The lowly Western Magpies gave Southport a serious hit-out at Chelmer today, the Sharks’ fast start proving fatal.

Saturday 26 June 2010
Southport got the early jump on the Western Magpies at Chelmer today but had to earn every kick thereafter as the competition leaders failed to kick 100 points for only the third time this season.
“They hit us hard and got good numbers around the footy,” Sharks coach Craig Crowley admitted afterwards.
“We turned the ball over a lot through their pressure…they were very competitive.”
Southport led 5.5 to 1.1 at the first break and a cricket score looked to be on the cards, but the home side were only outscored eight goals to four from there, eventually losing 13.17 (95) to 5.9 (39).
“We went inside 50 about  50-odd times and they went in 40-odd, so their midfield were good,” Crowley said.
Unfortunately for the Magpies, the Sharks defence was at its miserly best with Kurt Niklaus unpassable and Glenn Screech and Adam Devine equally as good.
The midfield dominated early with Darren Pfeiffer and Danny Wise continuing their outstanding form.
David James has also enjoyed a stellar season and apart from some scratchy ball use early was the Sharks’ best.
They peppered the goals in the opening term and missed a number of easy shots under little pressure, and were perhaps lulled into a false sense of security.
There was nothing forthcoming over the final three terms, however, as dogged Magpies onballer James Rozynski more than matched his five-star rivals.
With Mark Dowley doing the best job against Sharks full-forward ace Cleve Hughes this season, holding him to just two goals, and Ed McDonnell working overtime to help out in the back half, the Magpies provided a super contest.
Gerard Moore also repeatedly dropped back to fill the hole, making it difficult for the Sharks forwards to find any space.
They were aided by the fact that key leading forward Ben Merrett left the ground in the opening half hour with a bad cork, while Jason Bourke also was hurt early.
Southport debuted former Broadbeach utility Brodie Grant and 17-year-old ruckman Fraser Thurlow, and Crowley was delighted with both.
“Brodie contributed pretty well and Fraser did really, really well,” Crowley said. “They deserved a chance because their form in the reserves demanded it.”
The Sharks have a home clash with the game but sliding Broadbeach next Saturday, while the Magpies will be priming themselves to give everything against Aspley at Chelmer.

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