It was a big day at McCarthy Homes Oval as an eclectic mix of Sherwood Old Boys enjoyed the Grey Magpies Lunch with special guest David Parkin. With players from the first Sherwood team in 1956, the first Sherwood Premiership teams, the first Senior sides and the first Senior Premiership sides - it was a wonderful turnout!
However, they exited the function room midway through the first quarter to find the fast starting Sandgate already 3 goals up, which became 5 goals early i the 2nd quarter. The Magpies weren’t panicking, but were not clean with the ball and were once again innaccurate in front of goal, kicking 6 straight behinds before Billy Johnson registered the Pies first goal nearly 20 minutes into the 2nd quarter and then just minutes later added a 2nd goal to really get the Pies started.
The Pies were being well served by their big men, with Brody Lumber again marking everything and Liam Dwyer showing strong hands to be a quality target. With Gerard Moore getting his hands on the footy in the ruck, it was also another vintage display from the ageless Gareth Crawford who was a dominant presence around the stoppages.
The 3rd quarter was a little more even, though it felt like the Pies were getting on top in general play but couldn’t finish their work. Lumber in particular looked like he had found his radar with a goal late in the 2nd quarter, but likely finished with 6 or 7 behinds in what was still a best on ground performance. An ill Ryan Harwood was spending plenty of time back and forward, but shwoed his class with a clean finish before spectacular left foot stunner from Gareth Crawford after busting through several tackles put the Pies within just 3 points midway through the 3rd quarter.
To Sandgates credit, their better players continued to hunt the footy and create chances and the final break saw Sandgate with a 12 point lead.
The final quarter was an arm wrestle early and it looked like the Pies may not get off the chain, before Kale Reed opened the scoring at the 10 minute mark to reduce the margin to less than a kick. A rare forward entry to Sandgate and the Pies again were victims of an incredibly dubious free kick right in front of goal to the opposition to again find themselves 2 kicks from an important victory.
Kale Reed again found himself in open space to close the margin, before Harwood showed his class with 2 goals in 3 minutes from a contested mark deep and a snap around the body from the pocket. The icing on the cake came late with a 40m set shot from an angle from Claye Beams and the Pies were home with a 5 goal last quarter securing a hard fought 11 point win.
Captain David Lewis arguably had his best game of the year after struggling with injury for much of the season with a polished display down back, while riley Easton was his usual rugged self winning contested ball and laying countless tackles.
Youngster Jordan Bonney made a well deserved Senior debut and acquitted himself well after being presented with his senior jumper by club legend Jimmy Rozynski in the rooms prior to the game. It was a testament to young Bonney who has re-invented himself in 2019 to make his way to Senior football. After playing a majority of his underage footy as a highly skilful but aggressive and hard key position player then an injury interrupted 2018, Jordan had a huge pre-season losing 13kg before Round 1 to play in the centre for the Reserves week in week out before debuting as a mid-foward in the senior side.
Attention now turns to the return game vs Grange on Ladies Day at McCarthy Homes Oval next week.is what should be a quality encounter.
Western Magpies 0.4 - 4 | 3.9 - 27 | 6.13 - 49 | 11.14 80
Sandgate Hawks 3.1 - 19 | 5.4 - 34 | 9.7 - 63 | 10.9 - 69
Best: Lumber, Lewis, Crawford, Easton, Dwyer, Johnson
Goals: Harwood 3, Reed, Johnson 2, Crawford, Beams, Lumber, Kerr 1