Midway Metals Round 18 Footy Review – Narre v. Berwick
Last Saturday we hosted Berwick at Fox Road in Seniors, Reserves and Under 18s. The fine weather and the prospect of three high stakes contests brought out the supporters in numbers – easily our biggest home crowd for the season. All three matches were for top spot and the double chance in next week’s finals. Unfortunately Narre could only greet the judge in the Reserves match; while Berwick’s Seniors and Under 18s left us with a bit to contemplate.
Seniors – Narre’s Ones started like Chautauqua – missing the jump out of the barrier and letting Berwick open up a four-goal lead before we kicked our first. We dug in and clawed our way back into the match and even got a few points up on them for a short time in the third quarter. But catch-up footy saps your energy and perhaps forces a defensive mindset among the playing group which is hard to turn around. When Berwick shifted a gear in the run home, we looked pretty spent and they pulled away for a five goal win.
The contest around the ball was tight and honest all day; our midfield showed that we can go with theirs. But our forward entries were often erratic while Berwick maintained a more traditional structure in their forward half. We again had 9 goalkickers, but our highest individual return was two from Coxy, while Berwick’s two key forwards shared 10 between them.
Reserves – Narre’s Twos were sensational! Playing the best opposition the comp has to offer, we rode the ebbs and flows of the first three action-packed and bruising quarters to see the scores locked at just 35 points apiece at the last change. The pressure was drum-tight; every fumble costly, every turnover critical.
At the last change the win was there for the taking, but we needed someone to put their hand up. We were down to two on the bench – our skipper Dean Scanlon and Kyle Graham both on ice for the day. But twenty other Magpies put their hands up to play the quarter of their lives; seal a classic win and claim top spot (and the week’s rest that comes with it).
The pressure never let up, and we kicked just 2 goals in the last quarter while keeping Berwick goalless.
Kyle Graham was among our best; Mitch Tonna and Webby lifted their workrate when the going got tough while Matt Lee and Jesse Davies stood up when it mattered.
Under 18s – Narre looked the goods early on, taking a 3 goal to the first change of ends. Our defence stood strong under pressure and our forwards were making the most of limited opportunities. But slowly and clinically through the second and third quarters, Berwick pulled the rein on our running game and took a three point lead into the last quarter.
Berwick’s fitness and clean ball movement left us in their wake in the final stages and the scoreline probably flattered us as they kicked 1.7 in the final quarter while Narre failed to score.
In a match where goals were at a premium, Riley Siwes kicked 2 for Narre. Jake Stuart, Lachy Benson, Oscar Gillet and Grant Mitchell were in our best.
So next Saturday we play Beaconsfield in the Seniors Qualifying Final, and we play Berwick again in the Under 18s Qualifying Final.