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Magpies overcome Robins in tight finish

Monday, 27th April, 2015

West young gun Josh Cieslik hammers down and breaks away from a pack as West fights to hold their lead. West young gun Josh Cieslik hammers down and breaks away from a pack as West fights to hold their lead.

By CED

After a tough opening to the 2015 season Central have recorded their first win with a stirring 6 point victory over West.

The Magpies who were hammered by North and South in the opening 2 rounds got their year back on track in a tough rugged affair at Jubilee Oval.

The unlikely hero for Central was key forward Pat Nash.

The big man was stretchered off in the 3rd quarter with what seemed like a serious knee injury but he returned in the final term to boot a late goal to hand his side victory.

The effort of Nash impressing injured team mate Justin Heath;

“It looked pretty serious when he came off but to our luck it was only a jar so he got back out there so it was good.”

Unable to play Heath was part of the Central Coaching staff, he said the win was an important boost for his Club;

“We have now got a win under our belt and this just gives us a bit more confidence.”

The game was predominately played at the Essential Water end of the ground as a howling breeze gusting up to 55 km’s per hour was blowing towards the scoreboard.

The conditions leant themselves to a physical contest and this was best illustrated in the opening minutes when Keta Balchin delivered a perfect hip and shoulder on West youngster Josh Cieslik, the rookie was forced from the field but to his credit returned in the second quarter.

The Robins had first use of the gale and managed to kick 2 opening quarter goals, one to Perkins who lined up at full forward the other the result of an amazing set shot from deep in the pocket from Brett Martin, the Magpies registered a sole major through the ageless Zanette. 

In the second term Central hit back to hold a narrow 2 point lead at the long break and the crowd sensed that for the first time this year we were in for a close game.

The third quarter was a beauty as West through the agency of Perkins kicked 2 goals, one of which was as the result of some brilliant lead up work from Daniel Milne who marked strongly and shot a lace out pass to the big forward.

The Magpies not to be outdone kept in touch thanks to Balchin who kicked truly after a wonderful individual effort from Cohen Turner who centred the sherrin to his team mate.

At the last change it was West by 9 points and the equation was simple could West hang or could Central snatch a win.

An important move by the Central bench was to send Jason Masclet to Rylie McInnes, the Robin livewire was looking dangerous and you sensed the Central brains trust knew he was the one who could cause them some grief.

The mood amongst the Black and White faithful lifted when Balchin goaled to reduce the margin and when Nash performed his Lazarus-like deed to put Central in front the joint was jumping.

Still with less than a minute to go and the Magpies up by 6 points West looked like they could force a draw.

A brilliant solo effort by Thomas Kickett saw him weave through the middle of the ground beating several opponents to fire out a pass to a team mate but with the game on the line Masclet took a super mark to halt the charge and hand his Club a much needed win.

It was a great game of football illustrated best by the scoreboard but in terms of pressure and endeavour it was a first class contest.

The victors were well led by wingman James McClure who won the Richard Sandow Medal.

The award named after 20 year old Richard who was killed fighting in Vietnam on the 21st February 1967.

It is presented to the player who is adjudged to have best illustrated the Anzac Spirit.

There was little doubt McClure was a deserved winner as he constantly sent his side into attack, the medal winner keen though to downplay his own performance;

“Just happy to have a win and get that monkey off our backs we knew West would come out and give it everything but really just happy get that win.”

Others who contributed to the Central cause included veteran Jay Carapellotti, Keta Balchin, Pat Nash, Jason Masclet and in the second half with the game on the line Cox stood up.

For the vanquished their better players were in the backlines, Clint Pearce, Greg Conway and Ricky Howell were all solid, ruckman Matt Nelson never gave up, Jordan Tonkin had a good second half, Ben Perkins was a real target while Milne and Kickett flashed into the game at various stages.

While Central will be celebrating their win the sobering image of meeting South at   Alma Oval on Saturday will be enough to keep their feet on the ground.

For West they need to re-group and prepare to play North this week, not an easy assignment but you sense the Robins are not far off opening their account.

Final Scores:  Central 5-7 ( 37 ) defeated West 4-7 ( 31 ) 

BEST PLAYERS

CENTRAL - James McClure, Jay Carapellotti, Lindon Cox, Pat Nash, Keta Balchin, Jason Masclet.

WEST - Clint Pearce, Greg Conway, Ricky Howell, Matt Nelson, Ben Perkins, Jordan Tonkin.

GOALKICKERS

CENTRAL - Keta Balchin 2, Darren Zanette 1, Liam King 1, Pat Nash 1.

WEST - Ben Perkins 3, Brett Martin 1. 

Reserve Grade:  Central 7-9 ( 51 ) defeated West 7-3 ( 45 )

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