Magpies come close
Monday, 1st September, 2014
By Ethan James
In many ways Central's final game summed up their season to a tee.
The 'Pies were competitive and slick in patches but were unable to get their nose over the line, going down to West by six points at Memorial Oval.
Forward Brett Martin was the match-winner for the Robins, slotting a goal moments before the siren to break the deadlock.
Central coach Brett Morris said his side went into the game with a clear head.
"We had nothing to lose today, they (West) might have been a little hesitant going for the ball because they didn't want to get hurt before next week," he said after the game.
"But the message was to enjoy our football and have a crack and I thought we did."
For a brief moment it looked as if Central were going to finish the year with their first win since round nine.
Trailing 14.10 to 11.6 at three-quarter time, the 'Pies mounted a comeback in the final term.
They equalised in the dying stages with a snap goal from the square but were just pipped when Martin slotted his sixth of the afternoon.
It was a cruel way for Morris and his chargers to end the year.
He was left to reflect on a season of close calls and a number of winning positions that weren't turned into victories earlier in the season.
"We haven't kicked that many in a long time," he said.
"In a local game that should get you a win.
"So we were very close. "It is a bit frustrating I guess, knowing that we can play like that and haven't been able to put it together in enough games this year."
Morris himself pulled on the guernsey when James McClure pulled out on Saturday morning.
"The reason I brought myself up instead of a reserve player was that they weren't going to have the legs after playing a game," he said.
"I was always going to wait until the last quarter to come on and hopefully get a few touches.
"For an old bloke it wasn't too bad."
In contrast to the 53-year-old was the Pies' young brigade, with Morris picking four juniors in the game.
Rourke Barker made his debut mid-year at 15 years old, while Jayden Page, 17, came into the side for the weekend's game.
"It's looking good for us moving forward and it's looking good for us next year being able to play some of our juniors in the past few weeks," Morris said.
For West, the match served merely as a hit out ahead of the club's preliminary final against North this weekend.
In proof that the Robins had one eye on the elimination game, coach Dale Tonkin was spotted at the Jubilee Oval watching North play South.
Morris addressed the West dressing room after the match and said the preliminary final result was up in the air.
"I told them 'you're one of the quicker sides in Broken Hill and you spread really well, and if you can do that next week against North you'll give them a real shake'."