Capalaba 0 drew Beenleigh 0
Beenleigh: Darvill, Neville, Morris, Noble, Harrison, Phillips, Lee, Warden, Oslar, Hansen, Julardzija, Willmann, Simm, Hadfield, Snowdon, Moore
Beenleigh welcomed Juso Julardzija back to their line-up but he was unable to add to his impressive goal tally as “yourBPL player of the match” Geoff Hurford minimised any impact that the early season goal machine was able to produce. Both defences were solid in a first half that was notable only for its lack of creativity in the front third of the field at both ends but with the Lions regularly conceding early goals of late, co-coaches Nick and Joe Morris would probably have been relieved to go to the break not having to chase a result.
The second half was an altogether different affair. Capalaba began pushing forward and finding space in wide areas but time after time their crossing was wayward and when they did manage to get the ball into a dangerous position, Jack Phillips and Joe Morris were able to clear solidly and effectively.
Beenleigh stepped up a gear inspired by a determined Richard Neville and Shaman Lee who battled away in midfield and regularly won contests against the odds. Chances were starting to fall for the Lions but Hurford’s positioning even when out-numbered was ultimately the telling factor.
With half an hour remaining, Nick Morris introduced Aaron Willmann and the game stepped up a gear. To the credit of both sides attack at all costs became the order of the day and while genuine chances were still hard to come by, both sides had one clear opportunity to win it.
Capalaba won a corner and with the ball loose in the area Jake Sherwood headed the ball against the far upright from close range when it looked easier to score. At the other end Neville and Julardzija combined to get Willmann in behind the left-back but from a tight angle he was only able to scuff his left-footed shot wide of the near post.
Bulldogs coach Tim Brown will be disheartened with the result, particularly considering Olympic’s loss on Saturday to Pine Hills. Following the announcement of the final series set-up, second spot has become
absolutely crucial for their chances of making the Grand Final and two extra points here would have given them breathing space over the Yeronga-based side.
The Morris brothers will be relieved to finally turn the corner and will be happy to see a return to a semblance of the form that they showed early in the season when it seemed that Julardzija would run away with the Golden Boot. Next weekend Beenleigh welcome a wounded Mt Gravatt to Chris Green Park for a game that seems likely to decide which team plays Veto Premier League in 2011. A match-fit Julardzija could well be the deciding factor.