The Western Magpies won a tough tight contest against fellow finals contender Wilston Grange at Stafford on Saturday. The win puts the Pies a game clear in third place and only behind second placed Morningside on percentage.
After trailing for most of the second half the Pies hit the front at the 27 minute mark of the last quarter and hung on for a hectic final 3 minutes to win a low scoring match by 3 points, 7.11 - 53 to 7.8 -50.
Ruckman /forward Tom Michael kicked a long goal after marking 45 metres out on a 30 degree angle to put the Pies in front and break the hearts of a large and vocal home crowd.
The Pies have now won well 2 weeks ago and showed on Saturday they can also win ugly. Both sides lined up with several changes to the teams that met 2 weeks ago, with the Gorillas having several key inclusions and the Pies were without several top players so the chances of a different result were there from the start.
The match never reached great heights and despite almost perfect conditions it was a tough, tight and scrappyaffair. Both teams possess tough midfield combinations and easy possessions were few and far between as the tackling pressure applied by both teams was fierce. Both teams pushed back hard in defence resulting in crowded forward lines which made goalscoring difficult.
Added to this was the Pies were missing big key forward in Alex Dickfos and did not have the long kick option going forward and when they did bomb it in the Grange defenders were able to clear the ball out of defence with ease.
It would be a long time since the Magpies have not scored in the first quarter and went on to win the match. Grange were favoured by a slight breeze in the opener but were guilty of wasting several opportunities to goal which let the Pies off the hook.
The Magpies then wrested some control but were also wasteful in the second quarter but went in at halftime 4 points up.
Two opportunistic goals from 100 gamer Matt Thompson in the 2nd quarter kept the Pies noses in front.
The home team came out firing in the third quarter and in a flurry of goalscoring in the context of the match booted 4 goals to lead by a match high 15 points and only late goals to Tom Michael and Sean Mewing kept the Pies in range at the final change, only 7 points in arrears.
The Magpies dominated the final quarter possessions and inside 50s but butchered several goal scoring chances and it was only the late goal from Michael that enabled them to escape with the 4 points.
Val Pope continued his good form with plenty of possessions in midfield and had good support from the consistent Drew Mitchell, Tim McEvoy and Callum Carseldine. Sunny Aneet also gathered plenty of possessions on a wing.
Tom Michael worked hard in ruck and up forward in his return match and was rewarded with 2 timely goals, both with long kicks.
Doug Lawrence was his usual uncompromising self in defence and Matt Davis was again good across half back. Riley Easton's pace, hustle and tackling pressure caused plenty of turnovers.
The Magpies travel to Surfer's Paradise next Saturday and the selectors have the pleasant task of trying to fit Alex Dickfos, Hayden Thick, Lachlan Woods and Aaron Maricic into a team coming off 3 quality wins on the trot.
Western Magpies 0.0 - 0 | 3.4 - 22 | 5.7 - 37 | 7.11 - 53
Wilston Grange 1.4 - 10 | 2.6 - 18 | 6.8 - 44 | 7.8 - 50
Best: M.Aneet, V.Pope, R.Easton, M.Davis, D.Lawrence, T.Michael
Goals: T.Michael, M.Thompson 2, S.Mewing, S.Copland, M.Davis 1
Western Magpies appreciate the ongoing support of 2015 Senior Jumper Sponsor Mack Trucks
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