DENMARK Walpole Magpies have leapt up the Great Southern Football League ladder following a nail-biting five-point win away from home against reigning premiers North Albany on Sunday.
Languishing at the bottom of the ladder two rounds ago, the Magpies have strung consecutive wins together to jump into fourth spot and have shrugged off easybeat status.
By half time, the Magpies had earned every bit of their 15-point lead and took immediate advantage of the breeze at the start of the third quarter with an early goal.
A quick response from the left boot of Kangas midfielder Matt Orzel from a tricky angle was the only breakthrough North Albany could manage for the quarter as the Magpies’ defence provided all the answers.
Their quick, clean transition from defence into attack resulted in five majors for the quarter, blowing the lead out to 38 points at the last change.
But it was no easy walk home for the visitors as North Albany flexed its muscle around the contest and sent the ball long at every opportunity to capitalise on the blustery wind and counteract the effects of increasing drizzle.
Increased pressure, the experience of a boot-load of consecutive premierships and some handy inclusions in their team put Kangas within a sniff of at least drawing the match, as they banged on five unanswered goals in the final term.
But the Magpies defence hung on by its fingertips while under siege in the GSFL’s last match of the Talk to a Mate round.
With the margin down to six points, a shot at goal on the siren that slid left instead of right from North Albany’s Nic Barrow handed the Magpies a just result – a 10.16 (76) to 12.9 (81) victory.
While contributions were even across the field, Jared Lane, Kalin Lane, Harrison Lill and Tyler Stone were among the Magpies’ best.
Todd Knuiman and Nathan Crudeli stood out for North Albany.
The Magpies have the opportunity to cement themselves in fourth place on the ladder when they take on Mount Barker at Sounness Park on Saturday.
However, the Bulls will be keen to make amends for a tough day at the office last Saturday when they were thumped by 65 points by Railways.
The result of that match was sorted by quarter time when the Tigers stunned the Bulls with a 10-goal stanza.
Things did improve for the Bulls, as they held Railways to just seven more goals for the rest of the game.
Darcy Wallinger and Brent Parsons were instrumental in stemming the tide for the Bulls, while Harrison Hordacre and Liam Park led the charge for the Tigers in their 5.12 (42) to 17.5 (107) win.