The Western Magpies had a disappointing loss after a second half fade-out in the Qualifying Final against close rivals Wilston-Grange at Yeronga on Saturday.
Predictions were for a tough and tight contest and that is exactly what happened in the first half as the match was an arm wrestle. The Pies had a 7 point half time lead and looked the better side for the first half but didn't convert their opportunities.
The first 10 minutes of the third quarter mimicked the first half with a goal each before Grange managed two opportunistic goals from scrappy play to sneak a lead and followed with a further two quick goals to have the largest lead of the match halfway through the third quarter. The Pies missed several opportunities to narrow the lead then the Gorillas again booted three quick goals in succession to lead by 5 goals at three quarter time after a 7 goal to 1 quarter.
The Magpies took risks in the last quarter to try to get back into the match but turnovers and rebounds resulted in Grange booting a further six goals to one to win by 62 points, 18.14-122 to 8.12-60, with a 13 goals to 2 second half telling the story.
In the first half the Pies were playing their hard contested football and breaking even in the midfield contests. A tricky and fluky cross breeze did impact on the game with several goal attempts by both sides affected.
In the ruck Hayden Thick and Dom Beer were working hard to break even against bigger opponents but after half time the Pies were finding it hard to get first use of the football at the centre bounces.
Grange got in top in midfield and the Magpies were all of a sudden on the back foot. Grange made the most of their scoring opportunities but the Magpies were struggling to get clean ball in the forward line and then missing when chances occurred.
In mid field Tim McEvoy never stopped working to try to lift his side with a typical non-stop display and Sunny Aneet on the wing played his best game for some time with good run and carry especially in the first half.
Matt Thompson across half forward booted 2 goals from limited opportunities but won plenty of ball up the ground.
The back line had their colours lowered for only the third time this season but Chris Hunt kept working away and did provide some run out of defence.
The backs were under the pump after half time as Grange often had free players bringing the ball forward on the rebound after crucial turnovers in the middle of the ground allowed Grange to make their forward entires under relatively little pressure. Tom Michael kept presenting across half forward but was often forced to push up the ground in search of the ball.
Key players for the Pies in Val Pope, Luke Ccott and Cal Carseldine were down on their usual output. Scott and Pope in particular suffered heavy tags, as Grange were well aware of the influence each of them could wield on the outcome.
The Magpies now must lick their wounds and concentrate on rebounding in the cut-throat First Semi Final against Morningside at Yeronga next Sunday. The Panthers easily defeated Broadbeach in the Elimination Final on Sunday.
The loss has resulted in the Western Magpies playing on a Sunday which unfortunately clashes with the BJAFL Grand Finals, also scheduled for next Sunday at Coorparoo. Sherwood Under 17s have been undefeated this season and will be flag favourites as they go into the Grand Final against Morningside - however due to the scheduling conflict, the Magpie faithful won't be able to attend both games.
Glenn Humphrey – Senior Coach
“They just wanted it more than what we did; we got out played at our own game.
“Our work rate wasn’t high enough, our attack on the footy wasn’t good enough, when you don’t have control of the football, you can’t control the game.
“The simple fact was they were harder at the football, and wanted the football more than us. Until our blokes realise that we have got to perform week in week out, those sort of things will continue to happen.”
Western Magpies 2.4 - 16 | 6.7 - 43 | 7.9 - 51 | 8.12 - 60
Wilston Grange Gorillas 3.2 - 20 | 5.6 - 36 | 12.10 - 82 | 18.14 - 122
Best: D.Beer, M.aneet, T.McEvoy, M.Thompson, H.Thick, C.Hunt
Goals: M.Thompson, A.Dickfos, 2, R.WEnham, T.Michael, D.Mitchell, L.Woods