The Western Magpies may rue the one that got away when they had every opportunity to win at Mt Gravatt but failed to grasp their chances in a tough, hard fought and tight contest in Round one of QAFL action. Mt Gravatt edged the Pies by one straight kick, 12.12-84 to 11.12-78
Little separated the two teams with 15 points the greatest margin all match. The Pies trailed by 2 points at half time and the Vulture's lead was to variably one or two goals throughout the second half but the Pies could not get their noses in front as they played catch up football.
The match was played in slippery conditions after overnight rain which made for some congested football. However it was tough, contested football and made for an absorbing match.
The Pies attacked for the majority of the last quarter and closed the gap to 2 points with 5 minutes to play but a freakish goal from the Vultures gave them breathing space and then two misses from gettable shots cost the Pies. The Pies had 8 scoring shots for 2 goals in a nail-biting 33 minute long last quarter to the Vultures 2 goals from 2 shots, including one from a 50m penalty and were well on top in the inside 50 count. In addition the Pies field kicking was a bit rusty with missed targets, especially when the match was on the line, proving costly.
Coach Brydan Morgan took some positives from the match and was happy with the commitment of his team and their toughness at the contest. He was disappointed with ball handling and disposal errors but says these can be worked on in coming weeks.
Ben Jaenke-Cain gathered over 30 possessions in a typical non stop display and David Lewis picked up where he left off before injury last year to cut of many attacks across half-back with brilliant reading of the play. He was shifted forward late in the game and got the Pies within striking distance with a 55 metre goal on the run in time-on of the final quarter.
Will Fletcher also worked hard across half back and continues to mature in his game as did Doug Lawrence at centre half back in his first game for the Pies for over a year. He again showed his commitment with several ferocious attacks on the football and tight checking of the Mt Gravatt key forwards.
Drew Mitchell worked hard in the midfield clinches and Matt Davis on a wing played his best game for some time working hard defensively as well as providing an attacking option. Dylan Adkins in ruck was solid in his first hitout for the PIes.
Young 17 yo tall forward Jack Austin booted 2 first quarter goals, one after a strong pack mark, to underline his obvious talent.
It is early days in the QAFL and with Surfers Paradise upsetting Labrador and Broadbeach easily accounting for Morningside the established order may be a bit shaky.
Mt Gravatt had good pre-season form and easily accounted for Broadbeach in a pre-season fixture but it is now serious business and the Pies will have another tough match in their first home game against the Cats next Saturday.
Mt Gravatt 3.4-22 | 7.6-48 | 10.12-72 | 12.12-84
Western Magpies 4.3-27 | 7.4-46 | 9.6-60 | 11.12-78
Goals: J. Austin 2, K. Reed 2, B. Saunders 2, A. Corrie, D. Lewis, L. Dwyer, B. Jaenke-Cain
Best: B. Jaenke-Cain, D. Lewis, W. Fletcher, D. Mitchell, D. Lawrence, M. Davis