Coolangatta too good as the Magpies attention turns to the QAFL

Triple premiership coach Bob Webb returned to the helm of the Magpies in the wake of the retirement of Bill Ryan. Other losses included Obst, Jeffries, Wilkey, Ogden, Zerna, Finnemore, Coelli and Tregenza. The gains were significant with the standouts being David McMahon (Bairnsdale), Peter Boyce (Moe), Paul Tribolet, Craig Purcell, Paul Kalendra, Lynton Keighran, Chris Daniels, Terry Morris and Peter Livingston. Keighran (Winger), McMahon (Key Defender), Tribolet (Ruckman) and Bruce Gray-McIntosh arrived from the Geelong district. The transfer of Zane Taylor to the Geelong club set up strong ties with the region that were to endure for some time.

Peter Boyce tied for the GCAFL goal-kicking award with 77 majors and was a commanding presence at Centre Half Forward and Full Forward throughout the season. He kicked 14 goals with Terry Morris adding 12 in a club record 47.26.308 round 18 hiding of whipping boys the Burleigh Bombers. Tribolet, Daniels and Livingston were quality big men and they were complimented by clever new on baller Purcell. McMahon and Kalendra stiffened up the Magpie defence and the club had once again built a strong base for another premiership assault. Gavin McGuane (Best and Fairest), Rob Simpson, Ken Clark (100 games in round 20), Sel Short, Digger Apted, Milton Davis, Ron Stewart, Neil Gibson and Terry Baker were there to teach the new arrivals what it meant to be a Magpie. Bill Ryan came out of retirement very late in the season to bolster an already formidable Magpie tall contingent. Magpie junior Chris van Wyk won selection in the Queensland Teal Cup squad, as did Surfers Paradise dynamo Jason Cotter.

The loss of Owen Park for almost the first third of the season owing to ground surface problems did not deter the Magpies as they proceeded to win eight of their first nine matches. A worrying 73-point hiding by Coolangatta in round one was wiped away in round eight when the Magpies had a comfortable four-goal victory. The competition was much tighter amongst the top six sides however, with the Magpies losing further games during the season to Labrador and Surfers Paradise and a narrow home loss to Coolangatta in round 15.

Bill Ryan lined up for his seventh consecutive Grand Final after the Magpies came from behind to defeat Palm Beach Currumbin in the Preliminary Final. Coolangatta were too good on the big day however, with Gabe Nuspan and Tim Tagliabue in their best players. Stewart, Tribolet, Livingston, McGuane, McMahon and Purcell were best for the Magpies (Click here to read article). The reserve grade completed another undefeated season with a 22-point win over Broadbeach. Wally Walsh, Dave Burns (20 years after his first senior game at the club) and Wayne Morris were amongst the leading lights in a clear demonstration of the Magpies depth. The colts were to go down to Broadbeach.

The biggest news of the 1981 season was the formal application by the Magpies to join the QAFL. Seven years of consistent excellence in the GCAFL and unparalleled administrative strength had caught the eye of a QAFL that was angling for a VFL license and proactive in developing the code. New QAFL CEO Ken Murphy and his staff that included Gold Coast identity Ken Hose, Ron Spalding and former Collingwood defender Andrew Ireland had met with the Magpies administration on several occasions to sound out their interest in an expanded QAFL. This large step for the club was of course to encounter some initial resistance (Click here to read article).

1981 Match Results

Date Venue Home Away Southport Goalkickers and Best Players
Round 1 29/03/1981 Len Peak Oval Coolangatta 22.16.148 Southport 11.9.75 (Best: Stewart, Short, Livingston, Tribolet, Davis, Brown)
(Davidson 3, Short 3, Tribolet 3, Baker, Livingston)
Round 2 5/04/81 Salk Oval PBC 10.7.67 Southport 15.13.103 (Best: Livingston, Short, McMahon, Brown, Davidson, Gibson)
(Tribolet 5, Davidson 3, Clark 3, Devlin 2, Livingston, Stewart, Short)
Round 3 12/04/1981 Isle of Capri Surfers 11.14.80 Southport 20.14.134 (Best: Gray-McIntosh, Keighran, McMahon, Davidson, Stewart, Gibson, Davis)
(Davidson 6, Gray-McIntosh 6, Tribolet 3, McGuane 2, Devlin, Davis, Stewart)
Round 4 19/04/1981 Salk Oval Burleigh 8.7.55 Southport 22.16.148 (Best: McMahon, McGuane, Apted, Kalendra, Clark, Gibson)
(Clark 5, Devlin 3, Purcell 2, Davidson 2, Livingston 2, Short 2, Apted, Keighran, Gray-McIntosh, Tribolet, McGuane, Stewart)
Round 5 26/04/1981 Merrimac Broadbeach 7.8.50 Southport 16.15.111 (Best: McGuane, McMahon, Short, Stewart, Kalendra, Jones)
(Stewart 5, Clark 2, Brown 2, Livingston 2, Purcell 2, Short, Tribolet, McGuane)
Round 6 3/05/1981 Labrador Oval Labrador 19.20.134 Southport 21.15.141 (Best: McMahon, Apted, Keighran, Livingston, Kalendra, McGuane)
(Devlin 3, Apted 3, Clark 3, Davidson 2, Brown 2, McGuane 2, Stewart 2, Davis 2, Gray-McIntosh, Short)
Round 7 10/05/81 Owen Park Southport 22.20.152 Lismore 7.15.57 (Best: Davis, Apted, Simpson, McMahon, Clark, Brown)
(Clark 6, Apted 6, Davis 3, McGuane 2, Purcell 2, Davidson 2, Short)
Round 8 17/05/1981 Owen Park Southport 18.13.121 Coolangatta 14.13.97 (Best: McMahon, Davis, McGuane, Livingston, Apted, Stewart, Tribolet)
(Davidson 6, Morris 3, Davis 2, Purcell 2, Clark 2, Apted, Brown, McGuane)
Round 9 24/05/1981 Owen Park Southport 21.19.145 PBC 12.19.91 (Best: Livingston, McMahon, Stewart, McGuane, Tribolet, Boyce)
(Purcell 4, Boyce 4, Clark 2, Apted 2, Davidson 2, Davis, Devlin, Gibson, Daniel, Buglusi, McGuane, Brown)
Round 10 31/05/1981 Isle of Capri Surfers 14.15.99 Southport 10.17.77 (Best: Simpson, McMahon, Gibson, Tribolet, Stewart, Davis)
(Purcell 3, Clark 2, Apted, Boyce, Davis, Davidson, McGuane)
Round 11 7/06/1981 Salk Oval Burleigh 1.14.20 Southport 30.31.211 (Best: McMahon, Davis, Clark, Boyce, Brown, Purcell)
(Davis 8, Boyce 7, Purcell 3, Clark 3, Buglisi 2, Davidson 2, Tribollet, Apted)
Round 12 14/06/81 Owen Park Southport 18.33.141 Broadbeach 18.8.116 (Best: Gibson, Baker, McGuane, Purcell, Keighran, McMahon, Short)
(Purcell 3, Daniel 3, Davis 3, McMahon 2, Clark 2, Apted, Boyce, Tribolet, McGuane, Livingston)
Round 13 21/06/1981 Owen Park Southport 20.17.137 Labrador 27.12.174 (Best: McGuane, Keighran, Livingston, Tribollet, Gibson, Boyce)
(Boyce 5, McGuane 3, Purcell 3, Keighran 2, Tribolet 2, Davis 2, Morris, Apted, Baker)
Round 14 28/06/1981 Riverview Park Lismore 11.17.83 Southport 21.22.148 (Best: McMahon, Short, Apted, Livingston, Tribollet, Stewart)
(Boyce 7, Purcell 4, McMahon 3, Tribolet 2, Short 2, Davis, Morris, Apted)
Round 15 5/07/1981 Owen Park Southport 14.18.102 Coolangatta 18.11.119 (Best: Purcell, Stewart, McGuane, Tribolet, Baker)
(Boyce 5, Purcell 3, Davis 2, Daniels, Short, McMahon, Apted)
Round 16 12/07/1981 Owen Park Southport 25.18.168 PBC 9.14.68 (Best: Purcell, McGuane, Walsh, Stewart, Keighran, Daniels)
(Walsh 6, Keighran 5, Boyce 5, Morris 4, Purcell 2, McGuane, Thompson, Stewart)
Round 17 19/07/1981 Owen Park Southport 28.10.178 Surfers 11.13.79 (Best: McGuane, Brown, Keighran, Boyce, Stewart, Apted)
(Boyce 10, Apted 4, Daniels 3, Livingston 3, Walsh 2, Keighran 2, Clark 2, Brown, McGuane)
Round 18 2/08/1981 Owen Park Southport 47.26.308 Burleigh 7.6.48 (Best: Boyce, Tribolet, T Morris, McGuane, Livingston, Keighran)
(Boyce 14, T Morris 12, McGuane 4, Apted 3, Ryan 3, Clark 2, Keighran 2, Purcell 2, Brown, Walsh)
Round 19 9/08/1981 Merrimac Broadbeach 7.10.52 Southport 11.9.75 (Best: Brown, Robinson, Livingston, Purcell, Tribolet, Ryan)
(Boyce 3, Ryan 2, Apted 2, Purcell, Davis, Clark, Buglisi)
Round 20 16/08/1981 Owen Park Southport 20.11.131 Labrador 15.10.100 (Best: Boyce, Livingston, Brown, Apted, Purcell, Baker)
(Boyce 7, Livingston 4, Clark 2, Keighran 2, T Morris, Buglisi, Apted, Gray-McIntosh, Purcell)
Round 21 23/08/1981 Riverview Park Lismore 6.23.59 Southport 20.19.139 (Best: Short, Livingston, Brown, Baker, Tribolet, Ryan)
(Boyce 8, Brown 2, Apted 2, Gray-McIntosh 2, Keighran 2, Short 2, Davis, Walsh)
First Semi 30/08/1981 Salk Oval PBC 28.15.183 Surfers 13.16.94
Reserves Broadbeach 16.11.107 Labrador 11.8.74
Colts Burleigh 11.10.76 Surfers 6.15.51
Second Semi 6/09/1981 Len Peak Oval Southport 13.8.86 Coolangatta 16.23.119 (Best: Stewart, Short, McMahon, Davis, Simpson, Ryan)
(Keighran 3, McGuane 2, Boyce 2, Apted, Clark, Purcell, Ryan, T Morris, Short)
Reserves Southport 27.16.178 Coolangatta 7.11.53 (Best: Devlin, Davidson, Lowe, Evans, Walsh, W Morris)
(Devlin 7, Lowe 5, Lord 4, W Morris 3, Daniels 2, Forbes 2, Wells, Walsh, Buglisi, Davidason)
Colts Southport 9.10.64 Broadbeach 14.16.100 (Best: Reid, Pescud, Pearson, Teveluwe)
(Hodge 2, Burnett 2, Reid, Ambrose, T Peterson, Teveluwe, W Peterson)
Prelim Final 13/09/1981 Merrimac Southport 15.6.96 PBC 9.12.66 (Best: Brown, Daniels, McMahon, Boyce, Ryan, Davis)
(Boyce 4, Keighran 3, McGuane 3, Davis, Short, Purcell, Daniels, Livingston)
Reserves Broadbeach 16.21.117 Coolangatta 11.7.73
Colts Southport 10.8.68 Burleigh 9.10.64 (Best: W Peterson, Curtis, M Bradley, Little, S Bradley)
(Hodge 3, S Bradley 2, Pearson, Robinson, Ambrose, W Peterson, Little)
Grand Final 20/09/1981 Salk Oval Southport 13.9.87 Coolangatta 20.17.137 (Best: Tribolet, Stewart, Livingston, McGuane, McMahon, Purcell)
(Boyce 4, Purcell 3, Tribolet 3, McGuane, Livingston, Clark)
Reserves Southport 16.14.110 Broadbeach 13.10.88 (Best: Walsh, Burns, Evans, Forbes, W Morris, T Morris)
(T Morris 5, Walsh 3, Gray-McIntosh 3, Devlin 2, Lord, Lowe, Buglisi)
Colts Broadbeach 10.16.76 Southport 6.11.47 (Best: Curtis, W Peterson, Reid, Robinson, M Bradley)
(Hodge 2, Pearson, Ambrose, Little, Quigley)