Goal blitz keeps Pies alive

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Denmark-Walpole’s Lee Gropp gets held up by Albany's Stewart Davies and Mitch Jackson.
Camera IconDenmark-Walpole’s Lee Gropp gets held up by Albany's Stewart Davies and Mitch Jackson. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Denmark-Walpole’s slim finals chances will go on the line this Saturday, as they kept their hopes of pinching fourth spot from Royals alive after overcoming a dogged Albany by 20 points at Centennial Stadium on Sunday.

It took a seven-goal burst in the decisive third quarter for the Magpies to avoid a potential season disaster, with the dominant term setting up the less-than-convincing win, 11.7 (73) to 7.11 (53).

For the second week in a row, the Sharks scared their more fancied opposition in the first half, this time leading by eight points at the major break. But they missed a trick to be further in front and capitalise on their dominance.

The Sharks booted 3.8 with the breeze, with the leg speed of the younger brigade of colts-aged players worrying the lacklustre Magpies.

Albany's Callum Redshaw looks for options.
Camera IconAlbany's Callum Redshaw looks for options. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

But the door was kept open with quick goals to Josh Sara, Ethan Burton and Sam Finigan as the Magpies began to control the clearances.

The Magpies straightened up after a wayward first term with the aid of a blustery wind to the city end of the ground, with the brilliance of key forward Shayne Zanetti ensuring the margin reached a match-winning one. Without leading goal kicker Tyler Stone, Zanetti bobbed up when required, booting two goals for the term, and finished with three for the match, while the influence of Finigan and key on-baller Jaden Guidi grew as the match wore on.

Neither side booted a major into the breeze in the second half, with the Magpies’ third quarter proving the difference as they took a 35-point lead at the final change, which proved insurmountable despite not scoring in the final term.

Young midfielders Bryce Blaszkow, Zainel Bin Busu and Callum Redshaw sparked the Sharks in the second term but the home side were left to rue their inability to hold the Magpies’ run of seven consecutive goals.

Denmark's Dylan Judd looks to get his handball out.
Camera IconDenmark's Dylan Judd looks to get his handball out. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The Magpies face the toughest run home of all finals aspirants, starting with the in-form North Albany at McLean Park this Saturday before clashes with Mt Barker, Railways and the Lions to potentially decide who plays finals.

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