The Western Magpies went down in their first pre-season hit out when defeated by Wilston Grange at a windy O'Callaghan Park, Zillmere on Saturday evening.
The Pies went down by 22 points, 10-4-64 to 6-6-42
The Pies dominated the first term but the strong winds proved difficult to handle and found the big sticks an elusive target on the big open ground. Grange managed a number of their goals on the rebound and made the most of their forward entries as the Pies dominated the inside 50s for little reward.
New recruits in Nick Barling, Gareth Crawford, Ricky Dudley and Reece Bridge were impressive and will slot in nicely to the Pies set-up. Barling had a good hit out in ruck, Crawford reminded us of a young Tom Power with a bustling display in and amongst it, Dudley showed class with good ball use across half back and Bridge also showed he will be a valuable defender and with his long flowing locks will be hard to miss.
David Lewis slotted back well and showed enough across half forward to be a valuable inclusion while youngsters Jake Heard, Joel Workman and Riley Easton showed glimpses but were in and out of the game as the wind made it hard to put in consistent displays.
Despite the loss, the experienced Luke Scott, Val Pope and Drew Mitchell all had plenty of the football and full forward Alex Dickfos also presented well in difficult conditions to make the Pies hierarchy confident of another good year.
The Pies were missing Callum Carseldine, Brent Staker, Matt Davis, Mitchell Stallard, Tim McEvoy and Cory Hopkins and youngsters Sam Copland and Charlie Pershouse were playing in a Queensland Academy trial match at Burpengary and the promising Lachie Dennis was rested due to a mild injury sustained at training. All should be available for the Pies next match on Saturday against Morningside at Yeronga.