The Western Magpies celebrated their 60th Anniversary in style with an impressive win, showing composure when facing a 34 point first quarter deficit and fighting back for a memorable victory over old rivals Mt Gravatt. The 16.9-105 to 11.8-74 win was enjoyed by a strong crowd in anticipation of the night ahead.
The Magpies were in danger of being blown away early after Mt Gravatt had booted 6 goals straight to the Pies 2 points at the 20 minute mark of the first quarter. The Pies were getting outrun in the midfield and the Vultures were smashing the Pies on the outside and in transition.
The Pies rallied, tightened up at the contest and started to win more of the ball to boot 3 late first quarter goals, 2 by Brent Staker, to get them back in the game.
Coach Nathan Clark told his charges at quarter time to keep applying the pressure, attack the football and things would swing the Pies way. In a dominant quarter the Magpies booted 6 goals to 2 to lead by 7 points at half time. Another dominant third quarter saw the Pies boot another 4 goals while keeping the Vultures goalless. At one stage the Pies had booted 14 goals to Mt Gravatt's 2 goals before the visitors kicked some late consolation goals.
Ruckman Jadan Morton was everywhere in an inspirational game as he shouldered the ruck burden after Dom Beer suffered an ankle strain. Beer battled on gamely in spurts but Morton rucked for long periods, won plenty of tap outs, took marks around the ground and kicked a long goal to lift the Pies in the second quarter.
Callum Carseldine was tough in midfield and was instrumental in wresting midflield control back from the Vultures and rover Matt Sondergeld was a terrier all game, throwing himself at the contest in his best match for the Pies. Drew Mitchell also linked well through the midfield and when pushing forward to boot 3 goals and brother Luke Mitchell mopped up well in the back half and also linked through he middle of the ground. Tim McEvoy who showed his usual composure under pressure directing traffic down back and youngster Will Fletcher also showed composure beyond his years, winning some important ball across half back and using it well.
Brent Staker was impressive in the air and also produced the goods with some crumbing goals as well. He was instrumental in lifting the Pies early with some clutch goals late in the first quarter to steady the ship after the early Vulture onslaught and he finished with 5 goals in a quality outing.
Alex Dickfos is enjoying having Staker attracting plenty of attention to have a two pronged attack and he has his confidence back with 2 goals but was also involved in another 4 goal assists.
The Pies did not have a bad player in the side in a crucial victory over a fellow finals contender.
The Magpies now face ladder leader Palm Beach-Currumbin on the Gold Coast next Saturday in another test of their finals credentials. In their losses to Mt Gravatt and PBC in the first round the Pies were smashed on the outside and in transition but on Saturday the Pies addressd this against the Vultures and will be well prepared for the Lions in what should be a cracking game.
Western Magpies 3.3 - 21 | 9.4 - 58 | 12.8 - 80 | 16.9 - 105
Mt Gravatt 6.0 - 36 | 8.3 - 51 | 8.6 - 54 | 11.8 - 74
Best: Morton, McEvoy, Staker, L.Mitchell, D.Mitchell, W.Fletcher
Goals: Staker 5, D.Mitchell 3, Dickfos 2, Saunders 2, Sondergeld, Morton, Bridge, Crawford