Eastern Swans defeated Mackay City Hawks by 163 points in AFL Mackay action on Saturday.
Eastern Swans defeated Mackay City Hawks by 163 points in AFL Mackay action on Saturday. Callum Dick

SUPER SIX: Talking points from Round 18 of AFL Mackay

BUCKLEY'S BRILLIANCE

Eastern Swans ace Stuart Buckley produced a dazzling individual performance with an 11-goal bag in his side's 163-point demolition of Mackay City Hawks at Rogers Oval.

But Buckley could only muster fifth in the club supplied list of best players as the Swans prevailed 27.17 (179) to 2.4 (16) behind the evergreen Terry Bailey, dynamic Braden De Angelis, Marek Sajewicz (three goals) and dependable Tyson Reed.

Buckley now has 36 goals in eight matches this season.

During my time at the Shepparton News, I can recall him running around as a more than handy contributor for Mulwala in the Murray Football League and his experience and quality will be vital in this finals series.

TOUGH DAY FOR THE HAWKS

With finals football now out of the question, the air has gone out of Mackay City's tyres.

The undermanned Hawks had few answers to a red-hot Eastern Swans outfit on Saturday.

The game was done as a contest with the home side 38 points up at the first change at Rogers Oval and the Swans went on with the job from there.

Mackay City trailed by 88 points at halftime and 123 points by the final change.

One of the few shining lights was the brilliant Des Hayes, who battled manfully despite being in a side that was well-beaten.

SAINTS SHINE ON SPECIAL DAY

North Mackay overcame some profligacy in front of goal on their way to a 71-point win against Bakers Creek at Zeolla Park.

The Saints had 35 scoring shots to the Tigers' nine in the 15.20 (110) to 6.3 (39) success.

Sam Dunbar returned to the side and booted six goals, lifting his tally to 60 for the season.

He is six clear of Eastern Swans forward Luke Ball, while Whitsunday's Dylan Ryan (48) is third.

It was a good hitout for North Mackay because a confident Bakers Creek showed plenty of enterprise early to trail by two points at the first break.

But the Saints lifted in the second term, skipping out to a 33-point advantage at halftime and went on with the job in the second-half, booting eight goals to three.

Liam Byrne did his M.J Miller Medal hopes no harm with a fine performance, while Tom Morley, Dunbar and James Gallagher also played well for North Mackay.

Before leaving Zeolla Park, congratulations to everyone involved in the CD Charity Event, which raised money to assist Saints legend Chris Dunbar's battle with cancer.

The showpiece of the day was the Old Boys Scratch Match featuring some champions of the past, followed by a barbecue and charity auction.

At last count more than $35,000 had been raised, but that figure is poised to climb to about the $40,000 mark.

The outstanding response from people across the AFL Mackay community is a testament to the impact the man known as "CD", who played his 500th game last year, has made during more than three decades in the league.

TIGERS SHOW GOOD SIGNS

In the end it was a nearly 12-goal loss, but Bakers Creek should have left Zeolla Park with some confidence.

The Tigers are playing as good a brand of football as they have all season.

Bakers Creek certainly proved far more competitive against the all-conquering Saints than their first semi-final opponents Mackay Magpies have.

The Tigers were well-served by the ever-consistent Stephen Chant, who has been a fine performer all season.

Stuart Randall worked hard, as did Matthew Willey, while Lachlan Ross also earned a nod in the best.

Bayden Matheson and Callum Creeley each kicked two goals for Bakers Creek.

MAGPIES DOWN BULLDOGS

Mackay Magpies took care of Moranbah by 57 points at Magpies Sports Club.

It was a welcome return to the winners list for the black and white army, with the 21.11 (137) to 12.8 (80) result ending a three-match losing streak.

Jack Fortescue snagged seven goals and Dan Cordwell slotted six majors.

Fortescue was named best for the Pies, with Matthew Bowerman (three goals), Declan Arnow and Braeden Ebert impressing.

HANDY FILL-IN HELPS HIS OWN FINALS CHANCES

Moranbah travelled to Mackay with a limited compliment of players for the clash with the Magpies.

Jameson Beatson, one of the Pies' talented juniors, was loaned to the Bulldogs for the day and booted five goals.

It was a breakout game at senior level for the teenager, who has played seven Allied Pickfords Cup matches for the Magpies in 2019.

Fresh from his 15-goal bag, Jake Tollenaar kicked three goals for the undermanned Moranbah outfit, while Callum Johnstone and Sam Davis knocked up winning the football.

ROUND 19 DRAW, AUGUST 17

Whitsunday Sea Eagles v Bakers Creek Tigers at Whitsunday Sportspark

North Mackay Saints v Moranbah Bulldogs at Zeolla Park

Mackay City Hawks v Mackay Magpies at Harrup Park