Good Friday football did not quite turn out as planned with the Pies losing all three grades to Wilston Grange—can’t remember the last time that happened!! The sun, stars, planets and moon all aligned against the Pies with 4 x NEAFL aligned players called up for their clubs (1 as a travelling emergency!), 2 players unavailable due to pre-arranged Easter events and another player injured to make 7 key outs for the Magpies from the previous weeks team. Meanwhile, the opposition and an influx of NEAFL aligned players. However, none of that explains the performance from the senior side!
The match was played in windy and wet conditions and the Pies just did not turn up to play and were outplayed and out-enthused in the first half , especially in the second quarter. The Magpies lifted in the second half and in fact dominated the last quarter but were unable to find the big sticks as the match developed into a hard slog. However, the damage had already been done in a lack-lustre first half.
Obviously with players out it provided an opportunity for several youngsters to play Senior football and in a tough baptism of fire Monty Vine, Zane Lovell and Jack Briskey all lined up for their first Senior game and Ethan Sivijs and Riley Greene played their second Senior games. All acquitted themselves well with Lovell, Sivijs and Greene in particular all playing strong footy despite the team performance. Unfortunately Lovell went down late in the game with a knee injury and he is being assessed but he got his hair tussled by his teammates with a 40 metre goal in the third quarter that never looked like missing.
The “outs” in the Seniors obviously filtered down to the Reserves who went down in a fighting display but they also struggled with the unfamiliar conditions of wind and rain. Coach Kiran Verma lined up in this game to get 21 on the park and several other youngsters were given an opportunity to stake their claim for a regular game time with Harrison Radcliffe, Isaac Bongaarts, Charlie Thorpe and Cade Scott all getting plenty of the ball in the game. Another young player in Zac Collison was the pies best with a strong game in defence which kept the Pies in touch until the final minutes of the game.
The Colts were a bit like the Seniors—sluggish to get out of the blocks and completely outplayed in the second quarter – before hitting their straps late in the game to boot 5 last quarter goals but were unable to reel in the Gorillas. Grange were a big side and the wet conditions suited them but the Pies decided to use their outside pace late in the game and were able to close the gap with good football but “ one quarter a game does not make!!”
Much has been written about the magnificent new playing surface at McCarthy Homes Oval but now the turf experts have packed up their kit the ground still needs to be maintained. The mainstays of the ground preparation and maintenance are Life Members Bruce O’Neill and Rob Lawson with assistance from Johnny Green and Greg Adams. Greg lives in Redcliffe but travels to Chelmer to help out with mowing of the oval and general ground maintenance. No to mention our resident ‘turf scientist’ Will Pearce.
It is volunteers like this that help make the club a great place to be.
Shane Bridley is doing a great job helping to reinvigorate the “Old Boys” and has produced two weekly newsletters to date based on the original “Magpie Chatter”, which was produced in the 1960s and 1970s at the club.