The Western Magpies shook off a tenacious Red Lions team to win comfortably by 57 points, lock in second place on the ladder and the (apparent) right to host their first final. The Pies 17.12 - 114 to 8.9 - 57 victory at Chelmer was highlighted by a 7 goal performance by classy half forward Val Pope.
The first quarter was a tight affair with the Pies having the better of the play without being able to apply enough scoreboard pressure.
With Pope playing closer to goal and the Pies midfield getting on top the home team were able to boot 5 goals to 2 in the second quarter to have a 3 goal lead at half time. Pope had the home crowd cheering with a goal on the scoreboard flank when he wrong footed 3 opponents and threaded the ball through from the pocket. He showed his class yet again with his pace and balance exceptional.
The Pies dominated the third quarter with 7 goals to UQ's solitary behind to have the game wrapped up by the last change.
The last quarter saw the Pies go through the motions as they wrapped up the match and a 15-3 win loss record for the 2015 season coming into finals to finish outright 2nd.
The returning Callum Carseldine was back to his in and under ball winning best after missing last week and the indefatigable Tim McEvoy continues his fine form in the latter half of the season. With Drew Mitchell also on top in the middle and Matt Thompson playing higher up the ground getting plenty of ball the Pies controlled the game after quarter time.
Wingers Aaron Maricic and Sunny Aneet were both also busy and ruckman Hayden thick was back to his best giving his team first use of the football.
Matt Davis slotted back to the half back flank and resumed normal service with another polished display after missing 3 matches with injury.
Davis and the defensive unit have been terrific all year as they have held teams to 10 goals or less in 15 matches this year.
Alex Dickfos booted 4 goals to take his tally to 55 goals for the season and third on the goal kicking tally and Sam Copland also finished with 3 majors.
Glenn Humphrey – Western Magpies
“It was good to get the win, we were clinical when we needed to be. We understood what they were trying to achieve and trying to do, but we took that ability away from them, by covering their use of the football early on.
“Our third quarter was reasonably special, we did the hard work early, and were good enough to finish off.
“Now it’s finals footy, this week is a new game, it’s different to what we have done so far.”
The Magpies now play Wilston Grange at Yeronga on Saturday in the Qualifying Final.
The Pies earnt the right host the game at Chelmer after a long arduous season, but AFLQ have unfortunately deemed the ground not up to standard after 30 Senior games and a host of junior football was played on the surface throughout the year.
Western Magpies2.1 - 13 | 7.5 - 47 | 14.7 - 91 | 17.12 - 114
UQ Red Lions 2.1 - 13 | 4.5 - 29 | 4.6 - 30 | 8.9 - 57
Best: M.Davis, M.Thompson, V.Pope, T.McEvoy, C.Carseldine, D.Mitchell
Goals: V.Pope 7, A Dickfos 4, S.Copland 3, L.Scott, M.Thompson, L.Woods 1