ANOTHER CRUCIAL MATCH FOR PIES AGAINST GORILLAS
The Western Magpies travel to Stafford on Saturday for yet another crucial match, this timeagainst fellow finals aspirant Wilston Grange. Both teams have 3 wins and with the QAFL ladder tight from fourth to seventh the stakes are therefore high.
In a quirk of the draw the Pies meet the Gorillas only 6 weeks after suffering a heart breaking 5 point loss in round 3 in a match the Pies should have won.
Once again on that occasion the Pies had one bad quarter and came from 5 goals down to almost snatch the 4 points.
There are some big selection moves in both grades for the Magpies( check the Reserves "ins") and in the Seniors the Magpies left out Luke Mitchell and Dom Misso with Joe Murphy is injured. In come Brenton Saunders back from Redlands, Brodie Easton from uni exams and former Sherwood junior and UQ player Luca Mason, who has been at Aspley this season, for his first Senior match in the black and white.
The Pies have moved on from last week's bad loss but there is no doubt they will come out firing and to be ferocious at the contest.
Saunders and Mason add to the Magpies forward power and Val Pope, good last week after missing three weeks, will be better in his 199th Senior match for the Magpies.
In the last clash the Wilston Grange midfield shaded the Pies so the likes of skipper Drew Mitchell, Gareth Crawford, Ben Jaenke-Cain, Logan Murray and the returning Brodie Easton will be keen to gain the edge and give the pies the advantage through the middle of the ground. Crawford had his best game for the Pies in some time last week and will be keen to continue that form into this match.
Up forward the Magpies need more output from Jake de Winter, Charlie Pershouse and Jack Goodall. de Winter has struggled recently after a blistering start to the season and if he can get off the leash then that will go a long way towards a Magpie victory. Likewise Pershouse, who can take a big grab if given space.
Young ruckman Aaron Highlands took it right up to the bigger Grange ruckmen in the last meeting and continues to throw himself at the contest and with a few more games experience he will be a key player for the Magpies.
Down back Harry Marshall has not had a bad game and he can take the talls or smalls with equal aplomb and Tom Ielasi and David Lewis have been consistent performers all season, as shown with QAFL selection 2 weeks ago.
Matt Davis had his best game for some time last week trying to stem the Palm beach avalanche and if he can recapture his 2015 form then the Pies defence becomes even more solid.
It is a football cliché but this is an “eight point” game and the winner will go a long way toward securing a finals berth while the loser will lick their wounds and then re-join the fray with several other teams in the battle for fourth or fifth place on the ladder. The Magpies will be champing at the bit to put last week behind them and their record at Stafford has been good in recent seasons.
Note the match is scheduled for a 1.00 pm start
Western Magpies v Wilston Grange at Stafford on Saturday, June 24th at 1.00 pm
B: Tom Ielasi Chris Hunt Logan Murray
HB: Matt Davis (vc) Liam Dwyer Harry Marshall
C: Lachie DennisDrew Mitchell (c) Brodie Easton
HF: Brenton Saunders Charlie Pershouse David Lewis
F: Jack Goodall Jake de Winter Val Pope
Rucks: Aaron Highlands Gareth Crawford
Rover: Ben Jaenke-Cain
I/c: Billy Johnson, Luca Mason, Riley Easton, Aaron Maricic
In: Brodie Easton, Brenton Saunders, Luca Mason
Out: Joe Murphy ( thigh), Luke Mitchell, Dom Misso (both Reserves)