Woodsmen hang on for close win
The Western Magpies 3rds, affectionately known as the Woodsmen held on for a hard fought 7 point win over Morningside on Friday night in what was a high quality game of footy.
Newcomers to the competition in 2016, the Panthers are more of a known quantity in 2017 and had selected a strong side to put the new look Woodsmen side to the test, and test them they did.
The Woodies started as they did in Round 1, with a strong first quarter – winning the ball out of stoppages and moving it up the centre of the ground with accuracy. Thomson got on the end of a couple early to kick 2 goals in the early quarter after strong marks, while Mihalopoulous also found himself on the end of some good stoppage work to mark and goal to send the Woodies to a 3 goal quarter time lead.
In the second quarter, the Panthers started to push a couple of talls back into the defensive 50 to clog up the space and the Woodies failed to react with repeated poor entries being cut off with uncontested intercept marks. The Panthers began to look through the middle of the ground with short passes from half back, but ultimately it was a low scoring quarter with Morningside registering their first goal from a 50m penalty and the Woodies kicking 2 behinds after Thomson missed two relatively simple shots on goal.
Unfortunately, the 3rd quarter was more of the same. Lachy Woods had enjoyed a dominant opening half, but with a hard tag applied was pushing both forward and back to take some telling marks. However, with the younger Panthers side working harder for longer the Woodies were held scoreless in the 3rd quarter to go into ¾ time just one goal up and looking a bit tired. The Panthers certainly had the better of the term, but for the efforts of Tim Green and Chris La Burniy in defence, constantly rebounding the ball out, only to see it come flying back like a boomerang.
However, with the game on the line – the Woodies kicked the first 3 of the final term via Woods, Thomson and Mihalopoulous to get out to a 4 goal lead before also spurning several easy chances in front of goal, including a dropped handball on the goal line (culprit shall remain nameless! To hold a 30 point lead with just 10 minutes remaining. The Panthers sensed their opportunity as a few Woodies struggled to get to the next contest and put their foot on the pedal to kick 3 quick goals, while also missing some simple chances of their own to close to gap to just 7 points.
An experienced Woodies lineup sensed the danger and outnumbered the Panthers at the contest late in the game to force repeat stoppages in the attacking half of the ground for the Woodies and prevent any clean exits. After 5 or 6 ball-ups in a row, the Woodies pushed forward and unfortunately for best on ground defender Chris La Burniy, his shot at goal split the middle but the siren sounded just 1 second before he got the kick away and the Woodies held on to go 2-0, registering a 7 point win.
The Woodies are away vs 2016 Grand Finalist UQ next week in what promises to be another tough battle, with the 2 encounters last year shared 1 each with a 1 point win and a 3 point win respectively.
Western Magpies (Woodsmen ) 3.1 -19 | 3.3 – 21 | 3.3 – 21 | 6.9 -45
Morningside Panthers 0.3 – 3 | 1.3 – 9 | 2.3 – 15 | 5.8 – 38
Best: La Burniy, Woods, Green, Mudge, Thomson, Long
Goals: Thomson 3, Mihalopoulous 2, Woods 1