PICS: Battling Gladstone played twice with courage
AUSSIE RULES: It was another tough afternoon for the Bill Robertson Toyota Gladstone Suns on Saturday.
Pitted against second-placed Rockhampton Panthers, the Suns were shunted against a side destined to meet AFL Capricornia pace-setters Yepopoon Swans in September.
A near full-strength Panthers kicked 22.20 (152) to 0.1 (1) as goal-sneak Sam Gudgeon made most of precise forward entries.
He booted 11 goals.
Suns playing coach Ricky McClure said most of the A-grade players completed two games.
"We had a lot of injuries and work commitments left us short," he said.
"We only three blokes didn't have to play two games and those three were carrying injuries into the game."
McClure said the club virtually played the A-grade side in the reserves game against Panthers.
The Suns' seconds side won by 47 points.
"With the league now fining clubs for forfeiting reserves games, we don't have a choice except to play two games with the same team," McClure said.
"It's a hard position to be in because it leads to even more injuries like it did on Saturday."
Suns had no interchange players by quarter-time and finished the game short on players.
"The positives were we had three under-17s start on the field in the seniors and all played their best games for the year," McClure said.
"Adam Hornbrook, Kyle Turner and James Hayles also battled all day."
When asked if Panthers had the ability to push the Swans if the sides meet in the decider, McClure had this to say.
"The trouble Panthers will have is being able to match Yeppoon every minute for four quarters," he said.
"They can have a tendency to switch off for periods that will hurt them but their best footy can certainly match Yeppoon."