The Western Magpies are officially on life support with their finals hopes hanging by a thread after a disappointing loss to Morningside on Saturday.
In blustery conditions the match never reached great heights but the home side were more precise in their foot skills than the Pies. The Magpies started brightly booting 2 goals against the wind but then were only able to kick 3 more goals in three and a half quarters of football. The match was a scrappy affair but the Pies butchered the footy in tricky conditions and their decision making when looking to move the ball was a mystery to onlookers.
For the second time this season the Magpies were lucky Morningside were inaccurate in front of goal and the 21 point margin flattered the Pies. Morningside won 7.13-55 to 5.4 34, yet deep in the 2nd quarter it felt as through the Pies were controlling play before 3 late goals changed the momentum, 1 from a silly Pies error and 2 from horrendous decision making that didn’t come from the players.
However, once the home team got their noses in front they strangled the Pies out of the contest, but many a Pie forward entries found uncontested Panther players which continually cruelled the Pies chances. The Pies were guilty of overusing the ball in the windy conditions and despite regular instruction to kick the ball long and direct, for some reason still tried to finesse which often resulted in a turnover.
Dan Edwards continued his fine season with another prolific display on a wing, Luca Winton, David Lewis and Jack Goodall worked hard in defence with Goodall again also playing on ball and up forward. Gerard Moore slotted back in senior football with aplomb with a strong display in ruck and Riley Easton was again busy on the ball with a typical bustling display, while Samson Ryan proved a handful up forward and could have been so much more dangerous if the Pies simply gave him a chance with their forward entries.
Mathematically the Magpies can make the five if they win their last 4 matches and rely on Mt Gravatt losing 4 of their 5 remaining matches, which is a possibility as the Vultures have a tough run home and the Pies clash with the Vultures could be crucial in the final wrap up. Labrador are the other team in the chase for 5th place and they also play 3 of the top 4 teams in their final 4 matches. So the Pies are still a chance but everything has to fall their way in the final 5 rounds, with their own destiny out of their hands.
Morningside 1.6 - 12 | 4.7 - 31 | 6.12 - 48 | 7.13 - 45
Magpies 2.1 - 13 | 3.2 - 20 | 5.2 - 32 | 5.4 - 34
Best: Edwards, Winton, Goodall, Moore, Lewis, Easton