2009 Home-and-Away Season
2009 Qualifying and Elimination Finals
2009 Preliminary Final
2009 Grand Final
2009 Home-and-Away Season
2009, for the first time in the history of the competition, a team from
outside Queensland took part. The Northern Territory side, known
as the Thunder, played home matches in Darwin and Alice Springs.
Michael McLean, former Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Bears champion, was the
team’s inaugural coach.
The Western Magpies returned to the State League’s premier division in
2009. The Magpies had been formed by a merger of two clubs from
Brisbane’s western suburbs, Western Districts and Sherwood in 1991,
originally being known as West Brisbane. Both Western Districts and
Sherwood had competed in the premier competition in their own right prior to
the merger. The Magpies won the premiership in the State League
Division 2 competition in 2008, beating Palm Beach Currumbin in a thrilling
Grand Final. Their reinstatement to the top flight would see, in broad
terms, all corners of Brisbane represented - north, south, east, west and
The sad news which followed the 2008 season was the departure of Zillmere
from the competition. Having encountered ongoing financial problems in
recent years, exacerbated by the collapse of the company which managed their
longtime home ground O’Callaghan Park (and other northside sporting
venues), Shawsportz, in early 2008, the AFLQ Commission took the long-term
view in making the difficult decision to replace Zillmere with northside
counterparts Aspley, a ten-team competition with a final five being the
The Thunder made a great start to life in the QAFL when they overcame
reigning premiers Southport in Darwin in Round 1. The other 2008
Grand Finalists, Morningside, also lost, going down in a tough
battle to the Lions at Esplen Oval.
The Lions brought the Thunder back down to earth the following round with a big
win over the visitors at the Gabba. This was the Thunder’s first
game in Brisbane, and it was unfortunate that, owing to match scheduling
commitments, the game had to be played at 3:50 on a Friday afternoon as a
curtain-raiser to a Lions AFL game. I managed to get there for the
start, but the stands were nearly empty for a large part of the game.
That said, it is quite reasonable that the QAFL competition will
occasionally have to play ‘second fiddle’ to the AFL, given the high
level of interest in the latter. Round 2 also saw Morningside suffer
its second defeat, going
down to Mt Gravatt at Dittmer Park.
In Round 3 Southport looked to be back to its premiership form when it defeated
the Lions at Fankhauser Reserve. The Thunder were very impressive
Mt Gravatt in Darwin, whilst at Esplen Oval Morningside
chalked up its first win in inflicting Redland's first loss.
Redland were promising to be the season’s big improvers. The Bombers
beat the Thunder in an entertaining,
high-scoring affair at Victoria Point in Round 4.
Aspley broke through for a win
over fellow strugglers the Western Magpies in Round 5. Labrador
scored a nail-biting
win over the Thunder, and Redland continued their improvement, kicking
27 goals in beating
the Lions. The form of Redland's prized recruit Jeff White and
powerful full-forward Jason Eagle was part of the reason for the Bombers'
rise up the ladder.
In Round 6 the Thunder broke through for their first
away win in beating Broadbeach at Carrara.
Round 8 saw Morningside
defeat Southport by 32 points at Esplen Oval to register their sixth
straight win. The Thunder
overcame Aspley on a bitterly cold Saturday night in Alice Springs.
Redland hung on for a tense
victory over Mt Gravatt in Round 9 at Dittmer Park to reach the halfway
point of the minor round sharing top billing with great rivals Southport and
Morningside, all three teams having seven wins. The Thunder were just
one win away in fourth.
Labrador kicked just three goals in their Round 10 clash against Southport
at Cooke-Murphy Oval but incredibly won
the game - one of their finest victories. And in Cairns Morningside
beat the Thunder in a see-sawing contest.
Southport's Round 11 win
over Redland at Victoria Point left Morningside as outright ladder
leaders, a position they would not relinquish for the duration of the minor
round. In fact the Panthers’ big Round
12 victory over Mt Gravatt at Esplen Oval stretched their winning
sequence to ten games.
In Round 13, the Lions had a big
win over Southport, while the Thunder
scraped home by a point against Mt Gravatt at Carrara.
Aspley scored consecutive wins for the first time in Rounds 14
while Redland won a high-scoring
thriller over the Thunder in Alice Springs.
Two more consecutive losses - to
Morningside in Darwin and to
Southport at Carrara - saw the Territory slip out of the five after
After looking certainties to make the finals for most of the season, the
rigours of travel seemed to ultimately take their toll on the Thunder.
Even then, they were extremely unlucky to miss out on the finals.
Their win-loss ratio finished at 11-7, with both the Lions and Mt Gravatt
edging them out by just a few percentage points.
Morningside won its sixteenth
straight game when it triumphed by five points over the Sharks at
Fankhauser Reserve in Round 18, the final game in the minor round.
The home-and-away season finished with the teams placed as follows:
had started the season promisingly with three wins in the first four rounds,
but after that the Cats managed just one more victory for the season.
And the two Brisbane additions to the competition, Aspley and the Western
Magpies, collectively finished with just one win over the other teams.
For information on the
2009 finals, please
click on the links at the top of this column.
The Grogan Medal for the competition’s best and fairest player was won
by Mt Gravatt’s Nathan Gilliland. Jacob Gough of Morningside
finished second one point back, with Southport’s Danny Wise a further
point adrift in third.
The Ray Hughson Medal for the competition’s leading goalkicker after the
minor round went
to the Thunder’s Darren Ewing, who kicked 81 goals.
DVDs of 2009 games can be purchased here
at the Velocity Sports web site.