The Western Magpies have had an emphatic victory over third placed Mt Gravatt that can open the door for a Top 3 finish if the Pies maintain their solid form.
The Magpies enjoyed a 41 point victory, winning 16.12-108 to 10.7-67 in front of a good Sunday crowd at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer. The win was all the more special as celebrated the start of NAIDOC week and acknowledged the contribution of the Magpies indigenous players, supporters and coaches past and present.
The Pies victory was set up by a 6 goal to 1 first quarter and the Pies maintained a 5 goal lead at half time. This was whittled down to 3 goals at three quarter time but that was as close as the Vultures got as the Pies dominated the final quarter to snuff out any chances of a comeback. Catch up wins are rare as the Magpies know only too well this season, but this time it was the Pies who took the early lead never to be headed in the match.
The first quarter saw the Pies get on top in the middle and they played scintillating football to open up the Vultures. The addition of Jack Goodall and Sam Copland to the forward mix with Anthony Corrie and Jake De Winter gave the Pies greater options but also meant Mt Gravatt had four dangerous opponents and could not peel off to double team any of the forwards. This allowed De Winter, Copland and Corrie more freedom and they all looked dangerous and were able to get off the leash to kick the bulk of the Pies' goals. Copland bagged his second 5 goal haul, De Winter booted 5 goals and Anthony Corrie iced the NAIDOC celebrations with 4 goals of his own in a superb display. This trio were the beneficiaries of the hard work in the midfield of skipper Drew Mitchell and Ryan Harwood, who was arguably best on ground. Riley Easton continued his terrier like attack on the ball and opponents alike and his tackling was sensational and resulted in numerous turnovers which resulted in Pies' goals. Easton did not miss a tackle and had his Mt Gravatt opponents looking over their shoulders by games end.
The Pies wobbled just a little in the third quarter to have their large band of supporters a little nervous at three quarter time but the nerves were settled quickly as the Pies booted early goals to kick well clear by the 10 minute mark of the last quarter. The Magpies should have won by more as they were wasteful in the final 15 minutes, butchering several goal chances.
Luke Mitchell was superb running through the middle of the ground to open up the Vultures on the rebound and the back six, none of whom were mentioned in the best players list, again combined as a unit to keep the Vultures to 10 goals for the day.
The Magpies did not have a bad player for the day and with a week off to re-charge the batteries and re-invigorate sore bodies the Pies will be primed for another huge match against the undefeated ladder leaders Palm Beach-Currumbin in a fortnight at McCarthy Homes Oval. With the way the Pies played on Saturday they will be a big chance to inflict the Lions first loss of the year.
The Pies will be keen to display their finals credentials in front of a reunion crowd celebrating Magpies 1978 and 2008 Premierships.
Western Magpies 6.3 - 39 | 10.5 - 65 | 12.9 - 81 | 16.12 - 108
Mt Gravatt Vultures 1.4 - 10 | 5.5 - 35 | 9.7 - 61 | 10.7 - 67
Best: Easton, De Winter, D.Mitchell, Corrie, Harwood, Copland
Goals: De Winter, Copland 5, Corrie 4, Stallard, Easton 1