It was a good weekend for the Magpies with four out of four wins. The Seniors, Reserves and Colts had three wins over Labrador and the Woodsmen made it a clean sweep with a solid victory over Collingwood Park on Friday night.
The home victories a McCarthy Homes Oval were played in front of a healthy crowd with a large contingent of past players and officials in attendance to witness the official opening of the refurbished playing surface and surrounds with guests Mark Bailey, Local Member and Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Cr Nicole Johnston, Brisbane City Councillor for Tennyson Ward, Dean Warren, AFLQ chief Executive, Magpies Club President Andrew Thomson and recent Director for Infrastructure on the club Board, Chris Dennis, whose grant applications and lobbying resulted in significant contributions from the State Government, Brisbane City Council and AFLQ for the ground upgrade.
It was also pleasing to see a good turnout of club sponsors for the day with McCarthy Homes Directors David Farrer and Nick O’Sullivan, Jie Walsh from Harvey Norman Oxley, Pete May from Place Graceville, Bryce Hatton from Anytime Fitness, Peter Wells from RHP Physio, Peter Carter from Carter Capner Law all in attendance.
PIES BREAK AWAY IN SECOND HALF
After an arm wrestle in the first half with only one point separating the sides at half time, the the Western Magpies, led by a miserly defence, were able too wrest control from midway through the third quarter to then dominate the last quarter to run out point 51 point winners in Round 2 QAFL action over the visiting Labrador at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer on Saturday.
The Pies won 13.13-91 to 6.4-40. The Magpies skill levels were a vast improvement on last week and were obviously better for the run and whereas last week the backline were loose, on Saturday they were clean, played tight and close and simply blanketed the Tigers forwards. Doug Lawrence and Luca Winton redeemed themselves after a below average games last week and were superb in the last line of defence, keeping key forward Bryce Retzlaff to one goal and the Tigers to 10 scoring shots for the match. In fact the Tigers troubled the scoreboard attendants only twice in the second half!!
The first half was an arm wrestle as both sides were wasteful in front of goal. It was a tough contest and the Pies midfield gradually got on top with ruckman Liam Dwyer competing vigorously all game and ex-skippers Drew Mitchell and Cal Carseldine and the bullocking Logan Murray controlling the midfield battles, especially after half time. Gun recruit Claye Beams also looked too be exerting his influence until he was injured in a dangerous tackle mid-way through the third quarter and was basically out of the game from then on. That the Pies still dominated without the class of Beams underlined their dominance after the long break.
Best player for the Pies was Aaron Highlands, who coach Brydan Morgan, in a masterstroke, pushed the key defender forward to ostensibly play a defensive forward role on past Grogan Medallist and ex-AFL player Wayde Mills, who controls the Labrador defence from CHB and is often a launching pad for the Tigers. The bonus was the Highlands was able to kick 3 goals, 2 from spectacular grabs deep forward. The exciting thing for the Pies was that the 21 yo Highlands and 18 yo Jack Austin, both still youngsters, launched themselves numerous times at the pack with high leaps and almost pulled in spectacular marks and if they had held half the grabs it could have been mayhem!
Winger Tom Baulch made a few mistakes early but won plenty of the ball to be good player by matches' end. Small forward Macauley Lonergan was busy up forward and but for inaccurate kicking could have turned 1 goal into 5. Jack Goodall was a strong competitor ranging far and wide --the old description would call him a " utility" - and he booted two goals as well as playing a role in defence and on-ball and Brenton Saunders was solid on his return to an unfamiliar half back role where his good ball use was invaluable.
The Pies booted 5 goals in the last quarter but it should have been closer to 10 goals such was their dominance.
The with puts the Pies into third place on the QAFL ladder and they now face old foe Wilston Grange at Stafford on Good Friday. The Gorillas went down by 5 goals to Surfers Paradise in Round 1 and had a bye this round, so they are a bit of an unknown quantity and pose a danger to the Pies. This match will start an hour earlier on Good Friday, starting at 1.00 pm. The Reserves therefore start at 10.30 am and the Colts will play after the Senior game.
Magpies 2.1 - 13 | 5.4 - 34 | 8.6 - 54 | 13.13 - 91
Tigers 2.1 - 13 | 5.3 - 33 | 5.4 - 34 | 6.4 - 40
Best: Highlands, Winton, Goodall, D.Mitchell, Lonergan, Carseldine
Goals: Highlands 3, Lumber 2, Goodall 2, Murray 2, Baulch, Lonergan, Reed, Kerr