It was deja vu as the script for the 2019 season opener against Mt Gravatt almost ran to the script from the 2018 loss to the Vultures.
In both matches the Pies got on top early then concentration lapses and skill allowed the home side in to the contest and then the Pies fell behind and just could not reel Mt Gravatt in.
The 2019 Pies lost a tough but typically scrappy Round 1 contest by 6 points, 13.10-88 to 12.10-82 in warm conditions in front of a healthy crowd.
The Magpies started brightly to skip to a three goal lead early with Jack Goodall a lively target up forward with the first 2 goals and new players Tom Baulch and Harrison Kerr continually getting the ball forward.
Riley Easton was in everything early with 10 touches in the first 15 minutes and Will Fletcher celebrated his move into the midfield with several hard ball gets.
In the story of the day, the Magpies made some simple skill errors with concentration lapses and the Vultures booted three goals in time on in the first quarter to square the ledger, putting to waste a bright start from the Pies
The second and third quarters became an arm wrestle with the Vultures keeping their noses in front, getting out to 3 goals ahead before being reeled in by the Pies.
In a tense and hard fought last quarter the Pies levelled the score going into time on but from the centre bounce the home team again pounced on a Pies defensive mistake to soccer a goal from metres out and much as they tried that elusive levelling goal never materialised.
The Magpies gave up 6-7 goals from simple turnovers or dropped marks/fumbles within 20 metres of goal, and combined with some loose checking by the defenders - this allowed the Vultures to capitalise on skill errors to their full extent.
Ruckman Liam Dwyer played a virtual lone hand in ruck with a few rests and worked hard all game against a bigger and highly regarded opponent. Dwyer was able too nullify his opponent around the ground but after quarter time the Pies were beaten in the midfield battles.
Easton and Fletcher were busy around ground but the Pies struggled to get some clear ball from the centre bounces.
Jack Austin presented across half forward and took 2 hangers to get the crowd alight and finished with 2 goals.
Baulch and Kerr showed they will be handy for the Pies this year and Billy Johnson and new key forward Brody Lumber -2 goals-- also had their moments.
Goodall battled hard all day and was rewarded with three goals and also spent some time in defence.
The Pies looked a bit underdone after only paying 2 practice matches and with an influx of new players and will be better for the run. The Pies are at home at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer next Saturday when they take on Labrador, who went down narrowly to Morningside.
Goals: J. Goodall 3, J. Austin 2, B. Lumber 2, T. Baulch, K. Reed, W. Johnson, M. Lonergan, W. Fletcher
Best Players: L. Dwyer, W. Fletcher, R. Easton, J. Austin, D. Lawrence