SUPER SIX: Talking points from Round 4 of AFL Mackay
CHASM IS EMERGING
We're only four weeks into the 2019 season, but the gap between the AFL Mackay contenders and the also-rans is now the size of the grand canyon.
Round 4 delivered winning margins of 53, 136 and 155 points.
Drill back even further and seven of the 12 matches played in the Allied Pickfords Cup this season have seen margins of greater than 100 points.
I'm not sure if that is going to change in Round 5 (to be played after another week's break) with Mackay City Hawks hosting Eastern Swans at Harrup Park, North Mackay travelling to Moranbah and Bakers Creek making the trip to Mackay Magpies.
Saying that though, the hidings aren't on the scale of clubs in Victoria such as Kyabram District Football League battler Ardmona.
The Cats in 2018 scored 98 points for the season (average 5.44) and conceded 4980 points (average 276.67) for a percentage of 1.97.
WET AND WILD
In six years of playing footy in Queensland, I could count on one hand the amount of times I played in wet weather.
But for players in the AFL Mackay competition, they had that opportunity last Saturday.
Solid rainfall hit both Mackay and the Whitsundays, and to borrow racing parlance, there were a couple of heavy tracks and one in the soft range.
SAINTS AND TIGERS SHUTOUT RIVALS
A reason of the dominance was the fact both North Mackay and Bakers Creek kept their opponents goalless.
The Saints were in supreme form against an understrength Mackay City Hawks, while the Tigers did a good job to strangle Moranbah at Etwell Park.
North Mackay held their opponents goalless for the second game in a row, restricting the Hawks to a solitary behind, a fortnight after conceding just three points against Mackay Magpies.
The Saints also had 15 different goalkickers in their 22.24 (156) score, headed by Sam Dunbar, who now has 16 majors to his name in four matches.
That man Luke Slater was again in the thick of everything and Michael Green bobbed up with three majors.
But North Mackay does not lay claim to having the best defence in the league, that honour sits with Bakers Creek.
The Tigers have conceded just 39 points in four matches, an average of 9.75 per game, after holding visiting Moranbah to 0.7 (7) on Saturday.
In a game where the rain definitely left its mark, Bakers Creek mustered 8.12 (60) for a fairly-comfortable 53-point win.
SWANS LOVING THE TRAVEL
Eastern Swans are enjoying their road trips.
First it was Moranbah put to the sword at the kennel and last Saturday, Whitsunday was on the receiving end of an improving Swans outfit.
A 10-goal opening quarter laid the foundation as Eastern Swans marched away to win 26.15 (171) to 5.5 (35).
Coach Graham 'Bomber' Adams is beginning to put his stamp on the line-up and while the Hawks await next, we'll learn a hell of a lot more about both the Swans and Bakers Creek when the pair square-off at Rogers Oval on May 18.
NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM FOR SEA EAGLES
They are a vastly different outfit from the one that lifted the AFL Mackay premiership cup in September, but the early signs of the rebuild look OK for Whitsunday.
Despite the Swans leaving Airlie Beach with a 136-point victory last Saturday, there are enough signs to suggest that the Sea Eagles won't be at the bottom for very long.
Teenage talents such as Jayden Clark. Cooper Goodwin and Lachlan Draper show enough to suggest they have bright futures in store.
But the efforts of a couple of experienced campaigners are worth a mention.
Chris Morrison continues to prove one of the Sea Eagles' best players week-in, week-out and is equally as busy off the field in his role as president, while Aaron Thompson battled manfully throughout.
TIGER FAVOURITE NOTCHES MILESTONE
Congratulations to Shaun Creeley, who played his 50th senior game for Bakers Creek.
Not only that but Creeley played alongside his son Callum.
Daily Mercury sports editor Callum Dick had a lovely story referencing Shaun's history at Etwell Park, which I have attached a link to here.
Footy clubs are built on people such as Shaun, who has been at Tigerland through thick and thin, since 2012.
ROUND 5 DRAW, MAY 11
Mackay City Hawks v Eastern Swans at Harrup Park
Moranbah Bulldogs v North Mackay Saints at Stevenson Sports Park
Mackay Magpies v Bakers Creek at Magpies Sporting Club
ABOUT THE WRITER
REGIONAL editor Gregor Mactaggart boasts more than 15 years in the media industry, highlighted by spells as sports editor of the Shepparton News, senior sports reporter at the NT News, senior sports reporter at Sportal and editor of The Guardian in Swan Hill before moving to the Whitsundays in June 2018.
He played senior football in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
His association with AFL Mackay began nearly two decades ago when he spent a season with Eastern Swans and coached the club's Under-15 team to premiership success.
Winner of the 2006 Gladstone Mudcrabs senior best and fairest, he also won two players' player awards at the Glenmore Bulls and was vice-captain of the Rockhampton District representative team.