Magpies Reserves continue their march towards finals as they sit solidly in second spot on the ladder. Changing up attacking combos in their win over the Carey Park Panthers on Saturday at the Geographe Leisure Centre, mid-court Meg Bolton and Clair Garnaurt to shooters Sophie Brandis and Yas Riley. Down at half-time 20-22, Magpie Georgia O'Neill relished her return after back surgery in WA with smart play to GS Steph Millen for a 15-7 third term. The Magpies defensive unit were tight, limiting Panthers to average nine goals a term, with GK Shukia Riley taking charge on the front ball. They broke away to finish 46-38.
Magpies League team had an arm wrestle of the first quarter against ladder leaders Carey Park. Pushing ahead by a few goals through sharp passing from Harmony Sutherland, elegant shooting from Brooke Gibson and the reliable Maia Bratten, they allowed Carey Park to regularly peg back the difference particularly through the concerted defence from Vaezarn Bishop at GD. The first quarter ended 13 all. The second quarter saw Busselton come out firing and making excellent connections on the long court transition. An engaging battle in the circle between Magpies’ Riley Culnane and Panthers’ Renae Cashell was a highlight of the term. Carey Park were forced into some uncharacteristic errors and Busselton capitalised. Tenieka Handley continued her strong form at centre and was instrumental in pushing the half-time score out to a nine-goal lead for Busselton. Carey Park made many changes to try to find the chinks in Busselton’s armour but the Magpies forged ahead to lead 43-28 at the final change. Magpies were slow to start the final quarter and a more physical effort by Carey Park allowed them to make a short lived comeback, bringing the deficit to eight, before the Magpies settled and found their own pace to jog across the line, 53-41.
Magpies 18s relished the opportunity for a rematch with the Panthers having drawn with them previously. Impressive defence from Charlie Allen and Teniele Smith, who repeatedly turned the ball over and with a quick transition through the mid court of Phoebe Pethybridge and Jaymee Dahlenberg. It was straight into goalies Sunny Manners and Mia Pethybridge as the Magpies raced to an early lead 13-5. The Panthers made some changes and then outscored the Magpies’s by two goals. Leading 21-15 at half-time, the Magpies made big changes with Allen swinging into goals, Chantelle Sutherland into defence, Hannah Taylor coming on at centre and Ivy Golding at WD. It was an even third term with the Magpies surging ahead before being reined back in by the Panthers. Further changes were made with Pethybridge coming back on at centre and Nikki Trigwell at WD, both providing some fresh legs and drive through the centre court. The dynamic duo in goals stood up to some physical encounters with the Panthers defence and toughed it out with the Magpies running away with the match 47-37.
In the 15’s the first quarter started out as fierce competition, goal for goal for the first nine minutes. A great couple of intercepts and accurate shooting saw Magpies take the quarter 14-9. Panthers steadied in the second quarter but after a fall in defence and a player injured, the Magpies extended the lead at half-time 30 to 21. A bench swap saw Magpies keep Panthers to just five goals in the third while they added on 14. Not done yet, Magpies had their best scoring quarter in the fourth, with 19 goals to Panthers’ 10 securing the game 63 to 36 at the final whistle.
This Saturday the Magpies take on the Harvey Brunswick Leschenault Lions.