Pies go down in thriller

190509-13The Maryborough Magpies went agonisingly close to their second win of the season in the Bendigo Football League at Princes Park on Saturday, going down to Kangaroo Flat in a three-point thriller.
In a game which coach Shane Fisher labelled a “must-win”, the Magpies reeled in a six-goal lead after half time, hitting the lead in the final quarter, only to run out of time as Kangaroo Flat wrestled the win out of the ‘Borough’s hands.
Maryborough started the game in its style customary to this season, as turnovers by the lacklustre Magpies
allowed Kangaroo Flat to boot three first-quarter goals.
The ‘Pies on the other hand wasted their chances going forward, kicking just one major score for the term through usual back pocket player Ben Jackson, who started in unfamiliar territory up forward, after he brought down a juggled mark 10 metres out from goal.
The Magpies continued to struggle going forward in the second term, kicking five behinds while Kangaroo Flat booted another three goals.
Undisciplined play from several Maryborough players gifted Kangaroo Flat two goals from 50 metre penalties.
Jackson’s goal was the only major for Maryborough in the first half.
Skipper Martin Dell was among the ‘Pies best up until half time, along with midfielders Liam McIntosh and Mitch Kennedy and defender Bodie Malone.
The third quarter brought with it a stunning turnaround from the Magpies, as the home side went on the attack, kicking four goals for the quarter and restricting their opponents to two goals for the quarter.
Lead by hard running from Matthew Bilton and Luke Bucknall, the Magpies used a combination of pace and brute strength to send the ball inside their forward 50 time after time, shocking their opponents.
Goals for the ‘Borough came through Jackson, Glenn Chadwick, coach Shane Fisher and goalsneak Jayden Hind.
The lead changed five times in the final quarter as both teams continued to attack, with the busy Bilton, Luke Bucknall, Chadwick and Jackson all kicking goals for the Magpies.
Two late goals to Justin Maddern and one apiece to skipper Tyrone Downie and Tim Brooks brought Maryborough supporters to their knees, but a mark on the 50 metre mark by Bucknall in the dying seconds gave the ‘Borough faithful some hope.
It was not the Magpies’ day how-ever, Bucknall’s set shot from 55 metres just missed and the siren sounded soon after, shattering the Magpies’ hopes of a dream win.
Kangaroo Flat took the victory, 11.8 (74) to 10.11 (71), in a match reminiscent of last year’s round seven thriller which the Magpies won by a solitary point.
Jackson was a revelation up forward for the home side, his sure hands and straight kicking earning him three goals, as well as being one of the ‘Borough’s best players.
Other standouts in the Magpies’ fightback included Bilton, Bucknall, Malone, Tyson Macilwain, Dell and
Chadwick, who kicked three goals of his own, including a 55m long bomb that brought the crowd to its feet.
Kangaroo Flat spearhead, Justin Maddern continued his good form against the Magpies, booting four goals, despite the best efforts from Maryborough utility Cam Rinaldi.
Billy White, Tyson Findlay and Brendan Hehir were also among the Flat’s best.
The loss leaves the ‘Pies languishing in second last spot, while Kangaroo Flat has retained their fifth place.
The league will have a bye next week due to the Bendigo versus Ballarat interleague stoush at Bacchus Marsh, after which the Magpies will host bottom side Kyneton at home, in what will surely be the Magpies’ second win of the season.

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