Finally, after Cyclone Debbie had finished with Queensland, footy was back. Round 2 saw the Devils travel to Burleigh for what is always a tough contest. True to form, the Gold Coast afternoon wind was blowing from the SSE at 28ks and was going to have a big influence on the game. The Devils introduced Sam Cleary, Ben Cody, Anthony Davis, Jack Lush, Bayley Malkki and Dylan Powell for their first games for the seniors. Back in the team after at least a year were Kevin Tandogac, Dale Knight and Lewis Knox.Dougal Middleton who captained the team this week, won the toss and the Devils kicked with the wind. After 5 minutes of finding our feet, our foot skills started to make a huge difference to the run of play. Pleasingly, the new players fitted into the game plan quickly. The Devils were efficient with their possession and after kicking a couple of goals, you could feel confidence growing. The half back line was pumping any Burleigh attack deep into our forward line. It is fair to say that every player was winning their position and the forwards were unstoppable against Burleigh’s +1 player. The quarter time break saw the Devils with 10-1 to 1-1 lead, but still to battle the wind in the next quarter.
Burleigh tried to change the momentum with a fight at the end of the 1st quarter, but the Devils played well in the first 7 mins, managing a goal, but not making the most of a number of forward entries. Slowly Burleigh worked their way into the game and looked to have the Devils measure, but we maintained enough pressure around the ball to limit their scoring to 5-5.
A 33pt half time break started to look like nowhere near enough in the 3rd quarter. The Devils couldn’t kick a goal and Burleigh surged to kick 3 goals in the first 15 mins whilst the Devils managed 6 points. Dom Wili came off with an ankle injury and Jack Lush was also injured but was able to “stand” at full forward. The on ball players lifted under the inspiration of Matthew Fels who was carrying a shoulder injury. He single handily took on the Burleigh rucks for the rest of the game and clearly won taps and possessions around the ground. The Devils kicked 3 late goals to maintain the half time lead. Kyle Juriac took the mark of the year and soon after kicked the last goal, but coming off injured and also not to return.
Both teams were managing cramp at the break as each quarter so far had run 35 mins. Zach Templeton, Dougal Middleton and Matthew Johnson lead the way on ball and the forwards took full advantage of the avalanche of entries into the forward 50. At one point the lead reached 8 goals, but with 15 mins to play, there were no more rotations and players suffering severe cramp were asked to find a forward or back pocket to hide in. Burleigh made one last attempt to get back into the game, but a goal by Matty Johnson, on one leg snuffed out the charge and the Devils extended their lead by a goal in the quarter. The Easter break will be a chance to regroup and prepare for Coorparoo at home the following weekend.
Yeronga: 10.1 11.1 14.9 20.11 (131)
Burleigh: 1.1 6.6 9.7 14.7 (91)
Best Players: B. Cody, A. Davis, B. Davis, M. Fels, M. Johnson, J. Lush, C. Lyon, B. Malkki, D. Middleton, M. Rolla, Z. Templeton – all played well.
Goals: M. Rolla 4, A. Davis, Matty J 3, L. Knox, N. Lush 2, B. Davis, K. Juracic, D. Knight, K. Tandogac
Next Game: 1pm Saturday 22 April vs Coorparoo @ Leyshon Park.