RESERVES DOWN BUT STILL A FINALS CHANCE
The Western Magpies Reserves were well beaten by 2nd placed and defending Premier Labrador at Chelmer on Saturday. The Pies had several late withdrawals and went into the match undermanned, with five Under 19 players answering the call and stepping up to play.
The Pies were defeated 16.17-113 to 5.9-39.
Labrador were cleaner in the wet conditions as the pies struggled to adapt to wet weather football, persisting with short kicks which resulted in costly turnovers. Labrador dominated the first half to lead comfortably at half time. The Pies lifted in the second half to match their opponents at the contest and on the scoreboard.
Coach Craig Allen was pleased with the effort and commitment of his players and says they had a number of chances early to put scores on the board but inaccuracy cost them. Labrador were a bit more polished in the first half but the Magpies proudly fought back after half time to match the Tigers.
Rhys Bridge worked hard in defence to again put his name in front of senior selectors. Charlie Pershouse also worked hard at CHF, continually making a contest and took a big pack mark which excited the crowd and on a couple of occasions soared for a speccy but did not hold them but the crowd loved it anyway.
Under 19s players Tom Roderick at half forward and Damon Allen at half back were impressive in their Reserve grade debuts, Gabe McKinnon was strong in defence and Chris Devlin used his strength to win plenty of midfield football. Blake McClennan on ball continued his fine form of the past 6 weeks and must be in the reckoning for a Senior appearance should the opportunity arise.
The Pies are still a mathematical chance of September action and with the return of up to 7 players from injury after the bye will be keen to step up to the challenge and secure a September birth.
Labrador Tigers 6.2 - 38 | 10.7 - 67 | 13.11 - 89 | 16.17 - 113
Western Magpies 0.4 - 4 | 1.5 - 11 | 2.6 - 18 | 5.9 - 39
Best: Bridge, Pershouse, McClennan, Devlin, Roderick, Allen
Goals: Billing 2, Roderick, W.Johnson, Pershouse