WOODSMEN START TOUGH WEEKEND FOR MAGPIES OFF WITH FIRST LOSS
The Woodsmen began Friday full of confidence with a strong 22 named, 3 fit and ready emergencies and a game there for the taking at home against the defending premiers.
They finished with a tough 3 goal loss after butchering the footy in front of goal, struggling to put 22 on the park in time for the opening bounce and set in motion a horror weekend for the Magpies, not just of the Western variety, but the Collingwood variety as well!
Early in the arvo the signs were there, when dominant on-baller Lachlan Woods was a late withdrawal due to work commitments, then one by one the emergencies became unavailable as the dreaded 'work' bug spread through the squad. Anyone would think these guys are not highly paid footballers...with real jobs!
A late mercy dash from Luke De Nys for his debut with the Woodies was appreciated by the boys and the Woodies looked 'on' early. Winning the first centre clearance untouched, resulted in beautiful delivery to pinch hitting full-forward Lochie McDonald who marked 40m out for what looked like a dream start. The shot sailed right, and ruckman Andrew Thomson was felled by some friendly fire from Blake Barkley from the resulting kickout. On his birthday no less!
The Woodies were unfazed and continually won the ball at stoppages and got it forward, only to have 0.6 on the board midway through the opening term for a 1 'goal' lead after repeatedly wayward kicking. Then, in the blink of an eye - the Eagles capitalised on their forward entries far more efficiently and banged home 2 quick goals against the run of play. The Woodies finally got their radar going late to finish the opening stanza on equal terms 2.6 - 18 to 3.0 - 18.
The 2nd quarter evened out a little, but the Woodsmen still had more control of the ball and were attacking relentlessly early but continually failed to get reward for effort. Jake Fuentes and Gerard Moore were working together beautifully, with Moore again providing a quality tall target despite drizzly conditions and Fuentes crumbing anything at ground level superbly to provide forward entries. Green, Long & Thomson were repelling attacks with several marks across half back, while De Nys, Davis, Curtis and Garland were all working into the game well through the midfield while Irish Sammy Banim kicked an absolute pearler of a goal of the year contender after dancing through traffic at the top of the 50, selling some candy on his right, then wrong footing 2 more opponents before swinging onto his non preferred left to bang it home from 35m. Not a bad way to kick your first goal for the club!
Despite their efforts, there was no change to the quarter time margin, with the Eagles and Woodsmen locked up again at half time- now 3.9 - 27 to 4.3 - 27.
With Zillmere a similar side to the Woodies, with older experienced heads - it felt like this one would go down to the wire, with no clear fitness or youth advantage to the Zillmere side. However, Zillmere started to get on top in the middle and some quality delivery to their big targets left the Woodsmen defenders with too much to do as the Eagles went bang with 4 straight goals early in the quarter to kick out to a significant lead. The Woodies responded through goals to Moore and Banim to get the margin back to 11 points before Zillmere kicked a crucial goal after the 3 quarter time siren to increase their lead to 17 points.
In the last quarter, the Woodies came out hard and Garland goaled early from long range to give the Woodies a sniff and trim the margin to under 2 goals, but 2 more costly misses from simple set shots was the story of the night for the Woodies. Zillmere then swung it forward and kept it there for an extended period and eventually the pressure cracked the Woodsmen defence and Zillmere kicked 2 quick goals, and missed some simple ones of their own to get out to a 24 point lead. Luke De Nys kicked his first Woodsmen goal as the final siren sounded, but the final analsysis showed that Zillmere had the better of the 2nd half through their control of the footy and exceptional delivery going forward, while the Woodsmen dominated the first half via territory and possession, but couldn't capitalise.
End result: Zillmere 11.8 - 74 defeated Woodsmen 7.15 - 57
Best: Moore, Banim, Long, Verma, Garland, Davis
Goals: Banim 2, Moore, Garland, De Nys, Fuentes, Mihalopoulous 1