's big win over Gladstone.
Glenmore's Tim Higgins finished with 10 goals in his team's big win over Gladstone. Allan Reinikka ROK090618aafl4

Battling AFL clubs praised for courageous performances

AFL: In the AFLC Frenchville Sports Club Premiership the bottom two teams met the top two teams and it was a situation where the scoreboard didn't necessarily reflect the efforts the clubs are putting in.

Take nothing away from the winners, they were clinical and poised in their execution and were deserved winners, but praise from opposition coaches after heavy defeats is a positive side for the struggling clubs.

In Yeppoon, the Swans were dominant through the middle of the ground and their transition of the ball into the forward line was exceptional.

Tom Cossens has been in fantastic form in recent weeks and although he still finished with eight goals it could have been a lot worse for the Roos if his radar was on track.

Swans player James Malone kicked 12 goals against Brothers.
Swans player James Malone kicked 12 goals against Brothers. Chris Ison ROK200816cafl3

However, as the ladder leaders have consistently showed if one player is slightly off then somebody else steps up and this week it was James Malone that grabbed a dozen majors to finish the match.

Yeppoon coach Mark Wallin was right to praise his troops after the match.

"They are just all so hungry, they choose to do extra sessions during the week and just continue to challenge each other.”

Wallin was also quick to praise the opposition.

"You know that Brothers are always going to do whatever it takes to get two teams on the park and compete. Despite the scoreboard I actually think their skills were better than when we played them earlier in the year.”

Brothers continued to battle all the way through and this was evident when youngster Jarrod Donovan converted two consecutive goals in the final term.

Youngster Jarrod Donovan was good for Brothers.
Youngster Jarrod Donovan was good for Brothers. Allan Reinikka ROK220717aafl2

Scott Smithwick has got a new lease of life for the Roos and was impressive in defence this week, providing much needed experience for a young team.

Brothers coach Michael Rose was happy with the efforts of his troops.

"Got to try a few things against the benchmark side to see if they worked. Unfortunately, we lacked a bit of polish around the ground and were let down by skill errors during critical times,” he said.

"While the ball was in dispute it was a good contest, unfortunately as soon as they got a clean possession and a run on they were virtually impossible to stop, hit their targets lace out and rarely made a mistake.”

Rose said Xavier Frost, Jon Fraser and Luke Johnstone worked hard all day in a rotation and kept the tackling pressure up all game in the midfield.

Gladstone's Adam Hornbrook and Glenmore's Corey Redsell.
Gladstone's Adam Hornbrook and Glenmore's Corey Redsell. Allan Reinikka ROK090618aafl2

At Stenlake Park, the challenge for Glenmore was to get up for a match knowing how much the opposition is struggling for depth.

The Muddies certainly put in the effort, but deeper into the match the Bulls were able to wear their opponents down for a commanding victory.

"Gladstone have definitely improved since the first time we played them showing a lot more resilience this time round and with not as many people doubling up for them certainly helped that,” Bulls coach Nick Payne said.

For the Bulls, one of the most pleasing things for the coach would be the continued contributions mixed between his experienced players as well as the youth coming through.

Tim Higgins finished the game with 10 goals while youngster Jayren Willie was able to finish the night with seven goals of his own.

Glenmore's Gaetano Starvaggi in full flight at Stenlake Park.
Glenmore's Gaetano Starvaggi in full flight at Stenlake Park. Allan Reinikka ROK090618aafl3

As with the game in Yeppoon it was a pretty clinical effort by the Bulls and the coach was happy with what the team delivered on the night.

"I was happy with the way we went about our footy tried some new things that team executed to a tee. We all knew Gladstone are struggling at the moment so for my guys to play a disciplined, hard style of footy but at the same time be respectful was something I am proud of,” Payne said.

The Panthers provided a contest early in the match but were unable to keep with the Saints down in Boyne Island.

Levi Davenport, Andrew Kapernick and Travis Young, in his second game back from injury, were solid for the Panthers but they didn't have the answers on the road as the Saints ran out nine-goal winners.

RESULTS

Yeppoon 9.7, 19.11, 26.16, 36.19 (235) d Brothers 0.0, 0.2, 0.2, 2.3 (15)

Glenmore 7.4, 14.9, 19.15, 29.18 (192) d Gladstone 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2 (20)

BITS 2.3, 4.9, 11.12, 12.16 (88) d Panthers 1.1, 1.1, 3.3, 4.9 (33)



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