The Woodsmen took on UQ on Friday night with a significantly depleted side ahead of Week 1 on finals next week, however it was an absolute must win match as a victory would secure Top spot on the ladder and a home final, while a loss could have seen them off to an elimination final.
Despite this, the Woodies still opted to rest a number of players with niggles, while 4 or 5 others were unavailable due to other commitments, a dangerous game to play with positions in the best 22 hotly contested!
The Red Lions are always capable of a contest, with a relatively youthful side prepared to run and carry and a significant fitness advantage compared to the older more experienced Woodsmen! UQ started brightly with some deep forward entries, but couldn't capitalise on their chances, while the Woodies managed to kick 4 quick goals to take a 20 point lead to the first break 4.1 - 25 to 0.5 - 5.
UQ enjoyed an advantage at the centre bounce hitouts, with the Woodsmen failing to get a single hitout in the first 3 quarters, yet despite this - the Woodies enjoyed complete dominance of centre clearances as a result of ground level dominance and easy sharking of the UQ taps. Around the ground it was a different story, with some quality stoppage goals to Alec Parsons and Dylan Mudge with Magpie hit outs 'straight in their breadbasket'.
In the 2nd quarter, the Woodies put the foot down - putting on a further 5 goals to a solitary behind from UQ to take a 50 point lead into the half-time break, with Ben Ness in particular getting a strong dose of leather poisoning as he won the ball through the middle at will, while Braydon Thomas was proving dangerous up forward kicking 4 first half goals, away from his more customary position on a wing. Another feature of the first half was the return of former skipper Sean Toohey, who came out of retirement to help out with numbers on the night, with some trademark ferocious tackles a highlight, as well as some excellent bodywork hitting up at the footy.
After half time the sting really went out of the contest as several key players were sent to the showers early, particularly some older heads with questionable soft tissue reliability!
Ben Ness continued to rack up disposals at will around the footy, Josh and Travis Young were rock solid in defence as the Woodies worked on their ball movement from the back half and Tom Roderick was an absolute workhorse with and without the ball as he roamed the wing with great effect.
The Woodies eventually ran out 49 point winners 13.9-87 to 5.8-38, as UQ who were goalless to half-time managed to kick 5 second half goals as their season came to an end on a positive note.
The Woodsmen will now host Maroochydoore at McCarthy Homes Oval, Friday 17th August at 7:30pm with the winner straight into the Grand Final on Friday 31st August, and the loser hosting a Prelim Final on Friday August 24.
Get down to the club this Friday night to support the boys in their quest for another Grand Final berth.