A GALLANT Sea Eagles have suffered their first loss of the year at the hands of Moranbah.
The Sea Eagles hosted the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at the Whitsunday Sports Park but were left to rue missed opportunities, succumbing to a 15.12.102 to 9.22.76 defeat in the AFL Mackay competition.
Whitsunday was left to ponder what could have been against one of the league's front runners, recording more shots on goal (31-27) yet unable to reap the benefits.
Kicking with a strong wind in the opening quarter, the Sea Eagles came out firing but would trail 23 to 26 - with Moranbah making the most of some fortunate goals out the back.
A five goals to one second term would see the Bulldogs kick clear to a 25-point halftime advantage, but with the decisive breeze up their sleeve, Whitsunday remained in the hunt.
A dominant third quarter had the Sea Eagles right back in the contest, however inaccuracy in front of goals would ensure Moranbah maintained a seven-point lead.
Whitsunday had 10 shots to two in the premiership quarter, but was only able to kick three majors.
Despite a gutsy effort the Sea Eagles were unable to mount a comeback against the wind, wilting by 26-points.
Daniel Fletcher, Jade Derbyshire, Rhett Simms and Luke McCaul were best for the home side.
Whitsunday coach Brett Laskey remained positive after the encounter, praising the team's effort against a legitimate title contender.
Laskey said the team improved tenfold following the scrappy win against Bakers Creek a fortnight ago.
The Sea Eagles will travel to Rogers Oval on Saturday for their round four clash with the Eastern Swans.
Moranbah 15.12.102 def Whitsunday Sea Eagles 9.22.76
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