The Western Magpies have enjoyed a day out at Jack Esplen Oval, coming home with the chocolates in all 3 grades after convincing wins in the Colts and Seniors, and a nailbiter in the Reserves. This was a return of the 'favour' from earlier in the year when the Magpies took on the Panthers in 4 grades, with only the Woodies prevailing on that occasion after the Colts played their worst game of the year, the Reserves soundly beaten and the Seniors kicking themselves out of it to go down by 18 points.
This Senior win moves the Magpies to fifth on the ladder and with a real chance to grab third place on the ladder, with the Pies being masters of their own destiny coming home in the pursuit of a double chance.
The Seniors were on song from the first bounce and blew Morningside away with an impressive first quarter. Despite some inaccurate kicking, the Pies peppered the southern end of the ground kicking 6.8 - 44 to 0.2 - 2. Such was the Pies dominance, they could have gone scoreless in the final 3 quarters and still enjoyed a 5 point win!
In the midfield, Dylan Adkins was competing hard against a strong 3 pronged Panther ruck division, and was ably supported by lionhearted Jack Goodall who would haven been giving away 20+ kg in a few centre bounce contests! Up forward, the Pies relished the return of Anthony Corrie as he roamed the forwardline with great purpose, hitting the scoreboard himself and bringing teammates into the game, while Billy Johnson showed his versatility having a superb game up forward, whilst also roaming up the ground. Johnson barely wasted a disposal in general play with several goal assists, whilst also kicking 3 himself which could have been 6 or 7 had he finished cleanly. Reed was busy to kick 3 of his own, while De Winter again showed he knows where the big sticks are, finishing with 4 goals despite carrying a niggle and not having his usual 'zip'.
Kicking into what appeared to be a strong breeze after the Magpies first quarter demolition, the Magpies outscored the Panthers in the 2nd term to hold a 49 point half-time advantage, 10.10 to 3.3. Interestingly, the Pies kicked an identical 2nd half score again peppering the goals to register 10.10 and finish with 20.20 - 140 to defeat the Panthers by 101 points, who finished with 5.9-39.
Other pleasing aspects for the Pies was their dominance of inside 50s-- at half time it was 37-10 --and also despite controlling the football for a majority of the day the Pies had more tackles then the home team and had at least 10 smothers in the match. The Magpies swarmed at the contest, ran hard to space and their inside work with handball was impressive. The pressure they applied all match was suffocating for the Morningside players. Some poor finishing with missed targets and at goal were the only negatives from the victory.
The Magpies did not have a poor player and dominated the midfield with Tom Ielasi not wasting a possession in a classy display, Lachlan Woods continually applying pressure and winning the hard ball and Jono Macanawai looked a new player after a rest last week. Ryan Harwood had leather poisoning, particulalrly marshalling the troops off half-back and Lachlan Dennis was dynamic on a wing and he reaped the rewards of a solid block of hard work in the reserves, where he worked on his game to earn a recall.
Brady Allen lost a couple of early contests, before he really put his head down and dominated his opponent for the next 3 and a half quarters, taking several intercept marks, winning one on one battles and then using the ball brilliantly from the back half to launch several attacks. the defensive unit collectively had a day out, with winners in every position. Luke Mitchell's run and carry from defence was also again a highlight.
The Magpies have their destiny in their own hands now as 2 wins get them in the finals and likely a double chance with a third placed finish. The Pies host Sandgate at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer on Saturday in a celebration of the 50th Year of Senior Football then travel to Surfers Paradise for a crucial winner-take-all clash in the final round of the season. While the Magpies enjoyed comfortable victories last start against both sides, there will be no way the side loses focus going into a crucial fortnight of footy.
Western Magpies 6.8 | 10.10 | 16.17 | 20.20 - 140
Morningside 0.2 | 3.3 | 3.5 | 5.9 - 39
BEST: T. Ielasi, L. Woods, R. Easton, A. Corrie, J. Macanawai, L. Dennis.
GOALS J. De Winter 4, W. Johnson 3, A. Corrie 3, K. Reed 3, J. Austin 1, A. Maricic 1, R. Easton 1, T. Ielasi 1, R. Harwood 1, J. Macanawai 1, J. Goodall 1.
Enjoy the match replays below: