MAGPIES Open team made hard work of their final round game last week against the Bunbury Bulldogs, barely managing to hold on to take the points and secure the minor premiership. Magpies made an excellent start and piled on a five-goal lead before the Bulldogs knew what had hit them. However a determined and experienced Bulldogs line up gave chase late in the first quarter to put themselves ahead at the first break. This set the pattern for the entire game: when Magpies hopped ahead, the Bulldogs chased the bone.
Magpies were two up at half-time having tightened the back line with Harmony Sutherland and Belle Hancock. However, Emma Borinelli at GS continued to receive tight physical attention and the passage to the post was fraught with pressure, causing loss of possession at key moments.
A draw at the final break set the scene for a no holds barred last quarter with both teams vying for the right to a double chance semi final. Brooke Gibson brought some speed into the attack line and helped open some space for Maia Bratten to weave her magic at the post. But every ball was hard won and every mistake thoroughly punished as the Bulldogs made their final charge. Rennie Sansom and Claire Jennings kept there heads in the final term and helped settle the pace for the Magpies, allowing their team to keep their narrow lead until the final whistle, with the final score 44-42. Magpies play HBL Lions at the Eaton Recreation Centre at 1.30pm on September 3 in the first semi final.
While in another intense game the Magpies Reserves team had their season on the line. In a convincing win 53-43 over the Bulldogs they will now join the Open team in playing finals after finishing fourth and play at 12 noon against the Harvey Bulls.
There was a lot at stake also for the Magpies U18’s game against the Bulldogs, as both teams were playing to hold their position in the top four for finals. Echoing recent weeks the Magpies struggled to start strongly and defenders Sunny Manners and Shukia Riley had to work hard in the face of some fast play and accurate shooting from the opposition. By the end of the first quarter the Magpies were down by 10 goals. With a switch of players, Imogen Milner provided a strong boost in Centre, combining with Phoebe Pethybridge, feeding well placed balls into Sophie Brandis, who was quick to convert the goals. Tess Keane and Hannah Taylor also came on with fresh determination into GD and WD with the Magpies putting in a solid quarter. The third quarter saw Ash Farmer continue Milner's momentum in Centre, working with Jaymee Dahlenburgh to gain back the Magpies ground, winning the quarter by four goals. With top shooting by Mia Pethybridge and Charlie Allen in the last quarter, the Magpies were able to peg back the difference to nine goals, the final score 52-61.