CLINICAL: Hayden Graham had a day out against the Bears.
CLINICAL: Hayden Graham had a day out against the Bears. Leeroy Todd

Gympie Cats zone in on top spot after dominant display

AUSSIE RULES: The Gympie Cats have proven themselves a genuine threat to take top spot on the AFL Wide Bay ladder after posting a commanding home victory over the Maryborough Bears on Saturday afternoon.

The surging Cats put their paltry opponents to the sword from the opening bounce at Pomona, giving their percentage an important boost in the massive 41.23 (269) to 1.3 (9) win.

Big man Hayden Graham booted an incredible 13 goals in his first game back from suspension, but couldn't quite claim best on ground honours over Bronzen Rowlands, who bagged 12.

AROUND THE GROUNDS: Bombers on top as the Power falters to Dogs

Aussie Rules - Gympie Cats vs Bay Power  - Hayden Graham Cats
Aussie Rules - Gympie Cats vs Bay Power - Hayden Graham Cats Leeroy Todd

Fellow stars Linton Congram, Kade Kent and Scott Stiefler were also among those to feature on the best list.

Coach Courtney Findlay praised Graham for his strong return.

"He slotted straight back in and played very well as a key position forward,” Findlay said.

"Special mention to Bronzen Rowlands too, he was great across half forward.”

BIFF: Waves player Karl Williams and Gympie player Hayden Graham tussle at Frank Coulthard Oval.
BIFF: Waves player Karl Williams and Gympie player Hayden Graham tussle at Frank Coulthard Oval. TAHLIA STEHBENS

With three rounds to play before finals, the 10-5 Cats have every chance to wrest the minor premiership from rival clubs Hervey Bay Bombers and Bay Power.

The Bombers became league leaders after their win over Across the Waves coincided with the Power's shock 23-point loss to Brothers.

The Cats boast the highest scoring record and winning percentage in the competition, but must brave a season-defining road trip to the Bay for clashes with both sides in the next fortnight.

The Cats face the Power at Keith Dunne Oval from 5:30pm this Saturday.

Findlay said captain Lanze Magin will return to the side after completing his own three-week suspension.

AFL Wide Bay Round 15 - Saturday July 21

Gympie Cats 41.23 (269) defeated Maryborough Bears 1.3 (9)

Goal Kickers: H. Graham 13, B. Rowlands 12, B. Forbes 4, D. Rawlins 3, D. Murray 3, S. Stiefler 2, R. Mcleod, T. Cunningham, T. Martin, J. Lawrence

Best Players: B. Rowlands, H. Graham, L. Congram, K. Kent, L. Hennings, S. Stiefler

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