Aspley’s defence shut down the Western Magpies and kept their QAFL finals hopes alive at Chelmer today.

Saturday 3 July 2010

Aspley made a mockery of their lowly ninth placing on the premiership table by playing some impressive football to flatten the Western Magpies by 77 points in today’s Round 12 clash at Chelmer.

The Hornets won their fourth game of the season – and their fourth straight against the Magpies – to move to within one game of the top five.

While they face an uphill battle to reach September action, they have a 2-2 record over the past month and showed plenty of system in today’s 19.13 (127) to 7.8 (50) triumph.

The hallmark of their recent surge has been a dominant defence and they restricted the Magpies to just four goals and nine scoring shots in the opening three terms.

Tyson Hartwig was solid in the first half and mighty in the second, skipper Robert Copeland was strong all day, Brent Evans was quality for three quarters and then dominated at half-forward in the last.

Matt Trewhella was solid in the opening term, dominated the game from centre-half-forward in the second quarter when the Hornets stung the home side with 7.0 to 1.4 to break the game open, and then did some more handy work in the third term.

The forward line also functioned beautifully, with James Nelis kicking four goals at full-forward and impressing with his chasing and tackling, as well as long, straight kicking.

It was a terrific effort by the teenager, who played for the Australia Post Queensland Scorpions on Tuesday.

Matt Nickerson was busy in the first half with three opportunistic goals, and Adam Hughes was lively with several strong marks and three goals.

Hard-ball winner Reece Toye was again at the bottom of every pack and high in the best player list again, while Jamie Sheehan popped up all over the ground.

Dylan Reid always provided a physical contest despite lowering his colours to Gerard Moore in the first half, and big Declan Bevan showed some nice touches as the game wore on.

It was an impressive display considering prolific ballwinner Matt Shir was absent with a minor calf problem.

“After the NT game, which we thought we could win, this was a big match for us,” said Hornets skipper Copeland. “We had to get up. We were playing bottom team and we had to set a standard and put them away.

“We set some goals before the match and pretty much they were 100 percent today, so it worked well.”

Copeland was delighted with the effort of the defensives unit again.

“We need the defensive pressure from the whole ground, but if you’ve got an experience defence it can control and slow the flow of goals down,” he said.

Magpies coach Jarrod Thorpe was disappointed that his team ‘didn’t come to play’.

“It was a frustrating day,” he said. “We were second to the ball most of the day, they showed a bit more endeavour.

“Our guys skill errors certainly cost us some easy goals.”

The Magpies gave ladder leaders Southport a real fight over the last three quarters last week but their intensity just wasn’t there today.

“It was a surprise but we’ve been up and competitive for four weeks and when you have kids in the team, to keep ‘up’ over a series of weeks becomes difficult,” Thorpe said.

“This is the sort of let-up game we had to have, it’s just a pity it was in a game we thought we could win.

“From my point of view the most disappointing thing was that we didn’t come to play. I don’t mind if we give it 110 percent and come up short, but it’s really disappointing when you lose like we did today.”

Thorpe admitted the prospect of breaking the long losing streak at the club coupled with Mihalopoulos’ 200th game might have impacted on his troops’ mindset.

“I’ve got no doubt we thought we could win and maybe the guys played a bit more cautiously,” he said. “We were a bit fumbly early.”

“We spoke about Mika’s 200th during the week and the best way we could have rewarded him would have been with a win today, but that wasn’t to be.”

The Magpies struggled to win enough midfield ball with James Rozynski the only regular clearance-winner, and they had few winners around the ground.

They were consistently outnumbered in attack and Aspley still managed to create loose men forward on occasion in the second half.

Greg Friis kicked two special snaps in the final term to give the home crowd something to cheer about, but there was precious little else.

“His (Rozynski’s) endeavour and intensity is tremendous,” Thorpe said. “He’s been our best player for the last three or four weeks.

“I thought Jy Spencer battled hard up forward against the odds and Conrad Hudghton again showed that he’s coming along nicely.

“Lachy Woods-Honour for his first game was pretty good – he’s a 17-year-old kid who’s in his first year of under 18s.”

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