RESERVES KEEP FINALS HOPES ALIVE IN NAIL-BITER
The Western Magpies Reserves have kept their finals hopes alive with a nail-biting 4 point victory over Morningside on Saturday. The Pies, who led by 20 points at three quarter time were unable to add to the goal tally in a tense final quarter but hung on for a victory that keeps their season alive. The Pies won 9.12-66 to .-8-62.
After a tight first half where Morningside held the upper hand to lead by 2 goals at half time, the Pies had a superb third quarter where they booted 5 goals to take control of the match. The Pies ran in waves, tackled ferociously and won the midfield battles to get in top in a high class Reserves match.
The last quarter saw the pies miss some chances to ice the match and the Panthers were able to kick goals on the rebound to close the gap to 4 points with 5 minutes remaining. With nerves jangling, the Magpies managed to hold on for a crucial victory.
Senior premiership players in Val pope, Gerard Moore and Sean Mewing were superb and provided great leadership, especially in the tense final quarter.
Pope is getting close to his best form on ball and at half forward and Moore was the best big man on the ground by a large margin with a tireless display in the ruck, his work at around the ground stoppages of particular note as he regularly dropped it in the laps of teammates.
Mewing reminded everyone of his dashing play of years ago and he mopped up well and used his long left foot to good effect, also booting 2 goals from a wing.
Another long serving player in Peter Kilroy continued his good form off half back and Nathan Congram also rucked well and worked hard around ground and Harry Marshall led a solid defensive unit. Brenton Saunders also had a fine game at half forward to keep his name in front of the selectors.
The Pies are still in sixth place but have two winnable matches to come and still need some results to go their way to make the finals as well as a big % boost if it comes down to that. Having beaten every side above them on the ladder, they will be quietly confident should they sneak in, having started the year 2-6 to now be 7-7 has been a good example of how to turn a potentially lost season around.
Western Magpies 2-3-15 4-5- 29 9-9-63 9-12-66
Morningside 2-2-14 5-7-37 6-7- 43 9-8-62
Best: V. Pope, G. Moore, S. Mewing, P. Kilroy, N. Congram, H. Marshall
Goals: B. Saunders 2, S. Mewing 2, V. Pope, P. Kilroy, R. Johnson, S. Parker, M. Vine