Costly win for gutsy Mag­pies

Pies set to be with­out key play­mak­ers for Tigers clash af­ter fiery win over Raiders

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY CAM POT­TER cpot­ter@ ne­me­

A five-goal to two third term had the Raiders nip­ping at Wan­garatta’s heels clos­ing the gap to one point at three quar­ter time and the game poised for a thrilling fin­ish.

With­out a bench and the Raiders com­ing home hard, Mag­pies’ coach Dean Stone pleaded for his side to dig deep, play their style of foot­ball and don’t stop chas­ing.

The Mag­pies lis­tened and booted 2.5 to 0.1 slam­ming the door shut on the match, over­com­ing bru­tal at­tack on the ball from Raiders.

Dy­lan Van Berlo and Zac Hedin played vi­tal roles across half back, sweep­ing through the mid­field to in­ter­cept Raider pos­ses­sions, while the like of Craig Evans, Jessie Smith and Nick Richards pro­vided plenty of run and drive through the cen­tre square.

But best on ground well and truly be­longed to Jade Clee­land who marked just about ev­ery­thing that came his way while also pro­vid­ing his mid­field­ers with first use of the ball with deft tap work.

De­spite a key re­sult for the sec­ond-placed Mag­pies, the reign­ing pre­miers face Al­bury next week­end with a num­ber of ex­clu­sions for an­other key match.

With Matt Gross­man and Michael Bordignon set for an over­seas hol­i­day, in­juries to Shar­rock, Suck­ling and Richards while the se­nior side awaits the re­sults of Nick Richards’ re­port, it leaves the Mag­pies po­ten­tially light on star power next Satur­day.

BRUISED, bat­tered but bet­ter.

In a game so im­por­tant to both sides, Wan­garatta Mag­pies and Wodonga Raiders put on a fiery con­test at the Norm Minns Oval on Satur­day which saw the Mag­pies run out 12-point win­ners.

But it wasn’t all pretty for both sides, late hits, hard tack­les and a melee all sparked the crowd into voice and took a toll on how the match was played.

Joe Richards was con­cussed early in the sec­ond quar­ter spark­ing the melee with brother Nick placed on re­port and sent from the field, Mat Suck­ling strained his ham­string with the sever- ity still to be de­ter­mined, while Daniel Shar­rock has a sus­pected knee in­jury which left the Mag­pies with­out a bench for the re­main­der of the match and a man short for 15 min­utes.

But Wan­garatta won the match, largely thanks to a seven-goal to two first quar­ter as it burst out of the sheds.

Af­ter quar­ter time the Raiders lifted their in­ten­sity and scor­ing power, boot­ing four goals to two in the sec­ond quar­ter to get the mar­gin back to 19 points at half time with Wodonga set­tling quickly af­ter the brawl.

PHO­TOS: Mel Guy

BRU­TAL AF­FAIR: (Above) Mag­pies’ util­ity Frazer Dent smoth­ers Raiders’ Daniel Bowles’ shot on goal.

(Left) Mag­pies’ back­man Ben Douthie swoops on to a ground ball with Raiders’ cap­tain Jy­don Nea­gle clos­ing in on him.

(Right) Mag­pie Mitch Jensen and Raiders’ Brodie Filo con­test the ball.

CON­CUSSED: Joe Richards.

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