A MASSIVE win over Coolangatta has been soured by injuries to four players as the Western Magpies turn their attention to finals action.

By Terry Wilson

The Magpies beat Coolangatta by 28.15 (183) to 7.9 (51) at Chelmer Oval on Saturday but were left mulling over the immediate fate of key quartet David Hamill (ankle), Jye Spencer (knee), Greg Lavey (ankle and thigh) and Dominic Beer (ankle).
It may not be until Tuesday that the club learns how serious the injuries are, but they surely pose major concerns heading into the qualifying final against Palm Beach-Currumbin next Sunday.
“That was the only downside,” said coach Peter McClennan after having no one on the bench from late in the third quarter.
The final margin gave a true indication of the vast chasm that existed between one of the genuine flag contenders and a side down on numbers and out of the finals race.
McClennan felt it was obvious from the first bounce that the Blues players had had enough for the year. “You could tell,” he said.
Away from the injuries, it was all smooth sailing for the Magpies, who stuck to their game plan of getting numbers behind the ball, then moving it swiftly to the attacking zones.
That plus the mental approach.
“What we were trying to do was to get some intensity up going into the finals,” said McClellan. “We started and finished the game well.”
Another bonus for the Magpies was that skipper Chris Mihalopoulos found some form on a half-back flank and forward Matt ‘Clock’ Thompson kicked seven goals, pushing claims for a spot in the seniors side for the qualifying final.
Chris Hunt and centre half-back and in the ruck, midfielder Ben Heffernan-Roper and utility Brandon Morris were other stars for the Magpies.
For Coolangatta, missing a number of players – including their five Papua New Guineans who are away for the World Cup – it was a long day at the office, in coach Neil Mackay’s words.
“We had a heap out, but they were too good around the park,” he said. “Our first quarter was okay, but then they blew us away.
“We battled hard, we tried, but we’d get the ball to our half forward line, turn it over and they’d beat us on the rebound.”
Best for the Blues, who used the latter stages to experiment with positional [postings, were centre half-back and forward Mark Greeney, midfielder Jamie Beer-Carey and Brendan White ion a wing and half-back flank.

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