The Magpies Open squad welcomed most of their SouWest Jets players back into the fold this weekend and that added depth led to a committed and creative team effort resulting in an encouraging win for the club.
HBL had some deficits in their usual line-up due to injury and Jets exclusions, however their magic mid-court drive through veteran Angela Repacholi and solid long bomb shooting from the dynamic Myra Ugle, kept the Magpies on their toes.
Goal for goal in the first quarter, the Magpies stepped up their defensive pressure in the final minutes through Belle Hancock, Harmony Sutherland and Riley Culnane to draw ahead by two at the first change.
Magpies benefited from the experienced Maia Bratten combining with newcomers Matilda Cann and later youngster Charlie Allen and her mentoring paid dividends at the post.
Rennie Sansom settled into a mature captain’s game controlling the pace and providing skilled feeding from the circle edge.
Her combination with workhorse Tenieka Handley and later the dynamo Ash Ritson resulted with much needed versatility and measure in attack.
Magpies stuck to the game plan of playing and winning quarter by quarter, defensive pressure the hallmark of their efforts. At the third quarter change they led 42-34.
The final quarter saw Sophie Brandis enter the game at GS and while tentative to start, she settled and held up to solid physical attention from the HBL defenders to shoot well.
HBL put their heads down and smashed their way back into the game through prolific shooter Renee Cashell.
The visiting team reduced the score deficit to one goal before the Magpies regrouped through the inspired effort of the tenacious Tammy Thornley; the Magpies bench rose to their feet in support, and drew away to win by a hard fought five goals.
Final score 54-49.
Rennie Sansom was awarded the Stellar and the Chief player of the Day for her step up in controlling the pace and options in the attack line.
All in all, team work won the day.
The Magpies reserves side knew they were in for a tough and physical game this round, having been defeated by HBL round one (28-50).
The first quarter proved just that and why HBL has remained undefeated for the season, as they were physical, strong around the ball and kept the Magpies under immense pressure.
However, the Magpies were determined to avoid a similar outcome from their last face off.
With Tammy Thornley and Andrea King working in overtime through defence, Cahli Bowman, Meg Bolton and Olivia Haslam working tirelessly through the Lions tough defence and hands pressure, as well as Georgia O’Neill and Yasmin Riley gelling together seamlessly in their first game together to make every possession count.
The Magpies’ confidence stayed strong, going into half-time down by two.
The fresh legs of Danielle and Bella Kitchen, Sophie Moustaka and Maia Bratton, working in the Magpies favour, as every possession and centre pass was challenged.
Three-quarter time, with scores all tied up, coach Danielle Cann made the decision to move Meg Bolton back into centre and Olivia Haslam into WA.
The Magpies put their foot down and the intensity lifted in the last quarter. A very deserving Magpies team managed to hold on and hand HBL their first loss.
Final score: 50-45.
Best player sponsored by Stellar and the Chief was GA-Georgia O’Neill, who worked for all four quarters, not only in the circle but also as back up for the centre court, as well as feeding beautifully into GS- Yasmin Riley.
The Under 18's had a tough challenge ahead of them as they took on top-of-the-table HBL.
The Magpies found their feet quickly in the first quarter with the ball passing easily down the court via an efficient midcourt of Phoebe Pethybridge, Ash Farmer and Hannah Taylor to the shooters Charlie Allen and Mia Pethybridge who were quick to convert turnovers.
The second quarter was just as slick with strong defending from Shukia Riley and Tessa Keane, being backed up by great attacking from Jaymee Dahlenburg.
The third quarter proved a challenge for the Magpies with player changes for both teams, as Imogen Milner stepped up from mid-court to play goal attack with great success.
Under increased defensive pressure the Magpies struggled to maintain their lead as HBL came within seven goals at the three-quarter mark.
Tensions rose in the last quarter but the Magpies managed to hold their nerve and keep HBL at bay, securing themselves a well deserved top of the table position on the ladder with final score 56-53.
Best player sponsored by Stellar and the Chief went to Mia Pethybridge.
Games this week are against Eaton in Leschenault.