Imperials hold on in final term onslaught
THE Imperials have claimed a spot in the 2017 Reserves Grand Final after claiming a pulsating four-point victory over Bridgetown in Pemberton on Sunday.
In an epic contest where both sides enjoyed momentum, it was the Magpies who took their opportunities when presented to claim a 10.10 (70) to 10.6 (66) victory.
After an insipid display last round, the Magpies looked up and about early and through the centre square control rolled forward with purpose.
Matthew Bornatici hit a purple patch to kick three quick goals.
The Bulldogs had to play defensively and despite struggling to keep the Magpies’ attacks under control, Mitch Baldock, Shane Clancy and Ben Mcalinden did provide some solid resistance.
The Bulldogs had to respond to the Magpies’ opening onslaught and with good ball use and aggression they began to chip away at the Magpies’ lead.
Experienced campaigners Danny Schreurs, Darren Tassos and Garret Waters settled the troops and in the ensuing play set up a run of goals from Baldock, Mcalinden and Jack Cowan to even up the contest.
The Magpies’ defensive unit was under siege, however, Tim Clifford, Isaac Jones and Jack Stewart stood firm to ensure a slim lead at the break.
As contest momentum swung, both outfits had ample opportunity to build a lead, but the constant pressure applied ensured a number of turnovers.
Finally, Imperials wrestled some control as Nathan Grandini, Brady Adams and Ipsen kicked goals to give their side a crucial two-goal buffer heading towards the final siren.
With the season on the line, both sides hit the contest with vigour in a pulsating final term of football.
The Magpies’ defence was superb with Stewart, Adam and Clifford keeping the Bulldogs’ pushes at bay and although the Bulldogs conjured up one last surge, the Magpies would cling on to claim a tight victory and a chance at the premiership.