Highly inaccurate early and only four points up at half-time, reigning premier Barossa District was actually 14 points in arrears at lemons, but a five-goal last quarter helped them snatch an unlikely victory against the eighth-placed Angaston Panthers.
The visitors to Williamstown Oval were the better side on the day, but a couple of late goals to Alan Obst and five goals (and two behinds) in the last quarter saw the Bulldogs collect their fourth win of the season.
The final score was Barossa District 9.12 (66) defeating Angaston 10.4 (64).
“We are now the hunted and Angaston were really good behind the ball,” Barossa playing coach Todd Miles said.
“In the first quarter we kicked seven points as well, which doesn't help.
“We’ll just take this win and move on.
“The group still has heaps to learn and it was a pretty poor first half by us and our delivery was disappointing.
We got up by couple goals up in the last quarter and they came back at us.
“Angaston played some good solid football in the day and were in retrospect they the better side across the day.
“Obsty’s (Alan Obst) two late goals were pretty important.”
Along with Bulldogs coach Todd Miles, who was outstanding, Ben Cummings and Jack Shurmans also had a telling influence on the game.
Across half-back Nathan Emes and Alex Stone were key components in the win, while Michael ‘Scrubber’ Taylor worked industriously at the coal face all day.
While both were kept quiet Darren Shillabeer and Allan Obst finished with two goals each, as did Matt Stelzer.
For Angaston, Tylah Saunders was the stand out in the middle in his penultimate game with the Panthers.
Tom Ryan and young three-goal forward Ross Kuhn was excellent as well.
Defender Lachlan Duell, Jayden Antonie and James Paprotny also had their moments.
Long-time defender Joel Wilson kicked three goals while Daniel Rathjen finished with a pair.
Tanunda v Willaston
Billed as the top of the table blockbuster the game between the Willaston side ,that had beaten Barossa District the previous week, and the ladder leading Tanunda Magpies, who had only previous lost to the Bulldogs, this contest turned into an absolute fizzer after quarter time.
The Magpies was the better side in the opening term, then kicked five unanswered goals in the second to be 45 points up at half time.
This increased with a further 13 Magpies goals in the second half, while the list-less Donnybrooks could only manage two.
The final score was Tanunda 22.8 (140) defeating Willaston 4.8 (32) with the Magpies collecting a massive 108-point triumph.
“It was four quarters of consistent football and the first time we play played a full game of football this year,” Tanunda coach Dean Terlich said.
“I reckon we played three quarters against Freeling and two and a half quarters against Kapunda, but we kept the foot down for the entire day which is a real positive for us.
“Williston stuck with his for the first quarter but after that I've felt we had control.
“With Ben Britain on the sidelines Matt Prior did well on a small Tanunda Oval as a lead up at forward; and gave us a target.
“We've been breaking down across this line previously.”
Terlich, with 36 possessions and five goals, was best on ground, followed by ruckman Angus Kurtze who had a good battle with his Williston counterpart Stewart Ferenci and then played like a fifth on-baller in general play.
Prior kicked four goals from centre half forward and stationed in the goal square Josh Trembath helped himself to a quartet as well.
Leigh Westhoff, with his penetrating left foot, captain Ben Schiller and Darcy Hamon across half back were also constructive.
Young Patrick Mudge, who came into the side this week, exerted plenty of defensive pressure and was an impressive small forward.
Better players for the well beaten Willaston side were Michael Clinch across half back, veteran Shaun Baker and the previously mentioned, Ferenci.
The Donnybrooks trio of Sean Childs, Sam Walton and Matt Brooks all battled manfully against the odds in defence.
South Gawler v Nuriootpa
The contest at Eldred Riggs Reserve had a multitude of twists and turns and finished in plenty of controversy.
Nuriootpa were highly inaccurate in the first quarter, kicking three goals, eight behinds and 13 points behind at half-time.
They came from behind at three quarter time to defeat the host South Gawler by five points.
The Tigers went on to beat the more accurate Lions side, 14.15 (99) to 15.4 (94).
“While we were behind at half time we should have already put more scoreboard pressure on them by this point,” Nuriootpa coach Henry Slattery said.
“We didn't help ourselves one little bit missing number of easy set shots for goal.
“South kicked the couple of late goals to get back in the contest and could have snatched the game in the end
“We'll take the win.
“There were a number of strong contributors including the Raikiwasa brothers, ‘Bobby’ (Aseri) who was thrown into ruck and played through the midfield and Magic (Asera) across half back.”
“The Bentley boys, James and Scott, also are starting to fit into our structures while Jack Scholz is good in the midfield.”
Playing for a half ,Henry Slattery kicked three pivotal goals while Tim Dimasi also finished with the trio of majors and Sam Gordon collected two, although beaten on the day.
Other solid performers for Nuriootpa included Aaron Laverty and Jackson Baldwin.
For the Lions, former Woodville West Torrens footballer Jackson Press was their best, and had tabs on ‘best on ground’ honours, while state amateur league ruckman Brodie Hudson and Jacob Ahern both stood out.
Down back Nick White and the consistent Brayden Lehman, along Bailey Zobel were also conspicuous for the vanquished.
Press and Cameron Clayton kick three goals each, while Chad Connolly finished with a couple as well. There was late controversy when a Tigers player was “red carded” and replaced the rules suggest that this person shouldn’t have been replaced.
Freeling v Gawler Central
As expected Freeling won its home game at Cherry Road with a nine goal win, although the contest never reached great heights as a spectacle.
Freeling was already 25 points up at the long interval and this edged out to 45 points at three quarter time.
At the final siren the scoreboard read Freeling 15.15 (105) to Gawler Central 7.9 (51).
Freeling playing coach Scott Dutschke called the game scrappy but knew they needed to get the job done.
“On reflection our work rate wasn't high enough - we need to improve our goal kicking, skill efficiency and accountability,” he said.
“There are still a lot of boxes we still need to be ticked.
“From our perspective we also need to work a lot more on our ball movement.
“Best on ground for us was Ben Heinrich who played as a lead up forward and gave us a good target all day.”
Like his father Wilbur did a generation ago, Adrian Wilson is playing the quarterback role to perfection for the Redlegs.
Adam Cockshell was the dominant big man on the ground and also pushed forward to kick four goals, while Brady Scott was an effective medium forward playing deep, also kicking four goals.
In his final game of football, Scott Williams kicked two first half goals, as did tenacious fire-headed rover Josh Hand.
Other strong performances for the Redlegs included Jayden Ruediger in defence and Todd Williams in ruck.
For the Tigers, Alex Robertson was awarded their best, followed by Dylan Pilkington and skipper Corey Solly Jonathan Schulz, hard-working small man Kyle Wurst and young Adam Byster (two goals) were solid as well.
Developing 16-year-old Tigers talent Jacob Marsden kicked two goals in this contest as well, on debut.