Tigers Too Good For Magpies in Trying Conditions

The Western Magpies battled hard in alternating weather conditions on Saturday at Cooke-Murphy oval, but were unable to claim the four points against premiership contenders Labrador, losing 15-10-100 to 7-10-52.

 

The Pies started well early and slotted the first two majors of the game before the Tigers settled and evened the contest. The Magpies were able to get first hands on the ball early and we're negating the big name Labrador midfield, using running football to break from halfback and deliver the ball deep inside the forward 50. Ben Jaenke-Cain, skipper Lachlan Woods and ruckman Dom Beer were instrumental early, whilst young Redland based player Tom Michael, and key forwards Matt Davis and Matt Garland won some crucial one on one contests across half forward, allowing the Magpies to head to the first break with a slender two point lead.

 

It was the second quarter when the more experienced Labrador got on top. After a brief but heavy downpour, the Labrador players were quickest to adjust to playing simple wet weather football, working hard in the packs to force the ball forward. At the same time the young Pies overused the football, and struggled to adjust to the conditions, which wasn't helped by some dubious umpiring decisions and three other goals from marks after quick kicks forward. The dominance by Labrador during the quarter had them push out to a 4 goal lead at the main break.

 

The third quarter was a better one for the Magpies. Some good work in and under the packs from Redland based player Matt Sondergeld, along with some strong physical play from Peter Kilroy, and dash from defenders Chris Hunt and Drew Mitchell saw the Magpies slowly claw their way back. All over the ground the Magpies pressure and tackling increased and the Tigers were really put on the back foot. A three goal to one quarter really put the result in doubt and gave the Magpies plenty of confidence. If it wasn't for a couple of late missed opportunities, scores could have been even closer. As it was, the Magpies trailed by 14 points at the final break knowing they'd have to overrun the home side if they were to claim their fifth win of the season.

 

The final quarter however did not go to plan! The weather again returned, and much like the second term, the Magpies were not able to adjust as fluently as their opponents, and a disappointing final quarter resulted. The tigers began to dominate out of the centre and put the Magpies defence under immense pressure. The Pies endeavour never subsided but their skill level and decision-making eventually took its toll, and the scoreboard reflected the Tigers' late control of the game. Ultimately the final margin did not truly indicate the closeness of the match, however stood to once again prove to the Magpies that a consistent four quarter effort must be produced in order to take away the four points in this years QAFL competition. A general bye this weekend for representative matches will provide for a good break, before a massive game next week away against undefeated premiership favourites Morningside.

 

The next month of football will be crucial for the Magpies chances of cementing a spot in the top half of the ladder and pushing their finals credentials. They face some very winnable games against Sandgate and Wilston Grange, and with continued improvement and more consistent four-quarter efforts; they are more than capable of winning more challenging games against other top sides!

 

Up the 'Pies!!




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