12.05.2008 – Nick Bailey

Sydney University fell to their second consecutive loss on Sunday, handing the Peter Ramus Cup to the Western Suburbs Magpies following a 15.10-100 to 13.12-90 defeat in the Sydney Men’s Premier Division AFL fixture at Picken Oval.

The 2008 honeymoon is now officially over for the Students, who after winning their first four matches of the season have dropped to third on the ladder after the 10 point defeat to the Magpies.

In a tight encounter the Magpies led by varying margins at every change, and held off a late University fightback to claim their fourth win of season and join the Students on 16 competition points.

Neither side exploded out of the blocks in the first term, though it was Wests leading by four points at the change as inaccuracy prevented University from holding the quarter time lead.

The real damage was done for University in the second term, when the Magpies opened up a healthy 21-point halftime lead, kicking five goals to the Students’ three for the period.

Once again displaying the fighting spirit that has served them so well this year, Sydney University rallied in the third quarter to restrict Wests to a solitary behind, and kick three goals of their own to set up a thrilling finish as they trailed by only five points at the last change.

Wests looked to have done enough to claim victory in a high scoring final term, leading by almost five goals with only seven minutes remaining, but University stormed back into the match to take a two point lead and emerge as the likely victors very late in the contest.

Blue and gold hearts were broken, however, as a pair of late goals to the Magpies’ Lyn Roehig and Nathan Scarfo halted the University juggernaut and gave Wests a crucial win.

Matt Eurell kicked three goals for the black and whites, whilst Chris Noordhof, player-coach Medair Kassem and Bill Lafferty were their best on ground.

Sydney University welcomed back leading goalkicker Alex Lee, who landed three majors, while Mark Egan and Michael Healy were the other standouts for the Students.

University now have a huge task ahead of them as they take on the new competition leaders UNSW-Eastern Suburbs this Saturday at the Village Green. In what will surely be the match of the round, the centre bounce is at 2:15pm, with the Reserves match against Balmain starting 2pm at St Paul’s Oval.