The Western Magpies have lost another close contest against one of the QAFL heavyweights with a potentially flattering 13 point loss to Palm Beach-Curumbin in Round 4 action on Saturday.
The Pies went down 12.16-88 to 11.9-75 but they were down by 31 points midway through the final quarter before showing fight to boot the final 3 goals of the match. However, make no mistake they were in it up to their eyeballs for 3 quarters, but again failed to take advantage of large periods where they controlled the game.
The home team had a strong on-ball brigade and hit more targets by foot and hand than the Pies. Moving the ball with more fluency, the Lions were able to transition well and utilise their superior speed and often the Magpies were unable to cut off the switch despite being well aware it was on, purely due to the skill and speed of the Lions ball movement, as well as their trademark leg speed throughout their squad. Conversely, the Pies were often held up on the switch or were cut off pulling the trigger into the corridor, often being forced down the line where the efforts of Adkins and Copland in particular often resulted in good efficiency despite slow ball movement after being held up.
The Pies lost arguably their most influential player in David Lewis before the match after he did not recover from an ankle injury suffered at training and wise observers commented the Pies may have won had he been in the team. Youngster Sam Hartog came in and played his role well.
The Magpies had trouble containing PBC's full forward Jarryd Douglas and he booted 5 first half goals in a bag of 7 to put the game beyond the Pies reach. after starting forward, Doug Lawrence was moved onto Douglas and was able to minimise further damage, but was also still outpointed one on one a few times. Douglas was a regular target, and had he kicked straight could have had 10+ for the game.
At the other end of the ground Sam Copland showed he likes the Salk Oval with another 5 goal performance on this ground, and like Douglas for PBC he was a strong focal point in attack and could have kicked 8+ but for some inaccurate kicking, though it must be said he made up for some simple set shot misses with 2 or 3 long bombs from outside 50 from more difficult angles. In a display that pleased his coach, Copland worked hard at the contest, was strong and aggressive in the air and applied forward pressure to be rewarded for his efforts and was the only Pie forward to get off the leash. He also booted 6 goals at Palm Beach 2 seasons ago as a 17 year old in a strong Pies win and its easy to forget he is still just a teenager!
As a collective group the Pies midfield lowered their colours against a side that bats very deep in the rotations but Ryan Harwood, Ben Jaenke-Cain and Drew Mitchell worked hard to keep their team in the game.
Mitchell Stallard returned to the Pies from Redlands and was a good player across half back, ruckman Dylan Atkins also toiled hard and Matt Davis was a consistent performer across four quarters.
The Magpies have now gone down narrowly to the three treams sitting 1-2-3 on the QAFL ladder and with some more composure in vital moments, could easily be sitting pretty at 3-0.
However, the reality is very different for the Pies and while its highly unlikely a team at 0-3 can be complacent, the Pies will need to be wary of 'expecting' things to happen after challenging the top 3 sides in the opening rounds and will need to be on their game against a Surfers outfit sitting in 4th place with 3 solid wins and a narrow loss to Broadbeach.
Certainly not getting easier for the Pies, so come down ad throw your support behind them in their 2nd home game for the year with the Magpies celebrating Ladies day with a Champagne catered function.
3.3-21 | 7.6-48 | 10.11-71 | 12.16-88
3.4-22 | 5.6-36 | 8.8-56 | 11.9-75
Best: S. Copland, R. Harwood, D. Mitchell, D. Lawrence, M. Davis, M. Stallard
Goals: S. Copland 5, R. Harwood 2, B. Saunders 2, J. De Winter, K. Reed