Magpies make statement over Roosters

Published on Sunday, May 22, 2022

Author : Josh Ward

Montmorency have jumped to second spot on the Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 ladder after defeating West Preston-Lakeside by 17 points at J.E. Moore Park. 

In a tight contest for most of the afternoon, the Magpies piled on five goals to two in the final term to record the 12.9 (81) to 9.10 (64) triumph, marking their second win over a top five side and placing them back in the top two.

Liam Wale-Buxton was the clear standout for the Magpies, his work around the ground and inside 50 was almost impossible to stop while his clearance work and ability to out muscle his opponents played a big role in his side’s win.

Montmorency co-captain Sam Binion praised the impact Wale-Buxton was having on the squad since his arrival from Vermont in the off-season.

“He was super again today, he always provides a very good contest for us in the midfield, sets it up really well and we definitely walk taller with Liam around,” he said.

Binion also played a key role in midfield whilst Michael Fitz-Gerald was excellent down back.

Patrick Fitzgerald continued his impressive start to the 2022 campaign, kicking four goals, including three crucial last term majors, to increase his season tally to 22.

For the Roosters, Michael Ercolano was excellent in midfield, winning many of the home side’s clearances and providing plenty of inside 50 entries. While Wale-Buxton dominated, West Preston-Lakeside ruckman Matthew Harman continued to provide a strong battle throughout the entire afternoon.

On a picturesque day for footy it was the Magpies doing most of the early attacking despite having to wait until the eighth minute to kick their first major of the afternoon, courtesy of Fitzgerald.

As the Magpies continued to press, the Roosters were able to catch them out with a quick transitional play that resulted in an Aidan Tilley major.

Montmorency then kicked the next two through Wale-Buxton and Bronson Hill after gaining a bit more territory throughout the ground, before Carl Adams kicked an important late major for West Preston-Lakeside to cut the margin to one straight kick at the first break.

Ercolano was rewarded for his brilliant first quarter efforts with an early second term major to reduce the margin for the home side to just one point.

The Magpies then responded with the next two through, Nicholas Uzelac and Danko Bzenic kicking vital goals to quickly extend the margin to 16 points

Rob Maiorana’s side wasted no time in regaining control of the contest, and despite missing some opportunities in front of goal, a nice finish from Daniel Valeri brought the deficit back to seven points.

In a moment of unluckiness for the home side, a centering ball from Ercolano found Cooper Shoebridge all on his own just 20 metres in front of goal, but the half time siren sounded just seconds before Shoebridge could take the grab, leaving the Roosters down by eight points heading into the second half.

But as if they kicked that goal on the stroke of half time, the Roosters came out fighting in the third term, kicking the first two of the quarter through Mason Bowden and Max Dreher to find themselves seven points in front at the ten minute mark.

Then, Montmorency’s Ben Crick, produced a stunning goal against the run of play to level things up halfway through the term.

Alex Federico and Stephen McCallum exchanged majors late in the quarter, with the Magpies holding on to a one point lead to set up what would be a highly anticipated final quarter.

However, despite hopeful Roosters goals from Joshua Iacobaccio and Aaron Tsarouhas in the last stanza, Wale-Buxton and Fitzgerald combined well to put the result before any doubt.

The ruckman kicked the first major of the final term before constantly giving his midfielders first use at each stoppage to send the ball forward.

Fitzgerald rewarded those entries with goals, his third major a particular highlight as he launched to take a strong grab ahead of two West Preston-Lakeside defenders.

His fourth goal put the cherry on top of a dominant final quarter from Garry Ramsay’s men, who will look to continue to stand their ground as a top two side in the week’s ahead.

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