The Western Magpies inflicted a 10 goal defeat on old rivals Mt Gravatt and in doing so replaced the vultures in fifth place on the QAFL ladder going into the final round.
Playing at home at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer in front of a healthy crowd, the Magpies played some of their best football for the season and were on song from the first bounce as they went on to a 19.7-121 to 9.7-61 victory which lifted the Pies' percentage above Mt Gravatt. Much to the pleasure of regular viewers, the Pies accuracy in front of goal was finally rewarding some of their work up the ground!
Brodie Lumber was on fire early in the match (no pun intended) with his regular strong marks leading to three first quarter goals which got the Pies away to a four goal lead at quarter time. The match was played in blustery conditions which the Magpies had first use but they handled the conditions quite well throughout the match.
Claye Beams was used across half forward and he finished with 6 goals, at one stage in the second and third quarters booting 5 goals in a row for the Pies. His partner in crime in Ryan Harwood kicked 4 goals and Val Pope snared 2 goals as well to give the Pies a functioning and potent forwardline with Lumber and Dwyer offering the tall options, Beams, Harwood and Pope some finishing class and ability at both ground level and in the air, while Reed gets busy at ground level.
Gerard Moore and Samson Ryan in ruck blunted the very strong Vultures ruck duo and this enabled the Pies midfield to win the ball and drive the Pies forward. Harwood. Riley Easton, Caleb Franks and 350 game player Gareth Crawford all got the Pies going in the midfield battles.
On the wings Dan Edwards and Bruce Reville provided plenty of spark to drive the Pies goalward, with their speed burning the opposition on several occasions.
The defence was superb, with skipper David Lewis marshalling his troops brilliantly from half back taking plenty of intercept marks in the 2nd quarter when the Vultures challenged with the wind at their back, Luca Winton shut down the dangerous full forward, Aaron Highlands was strong at CHB and Riley Greene,Ethan Sivijs, Luke Mitchell and Brenton Saunders mopped up and they were a very solid back six.
Greene and Sivijs must both be long overdue for a QAFL Rising Star nomination, though as defenders perhaps don’t get the recognition of young forwards and mids throughout the competition despite both regularly playing outstanding games on experienced opponents.
The Pies season is still alive but they must defeat the other form side of the competition in the second placed Surfers Paradise who inflicted Palm Beach-Currumbin's first defeat of the year and also with an emphatic 10 goal victory. Surfers Paradise will be tough as they will be playing for a home Qualifying Final so this match is another finals like game with a huge amount riding on the outcome.
The Pies will also be keeping a close eye on the Mt Gravatt-Labrador match because percentage could decide who makes the five even if the Pies are victorious. With 0.10% separating the Magpies and Mt Gravatt the calculators will be given a workout. A loss for the Magpies means curtains for the year and the winner of the Vultures-Tigers match will make the five, while a win provides to guarantees but should hopefully be enough to secure a well deserved finals spot after an interrupted season.
Western Magpies 5.2 - 32 | 9.4 - 58 | 14.6 - 90 | 19.7 - 121
Mt Gravatt Vultures 1.2 - 8 | 5.3 - 33 | 6.5 - 41 | 9.7 - 61
Best: Beams, Lumber, Lewis, Winton, Harwood, Edwards
Goals: Beams 6, Lumber, Harwood 4, Pope, Reed 2, Dwyer 1