Freeling hold on in a thriller against Willaston

Mark Cussadia gets away from his opponent.
Mark Cussadia gets away from his opponent.

Despite being kept goal-less in the final term, Freeling held on to defeat Willaston by four points in what was classed as the upset of the round.

Kapunda's Adam Turrell.

Kapunda's Adam Turrell.

The final score was Freeling 12.16 (88), Willaston 12.12 (84).

Bulldog Matthew Stezler.

Bulldog Matthew Stezler.

The contest was tight in the first half with Willaston actually having more scoring shots and being two points in front at the long interval, while the Redlegs took charge and kicked six goals to three in the third quarter.

Scott Dutschke, the Freeling coach confirmed that both sides had their chances to collect the two premiership points.

Hayden Traynor.

Hayden Traynor.

 “Especially in the last quarter they had their opportunities and so did we,” Dutschke said.

 “In the end we should have had sealed the game earlier but let them in by missing shots at goal.

“From a performance perspective it wasn't our best effort but in the end you take the points and move on.”

Former Essendon listed, Central District footballer Adrian Wilson along with Josh Hand and Ben Geytenbeek were good for the Redlegs.

Cameron Thompson, along with the defenders Jayden Ruedigerand and the ‘hard as nails” Travis Muster also had an impact in the game.

Along with Geytenbeek’s four goals, Ben Heinrich and Brody Scott kicked two each.

For the Donnybrooks defended Michael Clinch was outstanding while club veteran Shawn Baker was up and about all day.

Josh Waldhuter, Stewart Ferenci and in his first game back Ashley Fry all have their moments.

Alex Barclay continues his solid first month of the season.

Quicksilver forward Michael Howson kicked four goals while Zach Hentschke finished with a pair from his wing.

South Gawler v Angaston

The battle of the blue and whites was a significantly one-sided affair at Eldred Riggs Reserve.

South Gawler slammed on seven first quarter goals and would go on to collect victory by a large 77-point margin securing an initial victory for the 2018 campaign.

Well coached and with strong options through the midfield and in attack, South won the game 20.9 (129) to 7.10 (52).

South Gawler assistant coach Mark Brant gave an old-fashioned pre-match address before the game, which saw South kick 7.1 to 1.2 the first quarter as the Lions were out of the box early.

“We stripped it back to the bare bones; giving players simple tasks like beating your man and playing a role for the team,” Brant said.

“We had Ben Washington match up on Tylah Saunders and Brayden Lehman had a role on Andrew Pech.

“We also had someone run with Tom Ryan out of defence as well.

“We were first to the footy, more direct and played with more intent on Saturday and we received a great captain’s game by Chris James, both in ruck and taking a number of contested marks around the ground.

“Jackson Press with his four goals was influential.

“I was really happy with three and a half quarters of our performance.

“We started the second term slowly. “The lads took some risks and took the game on.”

Versatile talent Ben Washington was the Lions best followed by Jackson Press and Brayden Lehman who also had a significant role.

Skipper Chris James was dominant in ruck, recruit Ben Russell and Chad Connolly who kicked five goals, were both pivotal.

 Matthew Neumann, Nathan Bartsch and Daniel Golding also chimed with two goals as well, being amongst 10 different goal kickers for the winners.

Angaston’s best was veteran Craig Harvey, followed by key defender Lachie Duell and Tommy Ryan in defence.  

Alex Brackstone, in his return game at A grade leve,l and Callum Lowke were serviceable as well.

 Despite being beaten on the day Andrew Pech still kicked three goals.

Nuriootpa Rover v Gawler Central

In the battle of the two species of tiger, the Nuriootpa Rovers had a commanding 109-point win over expected wooden spooners Gawler Central.

Buy three quarter time the host were over 11 goals ahead having had 23 scoring shots to five and the final scoreboard read Nuriootpa 20.15 (135) to Central 4.2 (26).

Nuriootpa coach Henry Slattery called the win over Gawler Central, a full-team effort.

“We focused on our ball movement and skill execution and we got better the longer the game went on,” Slattery said.

“We started to play good football in the second half and our backline once again stood up all day.  

“We're getting better and better week on week and you can see improvements.

“Guys like ‘Magic’ Raikiwasa, Craig Gogoll, until he was injured and Brad Hoepner was good down back while Shawn Gibson playing as a small defender was best on ground.”

Former Mintaro-Manoora premiership-winning coach, Gibson played with the maturity, while midfielder Jackson Baldwin and the returning Bradley Hoepner were both noteworthy. 

Another local talent Aaron Laverty had plenty of the ball while recruit Scott Bentley played his best game in Tigers colours.

Rookie Nicholas Lang was excellent and also kick four goals as did Tim Dimasi, while big key target Sam Gordon kicked three.

Beau Shinnick and Aaron Laverty finished with two goals each for Nuri’s cause as well. 

Gawler Central’s best player was first gamer, Rhys Markin, displaying plenty of poise and composure in his first A grade hit out.

Seasoned A grade footballer Ryan Wenham, defender Kasey Thomas, Kyle Wurst - on the ball - and Nicholas Hooker were all serviceable, against the odds.

Barossa District v Kapunda

In the first rematch between the 2017 grand final opponents, Barossa District cruised to a 77-point win over Kapunda at home on Williamstown Oval.

Already eight goals up at half-time the Doggies won 23.11 (149) to 11.6 (72). 

Barossa District playing coach Todd Miles said his midfield and defence linked well.

“We had plenty of targets in attack with ‘Alby’ (Alan Obst) ‘Schilly’ (Darren Shillabeer) and Jayden (Goodfellow),” he said.

“It was pleasing as we received a four quarter effort from the entire group and we had 22 contributors.

“It was good to have a number of options in attack.

“Giles O'Driscoll was best on ground at centre half forward while Nathan Casboult continues his great season in defence and another returning player this year; Nathan Emes has been excellent as well.

“Both Michael ‘Scrubber’ Taylor and Matt Stelzer were very productive around the ball.

The Doggies were blessed with contributors from all over the ground.

O'Driscoll was dominant both in the air and on the ground as a key forward while Casboult proved to be an outstanding talent across half back with his intercept marking and rebound.

Alan Obst showed his talent on the field while four-time Bulldogs premiership player Stelzer was impressive through the midfield, along with 2017 SAAFL A1 Team of the Year selection Michael Taylor.

Among the 12 Bulldogs players on the goal kicking list Obst and Shillabeer finished with four each while Stelzer and O'Driscoll both kicked three. Taylor collected two majors.

For the Bombers, Brodhi Carracher and Mark “Postie” Cussadia were their best.

Cameron Matters and his brother Bradley were solid and Brad Prior tried hard all day. 

Unfashionable Wes Farley again kicked a team-high four goals for the Bombers, with Brad Prior finishing with three and Adam Jolly kicking two.

               By Peter Argent