BOILOVER IN THE BAY: Cats, Power in tense top-table tussle
AUSSIE RULES: The Gympie Cats put an emphatic stamp on their AFL Wide Bay finals intentions with a huge Round 16 win over Bay Power on the weekend.
Led by returning skipper Lanze Magin's best-on-ground performance, the Cats took a seven-point lead to the quarter time huddle before pouncing on their fierce rivals in the middle two stanzas to hold a 28-point lead at the final change.
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Courtney Findlay's boys prevailed 16.9 (105) to 10.6 (66) at the final siren, giving them their first win over the Power for the season.
Magin's starring role was somewhat soured by an off-the-ball incident which saw him hit with a yellow card and temporarily sent from the field.
It was his first game back from a previous three-week ban for his involvement in a melee with Hervey Bay Bombers players in Round 12.
Impressive midfielder Scott Stiefler downplayed the incident as "very minor” and praised his captain for showing strong leadership on the field.
"He's a contested beast, he gives a lot of confidence to our younger guys because they know he's going hard at the ball and will win nine out of 10 contests,” Stiefler said.
"He plays the game the right way and gives us a lot of firepower.”
Stiefler said the boys were buzzing after an important win.
"They've (Power) been in control against us in the past, but it was probably our first four-quarter effort with contested ball and transition ball against them this year. It was a real positive for us going in to this weekend.”
Dylan Murray and Bradley Forbes kicked four and three goals respectively and both featured on the best list alongside Magin.
Elsewhere around the league, the ladder-leading Bombers destroyed Maryborough by 242 points to consolidate top spot, while Brothers Bulldogs drew level on points with their Bundaberg rivals Across the Waves with a 26-point upset.
The Bombers and Cats will face off in a possible grand final preview at Norm McLean Oval on Saturday from 3pm.
The Cats won by just one goal last time the two teams met at the Bay.
ROUND 16 - Saturday July 28
Gympie Cats 16.9 (105) defeated Bay Power 10.6 (66) at Keith Dunne Oval
Best Players: L. Magin (2 goals), J. Lawrence, L. Congram, D. Murray (4 goals), S. Stiefler, B. Forbes (3 goals)