A CONFRONTING bayside clash has seen Redcliffe run out 38-16 winners over Wynnum, consigning coach Neil Wharton and his pre-season favourites to a daunting run towards the finals.
After Wynnum scored first points via a Simon Phillips try, Redcliffe led from the 20th minute onwards in an affair that had equal parts spite and skill.
Facing his former club, Seagulls mentor Wharton perhaps unwittingly set the tone for the afternoon, reshuffling his line-up and including veteran hardman Ricky Taylor at centre.
Taylor, the last person to skipper a Wynnum team to a premiership in 1985, found himself penalised for a high shot on Grant Flugge early in the game and was again present when a brawl erupted on halftime.
Two players ? Brett McPherson and Duane O?Grady ? found themselves in the bin for the scuffle in front of the infamous Chook Pen, but they were far from the only ones with tempers fraying.
Indeed rivals Danny McAllister and Matthew Mapes seemed to enjoy the longest running battle of the afternoon, turning up time and again to drill each other in tackles and exchanging words throughout.
Somehow Redcliffe managed to keep things on an even keel. The Dolphins jumped clear 18-4 at halftime, with youngsters Wayne Bond and Liam Georgetown both impressive.
Filling in for Queensland Residents representative Ryan Cullen, fullback Georgetown provided a highlight with a slicing run that saw him brush off Taylor, attract two more defenders and then flick pass for Nick Emmett to score.
Emmett finished the day with a double and the visitors continued to pile on the points, despite converting just three of their eight tries.
For Wynnum the loss means an even more trying task to reach the finals, with games following against Toowoomba, North Queensland and Norths.
The Seagulls then finish with Ipswich, Easts, Tweed Heads and league leader Burleigh in the last round.
Redcliffe has a similarly tough run home and has one less game to play due to the bye, but at least for now has consolidated its position near the head of the table.
The Dolphins also retain the Herald Cup, a trophy contested annually between the Redcliffe and Wynnum clubs since 1979.
Next Saturday sees Redcliffe play North Queensland at Dolphin Oval in the televised game, while the Seagulls face Toowoomba at Clive Berghofer Stadium at 4.45pm.
REDCLIFFE 38 (Nick Emmett 2, Greg Bourke, Grant Flugge, Liam Georgetown, Michael Roberts, Phil Shilvock, Matt Gruszka tries; Greg Bourke 3 goals) beat WYNNUM 16 (Simon Phillips, Michael Wilhelmson, Daniel Sorbello tries; Jace Van Dijk 2 goals).
Article courtesy of the QRL. for more Qld Cup news and information visit www.qrl.com.au