Monday 14 July 2008

The Western Magpies’ credentials for a return to the top division of State League football were enhanced on Saturday when they smashed Palm Beach-Currumbin’s remarkable 34-game winning streak.

It was a magnificent performance by the Magpies, although it may well have been the loss the Lions had to have leading into the finals of the Pineapple Hotel Cup.

The Magpies were clearly ‘up’ for the encounter at Chelmer, leading by four goals at quarter time and extending that lead to 50 points at the long break.

They resisted a concerted Lions effort in the third term that saw the visitors bring the margin back to 44 points, before the Magpies steamed to a 18.8 (116)-5.16 (46) victory.

The Magpies were quick and clean, although the Lions did have only five less scoring shots to halftime when the game was effectively over.

Livewire Adam Gillespie booted five goals for the victors and big David Hamill three in a towering display, while half-forward Luke Scott terrorized the Lions throughout.

Former State defender Mark Dowley was inspirational for the Magpies and quality onballers Chris Mihalopoulos generalled the midfield.

Palm Beach coach Craig O'Brien saw the result coming after his side had just held Sandgate and Noosa at bay in recent weeks.

"I feel it has been heading that way for a few weeks so maybe it's a good thing to happen to us at this stage of the year,” O’Brien told The Gold Coast Bulletin’s Terry Wilson.

"'I'd rather get beaten by that margin because at least you can address the problem, but if you lose by only a couple of points you could believe things were going all right.

"As good as they were, we were terrible."

It was Palm Beach’s heaviest loss since Noosa drubbed them by 133 points in Round 6 of 2006, a year when the club struggled to only three wins.

Rover Mikal Bloom and ruckman Aaron Lohrey stood out for the Lions, who sorely missed the pace of Ryan Rodgers and the midfield hardness of Darryl Dyson.



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