GAWLER CENTRAL VS BAROSSA DISTRICT
Seen as the greatest upset so far this year, after being goal-less in the first half, Gawler Central turned the game around against the reigning premier Barossa District, defeating them by 18 points at Williamstown Oval last Saturday.
The Bulldogs were 19 points up at half-time after kicking the only three goals in the first half but conceded eight goals to one after the main break. This gave the Tigers a second win for the year and elevated them from the bottom of the premiership ladder.
The final score in this contest was Gawler Central 8.4 (52) to Barossa District 4.10 (34).
“I felt we’ve been building some confidence over the last five to six weeks,” Gawler Central coach Matt Whelan said.
“Knowing the conditions for the game, I knew we can compete and while we hadn’t kicked a goal at that point, I knew at half time we were still in the game.
“This group had the courage to take their opportunities and from my perspective it was our best win in the last couple of years.
“After half-time we played with a pretty small forward line and Anthony Morgante got his hands on the football through the middle of the ground, which was important.”
Along with the recruit from Salisbury North, Morgante seasoned midfielder Andrew Wright was very important, as was Corey Solly in a key post.
Tigers’ big man Tyson Duffield competed well in ruck.
Both Luke Edwards and Casey Thomas also played key roles as well
Wright added to his day’s work, kicking three goals as did crafty left-footed forward, Adam Byster who played a big role as well.
For the Bulldogs, Ben Cummings was there best yet again, followed by veteran Matt Stelxer, Shaun Hunt and returning Michael Taylor. Sadly, Taylor got injured in the third term.
Hayden Traynor was also serviceable on his wing and Darren Shillabeer up forward, although beaten, kicked two of Barossa’s four goals.
FREELING VS NURIOOTPA
The other shock result of the round was Freeling’s unlikely, but comfortable six goal triumph over Nuriootpa.
After an uncompromising first quarter, Freeling kicked five goals to two in the second term and were 25 points up at the main break.
Increasingly, this lead in each of the final terms the Redlegs at home went on to win 10.11 (71) to Nuriootpa’s 5.5 (35).
Freeling coach Scott Dutschke, who was best on ground in the win, explained that his side had a good start and the weather certainly helped Freeling’s style of game.
“The oval was muddy and playing the under 15s, Under 17s and B grade games beforehand certainly chopped up the ground a bit,” Dutschke explained.
“Being five goals up at half-time, it then rained at the start of the third quarter which helped our cause.”
“As we now have one game and a bye in the last round, so really all we can do is win this week.
“Our boys play to the conditions against Nuri and it suited the style of football we like to play.
Along with Dutschke strong personal performance, Travis Muster and big man Adam Cockshell were outstanding.
Brady Scott proved to be a handy option up forward again, while Josh Hand and Luke Williams also had their moments.
Scott was again productive in front of goals finished with three majors, as did team mate Ben Geytenbeek.
On baller Bradley Hoepner and Scott Bentley were the Tigers best, followed by Aseri ‘Bobby’ Raikiwasa and key forward Sam Gordon who kicked four of his teams five goals.
Both Jackson Baldwin and Aaron Laverty were hard working and productive for the Tigers despite the loss.
TANUNDA VS ANGASTON
As expected the Tanunda Magpies prove way too good for Angaston on home soil in this crow town clash.
After both teams kicked just one goal in the first quarter an inaccurate Magpies side were just 17 points up despite having much of the play the second term.
They charged away with a victory kicking six unanswered goals in the third or premiership quarter.
To that point the Magpies were nine goals up and they would go on to win the game 13.11 (89) to Angaston 3.4 (22) by 67 points.
“It was a wet deck and it had been chopped up a fair bit,” Tanunda coach Dean Terlich confirmed.
“The rain came for about 15 minutes in the third quarter, but that was all it was; bloody cold though.
“Angaston made it a congested game early and both teams really had a crack in that first quarter.
“We got our heads over the ball and started will win control of it at the stoppages.
“This wore Angaston down and we got the result required. Josh Trembath was impressive up forward, taking his chances and kicked six straight goals.
“Luke Snowden playing in a role at centre half forward was impressive, while Leigh Westhoff showed all his class in the conditions on his wing.”
Along with the previous mentioned three players – Trembath, Snowden and Westhoff - Dean Terlich also had a big game while young Ben Biagi produced his best performance at A grade level for the Magpies.
Nathan Petersen-Grey in his return game was also a strong contributor.
Both Brett Dowse and Luke Snowden kicked two goals each for Tanunda as well while Isaac Feltus in his first A grade game also got his name on to the goal kicking list.
Best for Angaston was skipper Jack Miles, followed by Jayden Antoni and the ever reliable and consistent Lachlan Duell.
Returning from Central Districts Ryder Eberhard delivered a strong performance, as did strongly built man Matthew Blenkiron and Jordan Falkenberg also took the eye.
WILLASTON VS KAPUNDA
Pending the outcome of their appeal and despite outside dramas, Willaston are now on top of the BLG premiership ladder after defeating Kapunda at Dutton Park in round 16.
This game was a close contest until half-time but the Donnybrooks five unanswered goals in the third quarter changed the course of the game and they would run out comfortable victors by 35 points.
After just three points separated the combatants at the long interval, the final score was the Donnybrooks 10 .12 (72) defeading Kapunda 5.7 (35)
“It took us a while, an entire half to be exact to adapt to the conditions and play wet weather football,” Shaun Baker, who now has two wins from his first two games as senior coach of Willaston, said.
“When we started to do this we kicked five goals in the third quarter and that sealed the game.”
“Kapunda Oval was pretty water logged and chopped up.
“It was the worst I’ve seen it in my time in the competition.
“They are on the front foot early in the game. It rained in five minute patches across the contest.
“You needed to play traditional wet weather football to win these type of games.
“Both Harry Elbrow and Josh Waldhuter show excellent skills in the wet conditions and Sam Walton’s second half performance was excellent.
“Kapunda actually beat us earlier in the year so this was an important grab one to get back.
“For us now it’s about pushing on and keeping winning and not worrying about outside influences.”
Along with Ebrow, Waldhuter and Walton, Alex Barclay in defence, Brandon Rendell and Jackson Phillips each had strong games.
The quartet of Elbrow, smooth moving left footed talent Lachlan Downing, Scott White and Waldhuter kicked two goals each for Willaston. Bradley Williams was again Kapunda best, having an outstanding season.
Nose to the grindstone, on-baller Tom Willoughby, ruckman Aaron Whistler, captain Adam Jolly, young defender Kallum Brown and Jay Meaney were all so strong contributors despite Bombers loss.
Brad Prior kicked two of Kapunda’s five goals.