In a thriller at Elliot Goodger Park, Willaston held on by two points against Barossa District with the game on the line to the final minute. Both Zach Hentschke and Michael Howson kicked important last quarter goals for the hosts.
While Barossa levelled the scores during the tense final stanza, and Jayden Goodfellow had a chance to steal it, Willaston were deserving victors.
The Donnybrooks got off to a strong start and were already 29 points up at quarter time and still had a 20-point break at half-time.
The game tightened up in the third quarter with the Bulldogs kicking five goals.
It became interesting and tense as the contest moved closer to the final siren.
The Donny’s held on for a great win, Willaston 11.11 (77) to Barossa 11.9 (75).
Malcolm Greenwood, the Willaston Donnybrooks coach, confirmed it was the best win in his tenure at the club.
“It gives the group some confidence and belief, beating a quality side like Barossa,” Greenwood said.
“It was a tight and scrappy last quarter and we got up.
“Holding on at the end and the final minute or so we pushed a few numbers behind the ball and held on for the victory.
“We had a number of contributors and the group work really well to the structures that we set up.
“It was a good all round team effort a lot of guys went one-on- one.
“Brandon Coombs went back and Stewie Ferenci was outstanding in ruck.
“We pushed Zach Hentschke forward and he kicked a couple of goals.
“Clint Voigt came back on after 12 stitches to his head and played with some real intensity and endeavour.”
Athletic ruckman Ferenci was the Donnybrooks best, followed by Irlam and Michael Clinch was outstanding in defence as was Brayden Coombs and Sam Walton.
Both Henschke and Howson picked up a pair of majors for the victors.
Michael Bratton in the middle, along with Alex Stone and Nathan Emes were the Bulldogs best.
Ben Cummings was strong at the contest all day while Jaden Goodfellow was the key target in attack with four goals.
Darren Shillabeer kicks three goals for Barossa, while Jack Maxwell chimed in with a pair.
Gawler Central v South Gawler
In the battle between the two Gawler species of cats, the South Lions were way too strong for a young Gawler Central Tigers combination.
The Lions handsomely outscored Central in three of the four quarters and would go on to win the game 19.16 (130) to Gawler Central 6.11 (47).
“If you told me before the start of the day we would win by 14 goals I would have taken that, but when you reflect on what other teams have beaten Central by, we needed to win by that much,” South Gawler bench coach Mark Brant said.
“Brayden Lehman was excellent down back; it is amazing what a little bit of confidence can do.
“Captain Chris James again gave us first used the ruck and Jackson Press was outstanding with 30 possessions and kicked 1.4.
“Matt Naumann and Ben Russell were productive around the ball and young Rhys Sutton gave us a good target and attack and kicking four goals.
“We started well, kicking seven goals to one the first term and against their lighter frame bodies and younger group, we finish the game strongly with another seven in the last.
“I was happy with three of our four quarters.
“There was a 10 to 12-minute period in the second quarter where intensity dropped away and they kicked a few goals.
“But besides that period, I was really happy with the transition from defence to attack and the work ethic of the group.”
Former Central District player Lehman was the Lions best followed by skipper Chris James and Press. In his first game up at A grade level this year Sutton kicked four goals, as did fellow forward Chad Connolly.
Another player high among the Lions best, Naumann kicked three majors while Daniel Golding also one plenty of the ball and kicked a couple of goals. Tall forward David Aldred finished with three goals as well.
Midfielder Brad Hunt was considered the Tigers best followed by Jamie Wegner and Ashley Johnson with young Lachlan Carter, Ryan Wenham and Casey Thomas all battled manfully.
Notably the Tigers were only six individual goal kickers for Gawler Central and Corey Solly who played at full-forwards and didn’t have much impact at all.
Kapunda v Tanunda
Having Josh Trembath kick seven goals and Matthew Westhoff producing a best on-ground performance, which also included four goals, Tanunda enjoyed a solid 37-point victory against Kapunda at Dutton Park, on Saturday.
The Magpies were 15 points up after a high-scoring first half and finished 16.10 (106) to 11.3 (69) winners over their hosts.
Tanunda assistant coach and former premiership player Jon Kieboom suggested that the game was a bit of a scrap and Tanunda edge to head in the second half.
“Matthew Westhoff was excellent playing one of his best games with us in a significant and different role, while down back both Luke Snowden and AJ Prior were strong,” Kieboom said.
“We started to get our structures are right.
“There is plenty of upside still as we have new coach and new team structures.
“We are only four games into a new brand of footy.
“We’ve learnt a lot from the Barossa game and we are happy to walk away from this one with a win as Kapunda were pretty competitive and it was a tough game of footy.”
Along with Westhoff, Prior and Snowden, Nathan Petersen-Grey was excellent around the ball and Bailey Smith, a teenager coming up for the game, was excellent.
Along with Trembath and Westhoff’s 11-goal haul between them, midfielder Riley McPharlane chimed in with two.
Kapunda’s best was defender Kallum Brown, while siblings Cameron and Bradley Matters had their moments.
On his wing Brodhi Carracher drove the ball forward consistently and Josh Slater was a strong contributor. Another that took the eye was Bradley Williams.
Adam Jolly kicked four goals for the Bombers while Mark Cussadia chimed in with two.
Angaston v Freeling
Freeling made it three wins in a row to defeating Angaston at Panther Park by eight goals.
Being more accurate in the opening term, they kicked two goals, six behinds in the second but still led by 20 points at the long interval.
This advantage increased to 28 points at three quarter time before charging home with four goals to one, the last quarter to win 13.13 (91) to 5.13 (43).
Scott Dutschke, the Freeling coach, explained both sides missed a lot of opportunities in front of goal.
“Our bad kicking it let them back into the game in the third quarter,” Dutschke said.
“We are starting to build a bit of momentum and I thought we did nullify them defensively.
“Our attack on the ball was getting better, but there is still plenty of improvement to come.
“Across half forward Ben Heinrich was the stand out.
“He kicked 6.5 and could have had 10 for the game.
“Josh Hand despite being tagged was outstanding all game and young half-back Dylan Whimpress gave of plenty of dash and run from defence.
“There more unheralded players that perform well included Jayden Ruediger and Jacob Wright defence while Adrian Wilson played across half back all day and chopped off many Angaston attacks.”
The younger of the Heinrich lads, Ben, kicked 6 in a best on ground display while former state junior Whimpress and hard-working Rover Hand had big games. Wilson continued his consistent start while Ruediger was again strong in defence.
Brady Scott chimed in with two goals for the Redlegs.
For Angaston, former South East lad and Sturt footballer James Courtney was their best, followed by midfielders Tylah Saunders and the rookie Dylan Tuckwell.
- Peter Argent