WESTERN Magpies all but stitched up a place in the qualifying final after trouncing listless Mayne by 133 points at Chelmer Oval on Saturday.
By Terry Wilson
The cross-Brisbane battle turned into a cakewalk for the Magpies, who scored by 27.18 (180) to 6.11 (47) and came through the encounter unscathed.
Coach Peter McClennan, though, was not getting carried away by the size of the victory, knowing what lies ahead are some much tougher challenges that the one Mayne coughed up on the weekend.
“What was most pleasing was that some individuals started to find some form,” said McClennan.
He was referring to 18-year-old forward Alex Dickfos, who kicked eight goals, forward pocket Jye Spencer (six goals) and midfielder Reid Dobson.
Dickfos started the season brightly, kicking eight against Noosa in round four, but since then he has struggled for consistency. He certainly found some of that against the Tigers.
Spencer, back in harness and being used as a big forward pocket, could be an offensive bonus for the Magpies in the big games ahead while Dobson, an experienced customer, looks like he has found some zip at the right stage of the season.
“Reid used the ball well – he hit his targets,” noted McClennan, who also praised running half- back Chris Hunt, seemingly over a horror run of injuries that included shin splints and being knocked out when hit in the head by a football at training.
In contrast to the mood at the Magpies, the atmosphere at Mayne is sombre.
“Disgusting,”’ was the word used by player-coach Luke Faulkner to describe the performance.
“We butchered the ball and we missed set shots at goal.
“They were too good, too quick and skillful from the half-back line – and they made us pay for it.”
Mayne veteran Andrew Housego typified the bad day. Although he was among the Tigers’ best, he kicked 0.8.
Others to go well for the Tigers were Faulkner on the ball and half-back flanker Sam Paterson.