By Holly Slattery
The Bull Sharks’ eight game winning streak has ended with a nail-biting five point defeat at the hands of fellow premiership contenders Carrara in round 12 of the QFA Division 2 at The Canal on Saturday.
The Bond AFL sides took the opportunity to don the specially designed Indigenous themed guernseys they were denied wearing in the washed-out Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
However, there was to be little on-field celebrations on a tough day all round for the Bull Sharks who also recorded losses in the men’s reserves and women’s QWAFL seniors.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
In the men’s seniors the cross-city rivals and potential grand final opponents traded blows from the opening bounce.
Complacency was quickly replaced with concentration after Carrara secured the first goal of the game and managed to keep their noses in front throughout the first half.
Just two points separated the Gold Coast competitors leading into the third quarter and an undermanned Bond midfield came out of the rooms breathing fire to set up a three goal to one third term and head into the final change with a handy 11-point lead.
However, the Saints finished the game stronger, piling on 29 points in the final quarter to seal the 9.11 (65) to 9.6 (60) win.
Bull Sharks Captain Wyatt Bacon once again led from the front against Carrara. His commitment off half-back almost driving his team back in front just before the final siren.
After his impressive contested ball work in the reserves’ match last week, Ryan Maloney was elevated to the seniors’ midfield where he joined powerhouses Harry Ireland and Jaiden Pengelly.
Mack Evans was also a standout on the wing, working tirelessly up and down the boundary to be in prime position to leverage his booming left-foot kick.
IN OTHER GAMES
Carrara also prevailed over the Bull Sharks in the men’s reserves’ match, winning 84-52.
Bond midfielder, Abe Forward will be pushing for a seniors’ call-up after being judged best on ground on Saturday night.
The women’s side also suffered defeat at The Canal with a disappointing 33-point loss to the Southport Sharks. The Bull Sharks held their own in the first quarter, but Southport made critical ground in the second, surging ahead by five goals while keeping the home team scoreless.
The Bond side desperately defended in the last half but their last-ditch effort to close the margin was not enough to add another win to the tally.
The club’s only win came in the first match of the day with the women’s reserves recording a thumping 63-25 victory over Southport.
All the chat at the bar after a tough day for the Bull Sharks centred on women’s reserve grade player Mardi Hornby’s heroics.
Hornby was a shining light in attack booting seven of the side’s 10 goals in the 38-point win and has surely put her name under the noses of the selectors for a call-up to the QWAFL side.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Bull Sharks remain on top of the table in the race for the QFA Div 2 premiership, but Carrara is closing in, sitting only four points behind, with only six matches of the regular season remaining.
The side is confident they will taste redemption in round 13, when they face the fifth-placed Burleigh Bears at Bill Godfrey Oval.
Bond remains competitive in fourth position on the QAFLW ladder behind UQ, Southport and Maroochydore, but Coorparoo is quickly encroaching.
Next weekend the women will seek redemption in a rematch against Southport.
WHAT THEY SAID
Bond men’s seniors’ midfielder, Jay Meaney concedes the 65-60 loss was the “wake up” call the side needed to address lapses in concentration.
“We haven’t played many top-end sides this season, so we knew that we were coming in facing our biggest challenge yet,” Meaney said.
"We need to learn to be switched on the entire game and not have those lapses in concentration.
“You play these top sides, and you need to do those things, otherwise you lose.”
Bond QWAFL forward Gabby Deller said the women were also jumped by their opponents.
“Southport came down and gave us a really good challenge,” Bond forward Gabby Deller said.
“We rose up to it at points, but we’ve just got to make sure that we keep it consistent for four quarters.
“At times we were our own worst enemy.’’