COLTS INTO PRELIMINARY FINAL
The Magpie Colts produced when it mattered this week and came away with a win full of courage and commitment against a fierce and willing Aspley. The 20-point victory was achieved mainly through sheer guts and a refusal to lose.
The injury curse struck again, and hard, with the side having no bench to call on at all for the majority of the second half, although the side was down 2 players from very early in the second quarter. So the end result was full of merit and the confidence gained from toughing it out will be invaluable.
The first quarter was intense with both sides cracking in and it was only straight kicking from the Magpies that saw them ahead 3.0-18 to 1.3-9. The defence worked really hard and it’s a credit to fullback Kurt Vine and his partners in crime Mark Adamson, Ryan Vagne, the 2 Tom’s, Roderick and Luke, and the always combative Josh Senescall for keeping Aspley’s quality tall forwards and fleet of mid-sized players under control. In fact, Vine was so good on the full forward he was moved onto a wing to get him into the game. Dom Morrison has had a fantastic last month playing as the 7th defender, and his aerial work, courage to fly for his marks and reading of the play caused the opposition to re think their plan of attack. He truly has been a revelation in that role since being shifted to defence. He’s one to watch in the future.
This commitment to defence, and then switching to attack after gaining possession was causing havoc for Aspley, and a 5 goal second quarter was the reward. This style of play does take a large amount of effort though, and being down 2 players was effecting rotations and ability to give the midfield the rest they needed. The 31-point halftime margin looked good on the scoreboard, but there were concerns about the ability to keep the level of effort required going for the full game. The 3rd quarter saw another injury and the Magpies were down to one fit rotation. Aspley sensed they were wobbling and piled on the pressure. The midfield group of Rory Johnson, Dom Misso, Liam Reynolds, Jimmy Gainford, Ash Gore, Matt Mazerolle and the twin ruckmen in Aaron Highlands and Jessie Rigsby-Jones, who had been absolutely dominant in the first half, just couldn’t get the rest needed. The defence again stood up as best they could while being under siege, and their efforts to hold on were a key in the final result.
Aspley got within 5 points, and had all momentum, but a late goal from the boundary from an unlikely source in the improving Will Burgess, lifted the lads and whilst Aspley got that one back, the Pies still went into 3 quarter time with the lead.
With the coaches giving honest feedback and the squad accepting it was up to the 17 or 18 fit players to get the job done, the boys headed out for the last quarter knowing it was all over for the year if they didn’t find it within to lift again. What we saw was a group of young men who found something deep down inside. Together they just refused to lose and as the intensity lifted, Aspley couldn’t handle the pressure and folded. As is often the case and certainly not unique to the Hornets, they went the man and it backfired on them. Our lads stood up and did not take a backwards step, didn’t give away cheap free kicks or have guys sent off with yellow cards, but flew the Magpie flag well. The result was stirring to see, and the forward line of Jeremy DeRooy, Jaiden Johnstone Bates, the sore but brave Phil Stumer, Patty Renner, who played his best game of the season when it counted, and a rotation of our exhausted midfielders, kicked straight (except for a missed shot from the top of the square!) and worked overtime to keep the ball in the area. It was enough for the Colts to earn the Victory and the chance to play off for a Grand Final spot this weekend.
It will be a busy week for the medical staff as at least 6 players finished the game with various injuries, and while there may be some players returning from injury or from being required elsewhere, it will take 22 fit and committed Magpie colts to stop a strong Maroochydore side and earn the right to play off for the title. A big week awaits.
Magpies 12.7 - 79
Aspley 9.5 - 59
Best: R.Johnson, L.Reynolds, D.Morrison, R.Renner, K.Vine, M.Mazerolle, J.Rigsby-Jones
Goals: DeRooy 3, Stumer 2, Highlands, Reynolds, Burgess, Gore, Adamson, Mazerolle, Lawson 1