SUPER SIX: Talking points from Round 10 in AFL Mackay
WHITSUNDAY has reached their nadir just 273 days after being crowned the Allied Pickfords Cup premiers for the second year in a row.
On the same day captain Aaron Thompson represented North Queensland, the frailities of the Sea Eagles were laid bare when the club forfeited its A-grade clash against North Mackay at Zeolla Park.
It is a sad day for the AFL Mackay competition that a senior team can't muster the numbers to play.
Whitsunday has strong junior ranks with the Under-17 and Under-14 sides doing well, and Under-12 team showing good signs of growth.
But the seniors are also important and we'll learn a whole lot more about them as a club on how they respond in the coming weeks because the writing is on the wall.
LOW ACT HURT BULLDOGS
DISAPPOINTING to read in the Daily Mercury that the Moranbah Bulldogs had to relocate their breast cancer awareness match due to vandalism.
Sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning of last week a vehicle entered Stevenson Sports Park, damaging the ground.
Bulldogs president Stephen Thompson said the attack had an impact both financially and emotionally.
"We had a big ladies day planned, with the Mackay City Hawks coming out to play against us. All our teams were going to wear pink socks and raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness," Thompson told reporter Aidan Cureton.
The breast cancer fundraiser was organised for this weekend to support long-term sponsor Cindy Bowen, from Basin Industries, who had been in her own battle with breast cancer.
"They've been supporting us for five to six years. She was there to help us when we were just a senior team and has helped our growth in junior grades," Thompson said.
The match was shifted to Harrup Park where Moranbah suffered a 24-point loss despite having one more scoring shot than the Hawks.
The Bulldogs will rue their profligacy in front of goal during the first half, booting 3.10 to Mackay City's 8.2 and despite being more accurate in the second-half, was unable to play catch-up.
SWANS MAKE IT SEVEN ON THE TROT
A STUNNING first quarter laid the foundation of a big win for Eastern Swans against Mackay Magpies.
The Swans burst out of the blocks to lead by 34 points at the first change and kept the foot on the throat throughout to prevail 17.16 (118) to 5.8 (38).
They shared the goals around with 10 different goalkickers, headlined by Simon Buckley and Kane Evans, who each kicked three.
The evergreen Terry Bailey, South Australian Jack Ramsey and Luke Ball each slotted two majors.
Ball lifted his season's goal tally to 30, while Ryan Haynes was named best.
The result also saw Nick Thiele winning the bragging rights against his brother Heath.
CAN THE MAGPIES CLOSE THE GAP ON TOP TWO?
ON WHAT we've seen so far, the answer looks no.
Mackay Magpies possess a poor record against league leaders North Mackay and second-placed Eastern Swans.
The Magpies have lost by an average of 64 points in their two matches against the Swans after Saturday's loss on home soil, while the gap between Gary Downes' side and the all-conquering Saints so far is a vast one.
For the good of the competition it would be good to see a genuine third force emerge this 2019 season because the odds on a North Mackay and Eastern Swans grand final match-up is $1.05.
But grand finals are played in September and last time I looked on the calendar, that is still three months away.
HOT IN THE CITY
MACKAY City landed a second win of the season with a hard-fought 24-point success against Moranbah.
The Hawks prevailed 15.7 (97) to 10.13 (73) at Harrup Park, in the match transferred from Stevenson Sports Park due to the vandalism of a few days earlier.
Adam Randall was named as Mackay City's best player from three-time league medallist Des Hayes and Matthew Harris, who bagged four goals.
The result delivers a welcome confidence boost for the Hawks, who halted a five-match losing streak by getting the four points.
SOUTH QUEENSLAND TAKES THE HONOURS
SOUTH Queensland recorded a 48-point win against North Queensland in the AFL Queensland representative clash at Townsville on Saturday.
The annual contest was played following the historic AFL match between St Kilda and the Gold Coast Suns.
South Queensland grabbed the upper hand early, leading by 11 points at quarter-time before extending that advantage to 27 by the main break.
They went on with the job in the second stanza for a 10.20 (80) to 4.8 (32) success.
AFL Mackay supplied two players to the NQ side in Whitsunday Sea Eagles captain Aaron Thompson and Mackay Magpies ace Connor Smith.
For the pair it was a great chance to shine on a greater stage and play alongside the likes of former AFL trio Aaron Davey (Melbourne), Brett Meredith (Sydney Swans) and Eddie Sansbury (North Melbourne).
It was the sixth instalment of the match with South Queensland's win the fourth in a row under coach Danny Craven, the former St Kilda and Brisbane Bears rover.
NEXT WEEK'S FIXTURE - ROUND 11
Bakers Creek v Eastern Swans at Etwell Park
Mackay City Hawks v Mackay Magpies at Harrup Park
Moranbah Bulldogs v Whitsunday Sea Eagles at Stevenson Sports Park
North Mackay Saints bye.
ABOUT THE WRITER
REGIONAL editor Gregor Mactaggart boasts more than 15 years of experience in the newspaper industry, highlighted by spells as sports editor of the Shepparton News, senior sports reporter at the NT News and editor of The Guardian in Swan Hill before moving to the Whitsundays in June 2018.
He played senior football in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
His association with AFL Mackay began nearly two decades ago when he spent a season with the Eastern Swans and coached the club's Under-15 team to premiership success.
Winner of the 2006 Gladstone Mudcrabs' senior best and fairest, he also won two players' player awards at Glenmore Bulls and was vice-captain of the Rockhampton District representative team in 2003.