PHOTOS: Gympie Cats smash Power, lose key player to injury
AUSSIE RULES: The Gympie Cats propelled themselves into their first Queensland Football Association season with a dominant, 63-point trial match win over Bay Power on Saturday afternoon.
The Cats' clean possession, constant defensive pressure and selfless ball use helped them finish 15.8 (98) to 5.5 (35) winners at the full time siren.
The pre-season contest looked more serious at some points, as the Cats and Power harked back to their fiery AFL Wide Bay rivalry in front of a Ray Warren Oval crowd including Gympie's very own Married At First Sight celebrity Mick Gould.
It was the familiar faces who set the tone for the home side as they tick under two weeks of pre-season before their opening round QFA Division 3 clash with the Moreton Bay Lions next Saturday.
Co-captains Jack Cross and Jesse Lawrence got valuable game time, along with senior figures Scott Stiefler, Lanze Magin, Kade Kent and Tim Ellingsen.
The dress rehearsal may have come at a cost, however, with key forward Brad Forbes sidelined for the second half with a potentially serious knee injury.
Forbes appeared on crutches with ice on his knee after the half time break, leaving coach Dave "Tinners” Carroll to concede the club may have to reconsider their gameplan if the big man is sidelined for an extended period.
"It looks as though it's a bit serious at this stage, it looks like a tendon in his knee,” Carroll said.
"We're not a tall side and key forwards are hard to come by, for him to go down early was the biggest disappointment of the day.
"Fingers crossed it's nothing too bad and he's ok.
"We'll have to go with a small forward line for now, we're really quick across the ground, so we'll have to use our pace and strength in the contest and rotate our midfielders into the forward line.”
Carroll said he was otherwise pleased with the result and the response of his playing group.
"I came in with no expectations which is what I wanted, I asked the boys for a massive effort, strength around the contest and discipline. That's what we got and it showed on the scoreboard.
"I'm really happy in that we've actually got 30 to 35 blokes who can run on and off the field, we've got some really quality footballers.
"It gives us a lot of confidence going into the season, we've got lots of new recruits and we've been able to work ourselves into it.
"One thing I was really happy with was our younger brigade, they were fantastic today, we need the young guys to come through and help this club continue to be successful.”
Leadership group member Kade Kent, ruckman Ethan Hawkins and newcomer Tim Shearer all earned their coach's plaudits for their standout efforts throughout the match.
The Cats travel to the Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex for their first QFA tilt against the Lions next Saturday, April 6 at 2pm.