Shannon Hurn in flying form
Led by Angaston export Shannon Hurn, the West Coast Eagles again secured an outstanding and what may prove critical victory over Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval last Saturday evening.
Behind for the entire length of the contest and as much as 28 points down during the third term, somehow against the odds the Eagles defeated the Power with a goal to Jeremy McGovan after the siren.
Hurn, who is in ‘All Australian form’, was again stoic in defence and amazingly enjoyed his fifth consecutive win against Port Adelaide on this state’s most famous sporting ground.
During a post-match interview, Hurn confirmed that it was important that his side just hung in the contest, as they knew that Port were down on their rotations.
“We just had to work on winning contested ball and kicking those couple of goals late helped to sneak home and take an important win,” he said.
West Coast are primed for a prized top two finish on the AFL ladder at the completion of the minor round, giving them the exciting prospect of two home finals.
They just need to win one of their final two games in the minor round, against Melbourne at home this Sunday or Brisbane in round 23 to consolidate their position.
Hurn led the Eagles to the 2015 AFL season decider at the MCG, when West Coast went down to the Hawthorn.
He is keen to go one better and get his hands on a premiership cup.
Jarrod Schiller became 150 SANFL league game player in the Bulldogs round 17 television game against Norwood at the Ponderosa last Saturday.
The former Nuriootpa junior has representative his state at both underage and SANFL level.
Schiller played in the 2011 Grand Final loss to the Eagles was a SANFL Rookie of of the Year and has also won a Norm Russell Medal as Central District’s Best and Fairest at the club in 2014.
Schiller is among no less than four Nuriootpa football exports have won SANFL best and fairest honours.
Perhaps the club’s greatest footballing export is Ray Linke who played 159 games with South Adelaide between 1947 and 1956.
He was selected in the Panthers greatest ever team.
He won the Knuckey Cup, the Panthers top individual on three occasions in 1950, 1952 and 1954, and was runner up to Len Fitzgerald in the 1954 Magarey count.
Central District, Hawthorn and North Melbourne ruckman Terry ‘Buck’ Moore collected his initial Bulldogs best and fairest in 1974, before going to the VFL and again in 1981, after 61 games with the Hawks and the Roos.
Schiller’s younger brother Travis, who would be favourite to win the Norm Russell medal again this year, first won this honour in 2015.
BULLDOGS RESERVES IN THE MIX
After holding on for a thrilling five-point win over Norwood in round 17, Darren Reeves and the Central District reserves are in the top five and only need to defeat the bottom placed and winless Port Adelaide side to confirm major round participation.
“We are capable of giving this a good shake,” Reeves told the Barossa Herald.
“A couple of the lads need to play games at this level to qualify, but if we can get somewhere near our best group on the park, anything is possible.”
Angaston big man Jack Hannath was outstanding with 26 disposals in general play to go with 33 hit outs in ruck, along with seven marks and three tackles in the win over the ‘Legs.
Ethan East from Willaston, who is still eligible for Under 18s, kicked a goal, while another exciting local talent Rhett Montgomerie returned from injury after a long period on the sidelines.
In a big year on a personal level, Eudunda Robetstown lad, 18-year-old Aaron Nietschke made his SANFL league debut on Saturday, producing an outstanding first up effort.
League coach Roy Laird suggested he beat his experienced Norwood opponent and played with plenty of composure.
Peter Argent is Barossa Herald’s sports writer who helps keep the community informed with sporting news relevant to the region.