Magpies swoop win in nail-biter
Last Sunday’s WPJFA match between the Roebourne Magpies and the Karratha Falcons ensured great excitement for Pilbara junior footy with a thrilling clean, hard and fair match played in great spirit in the lead up to the finals.
In what many said was the best underage match seen in the Pilbara, it was the Magpies edging out the Falcons by two points as both sides used the wide open spaces at Bulgarra to relentlessly attack each other for the entire 80 minutes of football.
The first quarter saw scoring opened up by Ray O’Mara with a clever snap for the Magpies despite some solid defensive work from Brennan Stewart and Campbell Garratt.
Micky Ball dominated the clearances with Cam Cross and Eustan Toby exploiting their speed to move the ball into attack and eventually the overlap running combined with the forward pressure of Jayden Brown saw the Magpies go two up through a ball set shot.
Things were looking grim for the Falcons before Phil Khongjaroen and the Falcons midfield group started to generate some run, which saw Tyler Sharpe get on the end of some good work by Max Payne and Bailey Scott to kick truly.
Sharpe marked the next clearing kick from the restart and added his second in one minute.
The Magpies defense was led beautifully as it has done all season by Jack Kay, but it was the ferocious tackling and defensive pressure from Brandon Munda which repelled the flying Falcons until Josh Blackman’s huge work rate brought the Falcons third goal.
Seconds before the siren a clever right foot snap from midfielder Justin Patching saw the Falcons into the first change leading four straight goals to two goals one.
The two teams swapped goals through the second quarter with Marcus Cook getting the Magpies back under way after both teams wrestled for ascendency as the ball rebounded between half back lines with the Cook goal opening the gates for Beau Alec to score, followed by a lovely running goal from Tyler Lockyer despite Jordan Butcher’s efforts in defense.
The Falcons engine room clicked into gear as wingman Scott kicked the first of his three to work the red and the blue back into the match with half forward Blackman again working hard to generate his second.
Landon Punch fired the Magpies up with a shot from the sideline and at the other end Patching kicked his second for the Falcons as the siren sounded to end a brilliant quarter of Pilbara footy with the Falcons holding a three point advantage over the Magpies 7.0 (42) to 6.3 (39).
The third was a strong and hard defensive quarter as both teams settled in for battle, the Magpies’ Brown, Lockyer, Munda, Ball and Karna Smith worked tirelessly for the Magpies while Scott, Payne, Garratt, Khongjaroen and Curtis Tully ensured it was an enduring, tough and hard session.
Eventually Euston Toby capitalised on Ball’s run before big Beau Alec added his second as the Magpies stamped their authority on the match.
As the Magpies flooding run slowed, Scott added to his tally and Blackman followed up with his third the Falcons were back on top and full of run before Punch and Lockyer landed a fantastic Maggies one, two that gave them the lead at the final change 9.5 (59) to 9.2 (56).
Victorian Elias Dungy stepped up his run and big man Payne held six marks as the Falcons desperately tried to wrestle back the lead but Cook, Brown and Punch showed they had the grit and determination to win as Punch landed his third and Brown immediately followed with a long straight kick.
Sharpe kicked his third and Blackman his fourth but it was Kay, Munda and coach Mal Kay’s back six that stole the show as they tackled and harassed the Falcons forwards eventually holding on 11.4 (72) to 11.2 (68).
The Magpies best included Brandon Munda, Cam Cross, Jayden Brown, Tyler Lockyer and Karna Smith while the Falcons were well served by Elias Dungy, Max Payne, Phil Khongjaroen, Cam Garratt and Josh Blackman.