The 2017 Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association season is looming to be one of the closest in recent memory after round four’s results.
Angaston v Barossa District
Barossa District’s perfect start to its title defence has continued after it defeated bottom side Angaston by 35 points.
The well-drilled Bulldogs put on a strong performance in the opening quarter, kicking 3.6 to just three behinds, but both teams wasted opportunities in front of goal.
The Panthers hit back in the second term, levelling scores before Barossa kicked away to a 19-point half time lead.
A six goal to three third quarter set the scene for the Bulldogs to bury the game, with Jaydn Goodfellow returning to form, as well as a masterclass from milestone man Adam Spencer.
The Bulldog jet kicked 4.4 in his 150th game, producing a fine performance.
For the vanquished, Alex Brackstone nailed three to take his tally to eight in two games.
Despite the goalless opening term, Panthers’ coach Paul Sherwood said the opening term was ‘good’.
"The opening quarter was good, our pressure was good, we should've got a couple but missed them," he said.
"We just didn't use the footy as well as we needed going forward.”
Barossa coach Todd Miles said the win was down to pressure and its structures.
"I think our pressure was pretty good, our structures we put in place held up well," he said.
"It was pretty good, started off really well, just our goal kicking did let us down.”
Miles credited Spencer’s game as ‘dominant’.
"He dominated to be honest, first half he probably had four shots on goal, and ended up kicking 4.4, he played a great game," he said.
"He set himself for a big game in his 150th.”
The Panthers had a few injury concerns with Tom Adler and Alex Reincke coming off, with Adler set to miss the next six weeks.
South Gawler v Gawler Central
Gawler Central will be licking its wounds wondering how it lost to South Gawler, after it went down by 16 points.
The Tigers looked good for their money at half time, up by 13 points, but horrendous goal kicking let them down.
Chad Connolly was in stellar goal kicking form for the victors, booting five, while Sean Brading nailed three for the Tigers.
Central finished with 10.21 to South’s 14.13, displaying how the game was won.
Despite being on the losing end, Central coach Matt Whelan said the game was a ‘great spectacle’.
"It was a great spectacle, both teams came in putting a lot of pressure on each other," he said.
However, he concedes missed opportunities in the second term kept South in touch.
"We weren't able to capitalise on some shots on goal in the second term and kept them in the game,” he said.
"Some of their experienced players managed to have a bit more finesse in front of goal.”
Whelan said his young brigade probably put more pressure on themselves in front of goal.
"We had nine guys that are 19 years old or younger play, they probably thought there was more pressure on them than there was," he said.
Tanunda v Freeling
In a game that displayed the true hard-fought nature of country football, Tanunda earned a priceless victory, defeating Freeling by 11 points.
It looked as if it could be a shootout again for the Redlegs, with nine goals shared.
However, the pace of the game slowed down, turning into hard, aggressive footy.
The Redlegs looked the better side in the first half, taking a nine-point lead into half time.
Matt Underwood has been in solid form in Josh Trembath’s absence, and booted four on Saturday.
For the Redlegs, Scott Dutschke and John Boxer booted three each.
Tanunda coach Craig Griffiths said the game was just a good slog.
"It was good country footy," he said.
"I thought our attack on the ball and our contested ball was much improved from the previous week.
"They're (Freeling) a quality side, we obviously had to get on top of our opponents, it was a battle all day.
"We stuck to those structures we were doing well, we basically wanted to make sure our forward line was nice and open.”
Freeling coach Scott Dutschke said his men struggled to deal with Tanunda’s talls.
"There was a few things, they had a good side of talls up forward that we couldn't match up on," he said.
"(Angus) Kurtze did a good job of running around the place all day, they managed to set up a bit better, and get the goals at the end of the game.
"We were a few players down late in the game, we just didn't have the run in the legs to follow the game through and that's what let us down.”
Willaston v Kapunda
Kapunda produced one of the best quarters of the season to earn a stunning 66-point away win over Willaston.
The Bombers led by seven points at quarter time before it booted 11.2 to two goals in the second term to blow the game away.
Adam Jolly booted four for the Bombers, while Brad Taylor, Dom Costanzo and Mark Cussadia all supported with three each.
Willaston coach Mal Greenwood was frustrated with the second term.
"To give away an 11-goal term, with the game was over at half time is not good enough," he said.
"Accountability was poor again, they were willing to work harder, they were quicker and used the footy better.”
Greenwood was also impressed with Lachlan McCluskey.
"He's good, he played in the 17’s and kicked five there, and came up and kicked two with us, he's an exciting prospect," he said.
The Donnybrooks should see Sam Walton back after the bye, but a favourite son looks set to return after requesting a clearance.
"It’ll be nice for us with that bit of experience around, and Shaun (Baker)'s one of the favourite sons of the club," Greenwood said.