SUPER SIX: Talking points from Round 14 in AFL Mackay
The gap between the top three and rest of the Allied Pickfords Cup competition was illustrated in striking fashion in Round 14.
Three matches and an average winning margin of 152 points.
Mackay Magpies dismantled an undermanned Whitsunday Sea Eagles by 191 points, North Mackay defeated Mackay City by 144 points and in the closest game of the round, Eastern Swans defeated Moranbah by 131 points.
This past weekend has followed a few weeks of close results, but it says something that 50 per cent of all senior matches this year have featured 100-plus point margins.
Before getting too downbeat about the state of play, have a look at a couple of results from country Victoria in recent weeks.
Perennial Kyabram District Football League battlers Ardmona, a stone's throw from Shepparton, were on the receiving end of a 62.30 (402) to 0.1 (1) hiding from Stanhope on July 6.
The solitary behind for the Cats came in the second quarter.
On Saturday, Campbells Creek, a club in the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football League, were hammered by Natte Bealiba 56.32 (368) to 0.0 (0).
Like Ardmona, it has been a tough season for the Magpies, who were hammered by Avoca by 347 points in Round 4, 325 points by Harcourt in Round 7 and now 368 points.
But Campbells Creek also have a record that is highly unlikely to be surpassed.
The Pies hold the record for the biggest score ever kicked in a game, 100.34 (634) against Primrose in 1990.
BAGS AND BAGS OF GOALS
The weekend proved a good one for the sharpshooters.
Mackay Magpies booted 34.16 (220) to defeat Whitsunday at Magpies Sporting Club and two players in particular had a day out.
Jack Fortescue became the fourth player in 2019 to boot 10 goals, a fair effort considering he had eight on the board in his previous five games this season.
Dan Cordwell snagged nine majors in just his fourth game of the year.
The effort surpassed the AFL Mackay regional manager's best haul during his time playing in the competition, firstly at Bakers Creek in 2017 and now Magpies.
Yet again key forward Dylan Ryan proved a shining light for the struggling Sea Eagles.
He booted all six of Whitsunday's goals in an effort that ranks highly alongside his 10-goal haul in a losing cause a few weeks earlier.
Chris Burdon kicked seven goals and Luke Ball slotted six majors as Eastern Swans took care of Moranbah at Rogers Oval, winning 27.13 (175) to 6.8 (44).
Burdon has enjoyed playing against the Bulldogs in 2019, with last weekend's effort following up hauls of 10 and six earlier in the season.
Meanwhile it was no surprise to see the league's leading goalkicker Sam Dunbar make his mark.
Dunbar finished with seven goals and formed a dynamic one-two punch with Cal McLeod (six) as North Mackay comfortably made it 12 from 12 at Zeolla Park.
NORMAL BUSINESS CONTINUES FOR SAINTS
I've got to say I'm running out of superlatives to describe this North Mackay campaign.
The Saints are 12 from 12 after the 23.20 (158) to 2.2 (14) defeat of Mackay City and are putting together a season for the history books.
I mentioned last week that their numbers stack up very well when compared to the AFL Capricornia powerhouse Yeppoon, who have set a benchmark in Queensland country football.
North Mackay's percentage is now 748.00 and the Saints have conceded just 200 points for the season, at an average of 18.18 points per game (not taking into account the win on forfeit against Whitsunday).
In a competition where consistency in selection is tough due in the most part to work commitments, the fact the Saints have had five players play every game, another only miss one and eight playing nine matches, is noteworthy.
North Mackay have used 39 players in total.
HOW MANY PLAYERS HAVE EACH CLUB PLAYED AT SENIOR LEVEL
Here's a trivia question. Is North Mackay's figure of 39 players the least for any club in the Allied Pickfords Cup?
But only just according to SportsTG.
Eastern Swans, the Saints' closest contenders, have used 41 players.
Next on the list, bottom side Whitsunday, which has called on 55 players at senior level in 2019.
Then comes Mackay City and Moranbah (each 57), Mackay Magpies (59) and Bakers Creek.
The Tigers have been a bit hot and cold this season, and you can understand why having used 61 players throughout their campaign so far.
MND BLUE TIE BALL
Brownlow Medallist and all-round good bloke Robert 'Dipper' Dipierdomenico will be the special guest when Mackay Magpies AFL Club presents their annual MND Blue Tie Ball on July 27.
The event raises funds for Motor Neurone Disease, a cause which has become closely linked with football through the efforts of Neale Daniher.
Daniher, the former Essendon player and Melbourne coach, has battled the condition since 2014 and dedicated his efforts to educating people about MND.
The Big Freeze has raised millions of dollars for MND research since 2015.
As well as Dipper's presence, the Blue Tie Ball will feature entertainment from magician Duck Cameron, live music by Mango Junction and Charity Auctions.
For more information or to buy tickets visit the Magpies Sporting Club website.
THIS WEEK'S TIDBITS
Congratulations to Christina Likos, who was announced last week as the new competitions manager for AFL Mackay.
It has been a big couple of weeks for the league, who signed McDonald's as a naming rights sponsor for the women's competition.
The competition will now be known as the AFL Mackay Women McDonald's Cup.
Bakers Creek product Will Bella continues to shine on the representative scene, booting three goals for Queensland in a 20-point win against Tasmania in the Under-16 National Championships.
Having heard a couple of whispers in recent weeks, I thought I would share them with you.
RUMOUR 1: A decorated footballer has been quietly sounded out about the possibility of taking on a player-coach role for rival club in 2020.
RUMOUR 2: The race for the M.J Miller Medal has cleared out with the prized honour now down to three players.
ROUND 15 FIXTURE
Mackay City Hawks v Moranbah Bulldogs at Harrup Park
Eastern Swans v Whitsunday Sea Eagles at Rogers Oval
Bakers Creek Tigers v Mackay Magpies at Etwell Park
North Mackay Saints bye.