An undermanned and at times underwhelmed Thuringowa outfit have prevailed in convincing fashion with a team effort to notch up their seventh consecutive win of the season, defeating the second placed University Hawks 16.15.111-7.5.47.
With five changes from the side that defeated the Suns the week before, the Bulldogs started the game as if they were still in last week with the Hawks managing to kick three of the first five goals, including the first two goals of the game. They were more aggressive around the contested ball in the first ten minutes. However, once the Dog’s intensity around the football lifted, and the tackling increased, the Hawks struggled to keep up. Bryce Kelly (6 goals) proved to be the focal point again for the Bulldogs, and although struggling with his set shots early in the game, soon settled into a rhythm. On the back of a defensive effort lift, the Dog’s took a 9 point lead into quarter time.
The second quarter was the Chris Butcher show. “Mini” (4 goals), filling in at full forward due to the absence of tall forwards, came to life in the second quarter. With his superb marking ability allowing him to play the role of a third tall, Butcher was a target as the Dogs headed inside fifty. Despite his lack of height, he proved to be as resourceful at ground level and this resulted in a couple of goals. As the Bulldogs played superb end-to-end football, with Kieran Koczwara leading the charge from the backline. Typically playing on the wing, Koczwara made himself right at home in the defensive fifty, running off his opponent into the vast spaces that Tony Ireland had to offer. Thanks to the dominance, Thuringowa kept University to only a single point in the quarter, and led by 38 at the long break.
With a desire to finish the Hawks off quickly, it was on the back off the efforts of youngsters Daine McDonald (1 goal, 4 goal assists) and Liam Miatke-Austral, who allowed youngsters Reiley Guest (2 goals) and Nathanael Kennell, to kick the first three goals of the quarter, and took the lead beyond nine goals. Josh Hollis established control in the backline and never allowed University the chance to dig away at the lead.
With a 64 point lead at the final change, the Dogs went into cruise control, Rim Kris (2 goals) took an excellent mark at the top of the goal square. Kelly kicked his sixth, extending the lead out beyond twelve goals, before two late goals allowed the Hawks to draw the quarter. Wrapping up a superb club effort from Thuringowa, who now sit two wins ahead from Univerity, as the league heads into a tough period with plenty of players being absent due to work commitments.
Thuringowa’s next clash is against the Curra Swans on a Friday night.
Thuringowa 4.3 8.9 14.12 16.15.111
University 3.0 3.1 5.2 7.5.47
Thuringowa, B. Kelly 6, C. Butcher 4, R. Guest 2, R. Kris 2, D. MacDonald, N. Kennell
University, D. Otley 2, D. Walker, P. Burger, C. Boekamp, L. Reeves, S. Montano
Thuringowa, K. Koczwara, D. MacDonald, B. Kelly, C. Butcher, L. Miatke-Austral, J. Hollis
University, L. Jelinek, D. Stout-Milkins, N. Cooper, P. Burger, D. Robinson