On Sunday, September 9 the Busselton Magpies under 15s team travelled to Eaton Recreation Centre to take on the Bridgetown Ravens in the first semi-final.
A nervous start to the first quarter resulted in multiple interceptions and turnovers by both teams. The umpires were consistent with calls for held ball and stepping, which set the tone for the remainder of the game. It became a battle of defence with Arielle Hockey (goal keeper) and Ruby Simonetti (goal defence) consistently battling against the attacking Ravens.
Magpies, Jenna Begley (centre), Tamsin Falconer (wing attack) and Ella Griffin (wing defence) worked hard through the centre court to contain the fury of the Ravens. Nikira Brock (goal shooter) and Asha Hughes (goal attack) kept Magpies in touch with consistent goal shooting. The lead changed repeatedly and Magpies found themselves in unfamiliar territory at the end of the first quarter, trailing by three goals. The score was Ravens 11 to the Magpies 8.
Coach Rae Hathaway made changes in the second quarter swapping (WA) to Isabel Legros, (C) to Jess Schwier and Nikki Smith to (GA). Ravens scored the first goal, further extending their lead. Magpies began to settle which saw some great intercepts and a few quick unanswered goals that diminished the margin.
Then Magpies took control and before too long the score was tied at 16 each. Magpies found their rhythm with solid defensive pressure and efficiency through the centre. The outstanding combination of Asha Hughes and Nikki Smith in goals saw Magpies take the lead. A handy buzzer beater just before half time resulted in the score being 22 to 19 going into the long break. Magpies outscored Ravens 14 goals to 8 for the quarter.
The third quarter saw Kaitlyn Tucker come on to (GS) and Kaitlyn Taylor to (WD). Magpies began where they finished off and piled on a further 12 goals and restricted Ravens to eight goals for the quarter. The score was Magpies 34 goals to Ravens 27 goals, giving Magpies some good breathing space going into the last break.
Magpies made an unsettled start to the final quarter with a few turnovers, but soon regained composure. A strong display of defence By Ruby Simonetti and Kaitlyn Taylor continued along with some great passing through the centre. With goal shooting efficiency Magpies out scored Ravens by five.
The final score was Magpies 43 goals to Ravens 31 goals.
Coach Rae Hathaway rotated the bench well throughout the game that ensured contribution from every player.
The Magpies had a fabulous year and make their grand final appearance on Friday, September 21.