Meanwhile at Trumper Park, UTS played host to Wests. For the Bats, the result would be a possibly fatal blow to their finals ambitions. For the Magpies, it was Bevan Heaven.
In recent weeks the Magpies had played credible football against higher-ranked opponents, but had been unlucky not to get wins to show for their efforts. But this time they looked the stronger side as they got the contest under way. The Magpies were ferocious at the ball in the early contests, and the Bats were unable to match their intensity as Wests ran in four goals to one in the opening quarter to lead by 18 points at quarter time.
UTS fought back in the second term, putting the pressure back onto their Magpie opponents. The Bats had struggled to get their game going in the first quarter, but were looking better after quarter time as they found ways to pump the ball into their forward line with more fluency than they had managed early. But they were never able to stop the flow of ball into the Magpie forward zone; and so it would be a more high-scoring term of footy. The Bats had the edge for the quarter, scoring four goals to three; but the Magpies still had a nine-point advantage at half time.
Just one win from their first ten games, but the Magpies had a sniff of doubling that tally. They were in front, but needed a quarter of dominance to consolidate their lead and put the game out of their opposition’s reach. And the premiership quarter would deliver this for the Magpies. Putting in their best football of the season to date, it was a sight for the Wests’ faithful to savour; a season’s worth of frustrations blown away with a quarter where the running players found space, the forwards found leads and markers found the sit to pull down the ball from the sky. And the scoreboard would reflect the growing confidence of the Magpies, as they would score seven goals to three in the third term to extend their lead to 39 points at the last change.
It was one quarter of top football from the Magpies that wrapped up the win. The last quarter was nothing special, with the Bats scoring two goals to one during a term when the Magpies were counting down to celebration time. When it came, the Magpies sung their song with much enthusiasm. In a season where little has gone right, finally they had something big to celebrate.
Paul Bevan was the dominant force for the day. Ten years after being part of the Swans’ drought-breaking premiership, Bevan put in the best game he’s played since joining the Magpies this season; finishing with ten goals in a best-on-ground effort. Taran Etto and Josh Robinson also played their part in getting the Magpies to a win.
For the Bats, Josh Maddox, Jason Fleming and Bradley Harricks were among their best. But the loss puts the Bats three and a half games behind Sydney Uni; and even with a game in hand their hopes of making their first finals appearance in Premier Division are slipping away.