The Western Magpies Colts are the lone survivor of the past 2 weeks of football for the Magpies and will fly the flag for the club when they play Palm Beach-Currumbin in the QAFL Colts Second Semi Final at Currumbin on Saturday morning.
The Pies are almost at full strength but have one forced change to the side that played a fortnight ago, with half forward and goalsneak Abdullah Haddad out due to fractured cheekbone suffered in an unsavoury incident at Surfers Paradise a fortnight ago.
In comes speedster Ritti Batilimoyo to the interchange bench after missing with a slight niggle last match.
The results against PBC are one each with the Pies going down by 17 points their round 4 clash at Currumbin then the Pies had a convincing 43 point win in the return bout in round 14 at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer. The loss early in the season was the first of only two losses the Colts suffered during the season.
The Pies were impressive in their last few hitouts and their ball movement with hand and foot has been precise and allows them to move the ball quickly forward where big forwards Cam Ferguson and Finn Collison can get off the leash. It they fail to take the grab then smart medium and small forwards in skipper Noah Resuggan, rover Sean Ryan, half forwards Sam Mehari and Jayden Johnson are ready to pounce on any loose ball.
The midfield looks particularly strong with Samson Ryan in ruck in good form and then able to drift forward to boot a goal or two. Jacob Sheath has had another consistent season in the centre and with the silky skills of Bruce Reville and the non-stop running of Dan Edwards and Dane Lovell the Pies have a very solid engine room.
The Pies defence has had cursory mentions this year because they usually go about their jobs with quiet efficiency and they have largely kept the opposition to single goal figures in most matches. Key defenders Whitlam Bishop and Chris Moloney have rarely had their colours lowered and with Ethan Sivijs, Chris Jenkins, Charlie Thorpe and Aiden D’Rosa in support and to provide run and carry out of the backline the Pies are well equipped to keep PBC to a losing total.
Coach Jake Fuentes as his charges primed for a big effort but has emphasized that finals are another step up in the pressure department and to be ready for an early Lions onslaught. The Pies have the form on the board and the talent to advance to their second straight Grand Final but the win will only come from hard work at the contest and from good ball use under pressure.
QAFL Second Semi Final: Western Magpies Colts v Palm Beach-Currumbin at Salk Oval, Currumbin on Saturday, September 8th at 9.00 am
B: Chris Jenkins (vc) Chris Moloney Charlie Thorpe
HB: Aiden D’Roza Whitlam Bishop (vc) Ethan Sivijs
C: Dan Edwards Jacob Sheath Deng Arok
HF: Jayden Johnson Cameron Ferguson Sam Mehari
F: Noah Resuggan (Capt) Finn Collison Sean Ryan
Foll: Samson Ryan Zane Lovell : Bruce Reville
I/C: Jacob Aurisch, Ritti Batilimoyo, Lachlan Pearson, Ryan Cherry
In: Ritti Batilimoyo
Out: Abdullah Haddad (fractured cheek)
Emerg: Harrison Radcliffe, Cooper Crowell, Harry Keenan, Mitchell O’Dea, Tom Slatter