The Western Magpies have had a hard fought 40 point win over Wilston Grange to close the gap on the QAFL top five. The final score at McCarthy Homes Oval 14.8-92 to 7.10-52 in what was a dull affair.
The match never reached great heights and was a congested slog as Wilston Grange played 2 extra players in defence to limit the Pies scoring and the home team found it hard to get space up forward against a negative opponent.
However to paraphrase Steve Waugh "a bad win is much better than a good loss!".
The Gorillas certainly came to play and had the Pies on the back foot in the first quarter booting 3 early goals to have a 14 point lead mid way through the quarter, as the Pies took time to re-adjust against an 8-9 man defence and a midfield intent on the man, not the footy.
The Magpies then settled and through hard work from Ryan Harwood, Liam Dwyer and Captain Drew Mitchell, the Pies wrested back control to take quarter time lead.
The second quarter was an arm wrestle but then the Pies booted late goals to have a 4 goal half time lead, highlighted by defender Luca Winton slotting his first goal for the Pies. Coach Brydan Morgan asked his players at half time to think through the Grange defensive crowd and to "navigate their way goalwards". It was also important to maintain discipline and not get sucked into the off the ball niggle against an opponent with nothing to play for.
The Pies then did what good sides do and dominated early in the third quarter with a further three goals to have a 7 goal buffer by midway through the third quarter. The Pies could not extend their lead and settled for a hard fought 40 point win, ugly but successful.
David Lewis and Luca Winton continued their good partnership to control across half back and Liam Dwyer worked hard all game whether across half forward or in ruck. He lead hard when at CHF and was rewarded with 3 goals.
Aaron Highlands started at centre half back but was a fine player when moved into the ruck and Jack Goodall was played well whether on a wing, across half forward or when in defence for a period. His marking and non stop work was a highlight.
Midfielders Ryan Harwood, skipper Drew Mitchell and Ben Jaenke-Cain were also busy in a tough midfield battle.
The Pies turn their attention to Labrador on the coast next Saturday and must be tuned in to prevent an upset which would derail their season. Despite being one game outside the five, the Pies could easily still finish in third place but any slips could also see them miss out on the finals, such is the logjam from 3-6 on the ladder.
Western Magpies 4.2-26 8.4-52 11.7-73 14.8-92
Wilston Grange 3.3-21 4.5-29 5.8-38 7.10- 52
Best: D. Lewis, L. Winton, L. Dwyer, B. Jaenke-Cain, D. Mitchell, J. Goodall
Goals: L. Dwyer 3, J. De Winter 2, R. Harwood, L. Winton, T. Ielasi, R. Easton, S. Copland, K. Reed, D. Adkins, D. Mitchell, L. Woods