SLIP AND SLIDE: Buccs start with a loss in state competition
FOOTBALL: The Wide Bay Buccaneers got the perfect lesson on Saturday about what it will take to be competitive.
The side had a tough initiation to the Football Queensland Premier League, losing 5-1 to Brisbane outfit the Holland Park Hawks in its debut.
In wet and wild conditions at Martens Oval the Buccaneers were left to rue two lapses of concentration that ultimately led to the loss.
The region's newest state side started well, matching the Hawks for the first 25 minutes, before the opposition got on top with three goals in six minutes.
The Buccaneers then created history right before the break with striker Sam Meyer scoring the first goal for the club with a header after a long ball from a free kick from Josh Cullen.
Wide Bay had chances to make it 3-2 but was unable as Holland Park added two late goals.
Hawks captain Marek Madle scored both to complete a hat-trick.
"I feel a little bit hollow,” Buccaneers coach Tim Lunnon said.
"Apart from eight or nine (minutes) in that first half and those two cheap goals at the end I don't think it was necessarily a 5-1 game.”
Lunnon said the side was competitive but conceded his players struggled to stay in the game at certain points.
"It's part of the step-up for the boys,” he said.
"You've got to be on the ball for 90 minutes.
"If you are off the ball for 10, 12, or 15 minutes you are genuinely going to be punished.”
Lunnon, overall, was happy with what he saw.
"At times we gave them something to think about,” he said.
"I thought we did OK.
"They've played five to six pre-season games, we've played one.
"We've seen immense improvement.”
Madle said Wide Bay did well but was glad to take the three points.
"It's been fantastic and a great day for the club,” he said.
"Our tactic was to sit back, see what it's like first five minutes, then we scored the two quick goals.
"I'm happy with the boys' performance.
"This will give us plenty of confidence going forward.”
Wide Bay has a bye this week in seniors before facing Ipswich away in round three.