RESERVES SECURE FINALS BERTH WITH SOLID VICTORY
The Western Magpies Reserves took until the third quarter to shake off a determined Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast on Saturday to secure fifth place on the ladder and an Elimination Final clash with Palm Beach-Currumbin back at Surfers Paradise next Sunday.
The Pies were guilty of playing nervous football in the first half with overuse of the football and held a narrow 1 goal lead at half time.
Des Lashman asked his side to play simpler football and they started to be more direct and move the ball quickly into the forward line and it opened for the Pies. Matt Mazarolle played his best game this year with strong leading and marking to boot 3 goals and Jeremy De Rooy provided a forward target, while Val Pope was clean with his skills to also boot 3 goals but also pick up plenty of possessions around the ground.
The Pies had a more comfortable 21 point lead at three quarter time and they controlled play in the last quarter to run out 28 point victors, 13.12-90 to 9.8-62.
Gerard Moore dominated in the ruck and his work at the stoppages was first class as well as taking some telling marks, Gareth Crawford worked hard around the clinches and was strong when the game was in the balance and Brodie Easton collected over 30 possessions in the centre.
Sam DeNys kept the Demons small forwards quiet from a back pocket and Kurt Vine continued his good form across half back with good spoiling and tackling. Monty Vine did well in ruck and then booted 2 last quarter goals to seal the contest for the Pies and Nathan Congram was solid when moved to CHB after half time.
It's a great achievement for the Reserves to push into the finals after a difficult start to the year, but with their form recently to win 6 of their last 7, including victories over several fellow finalists - only half the battle is won with the team determined to go deep.
Western Magpies 1.2-8 | 5.6-36 | 9.9-63 | 13.12-90
Surfers Paradise 0.1-1 | 4.6-30 | 6.6-42 | 9.8-62
Best: G. Crawford, M. Mazerolle, B. Easton, G. Moore, S. de Nys, K. Vine
Goals: V. Pope 3, M. Mazerolle 3, J. DeRooy 2, M. Vine 2, J. Austin, T. Dowdy, S. Parker