SUPER SIX: The talking points from Round 9 in AFL Mackay
KENNEL THE SCENE OF A THRILLER
Stevenson Sports Park in Moranbah was the scene for one of the games of the Allied Pickfords Cup so far.
In the end, Bakers Creek secured a memorable two-point win, but it was the ferocity of the contest and the ebbs and flows that footy can provide which delivered some talking points.
The Tigers, who went into the clash as favourites, skipped out to a 19-point lead at the first change and took a 6.3 to 3.1 lead into the main break.
But the Bulldogs would not lay down on home soil, roaring back into the contest of the back of a three-goal third term.
Moranbah hit the front at the eight minute mark when Connor King slotted his second goal of the game, which was answered in kind by Bakers Creek with a neat Troy Fraser effort.
It proved enough for the Tigers, who prevailed 7.7 (49) to 7.5 (47).
Lets delve a little deeper into what the result means for both sides.
TIGERS ON TRACK
Bakers Creek returned to third spot on the ladder thanks to the win, leapfrogging Mackay Magpies.
The Tigers now own a 5-3 win-loss record and look on track to enjoy their most successful season in many, many years.
Reece Walsh followed up his six-goal bag against Whitsunday seven days earlier with four valuable majors on a low-scoring afternoon.
My spies told me Josh Moyle again played a starring role for Bakers Creek, while Sam Casey, Ryan Park and Joe Hackney featured among their best.
The Tigers now have the bye before a big few weeks.
They welcome Eastern Swans to Etwell Park on June 22 then face Mackay City Hawks at Harrup Park and host North Mackay on July 6.
SO CLOSE, BUT YET SO FAR
Moranbah's return to the Allied Pickfords Cup may have been lean on the win front, but the weekend was another indication there's heartening signs for the club.
The Bulldogs were staring down the barrel at halftime on Saturday and against the higher-rated Tigers, not only powered back into the game, but hit the front in the last quarter.
That they went down in the end was disappointing, although if they can sustain that type of football going forward, then they will climb off the bottom of the ladder.
Callum Johnstone was yet again outstanding for the Dogs, who were also well-served by Allan Annich, Cody Rumpf, Jake Tollenaar and Todd Makejev.
SAINTS STRANGLE MAGPIES .... AGAIN
Mackay Magpies endured a forgettable trip to Zeolla Park.
In some ways it was deja vu for the Magpies, who after being held to three behinds when they played the Saints earlier in the season, could muster a solitary goal in a 109-point defeat to the league leaders on Saturday.
North Mackay's defence has proven tougher to crack than a bank vault, conceding an average of 15.63 points per game.
Certainly the Magpies, who were outclassed 30 scoring shots to one (17.13 to 1.0), have some thinking to do when it comes to a method of being more competitive against the premiership favourites.
The Saints have now won their past seven matches by margins of 100-plus points or more and next on the hit list are the Whitsunday Sea Eagles this weekend.
Tom Morley was named best for North Mackay on Saturday, who had a number of quality contributors yet again, including Keelan Reck and the impressive Luke Slater, who each snagged three goals.
SWANS DO THE JOB
The biggest win of Round 9 came from the in-form Eastern Swans, who dispatched Whitsunday Sea Eagles by 137 points at Airlie Beach.
The Swans put the game in the bag early on, slamming home nine goals in the first quarter and six in the second to lead by 69 points at the main break.
Jarred Van Hees booted eight goals in a dynamic display, while the evergreen Terry Bailey and Luke Ball each snagged four majors in the 27.16 (178) to 6.5 (41) win.
Dylan McCutcheon, Darcy Mealy and Sam McCann headlined the long list of good Swans players.
We mentioned earlier about North Mackay having won seven straight games by 100-plus points, well the Swans have put together six.
Graham 'Bomber' Adams' side also became the first in the Allied Pickfords Cup to break through the 1000-point barrier for the season, having done so in nine matches.
HOW'S THAT WOODEN SPOON BATTLE GOING?
The biggest change came from Mackay City Hawks, who collected four points courtesy of the bye.
That lifts the Hawks to fifth place on 12 points, but Whitsunday and Moranbah both sport superior percentage.
Dylan Ryan (three goals), Aaron Thompson (two goals) and Jayden Clark (best) provided some highlights on another difficult afternoon for the defending premiers.
But the Sea Eagles percentage is 38.78, well clear of the currently bottom placed Moranbah, who were unlucky not to come away with their second win of the year on Saturday.
The Bulldogs lifted their percentage to 32.95, ahead of the Hawks' 32.22.
Moranbah and Mackay City Hawks meet this weekend at the kennel.
ROUND 10 FIXTURE
Mackay Magpies v Eastern Swans at Magpies Sporting Club
Moranbah Bulldogs v Mackay City Hawks at Stevenson Sports Park
North Mackay Saints v Whitsunday Sea Eagles at Zeolla Park
Bakers Creek Tigers bye.