Swans storm to second Central Qld Cup win
AFL: The Yeppoon Swans booted 173 unanswered points to take out the Central Queensland Cup but it was a bitter-sweet victory for coach Mark Wallin.
The all-conquering Swans, who have won the past four AFL Capricornia flags, put the Whitsunday Sea Eagles to the sword at Mackay's Great Barrier Reef Stadium on Sunday.
The Cup, which pits the AFL Capricornia and AFL Mackay premiers against each other, was played as the curtain raiser to the Gold Coast Suns/Western Bulldogs JLT Community Series clash.
The Swans also won the first edition of the Cup in 2017, beating the Mackay City Hawks by 107 points.
Wallin said while it was great for his team to claim regional bragging rights again, he was a little deflated after the contest - designed as a regional showcase for the sport - ended up so one-sided.
"It's a bit annoying and a little bit disappointing,” he said.
"Everybody wants to see the best two sides play.
"Having said that, we still probably had eight guys missing from our 2018 grand final side, but we took a fit and competitive side there and obviously the opposition didn't.
"The two times we've been there we've had a total of two goals kicked against us and we've probably kicked 50 goals and we're supposed to be playing the best they've got to offer.”
Wallin said despite the lopsided scoreline, he could still take some positives from the clash.
Among them was the solid form of several returning players, in particular Alex Chapman who finished the game with six majors.
New recruit Trevor Johnson showed he will be a great addition to the Swans backline, reading the play well to shut down any forward entries from the Sea Eagles.
Matt Wallin worked tirelessly to finish with four goals, while a first-class performance had ruckman Jamie Garner named best on ground.
The Swans signalled their intentions early, landing four majors in the first 10 minutes.
They led by 91 points by half-time and managed to finish out the game strongly, despite Wallin resting some of his big guns in the final quarter.
"From our perspective, it was a hit-out for the boys, they all got a run and no one got injured,” Wallin said.
"We blooded a couple of good young kids who showed a lot of promise, we worked on certain structures and it's always good to get some game time up.”
AFL Capricornia competition and club development manager Brad Matheson said the concept of the Cup was to provide the premiers of relevant regions with a variety of football and an opportunity to be part of a major event.
"The major challenge in this format is being able to keep a full squad together from the previous season,” Matheson said.
"This year we were faced with the unique situation that Yeppoon were very successful in retaining a strong group from 2018 whilst the Sea Eagles, which is a very transient region, have only retained four from the 22 players that made up their 2018 premiership team.
"Obviously the demographic of north Queensland is a major challenge but we still see it as a real positive that clubs are rewarded for their previous year's efforts and are afforded the opportunity to begin their pre-season preparations in this format.”