A Grade – Nuriootpa v Tanunda
Nuriootpa has progressed to the 2018 Barossa and Light and Gawler Football Association A grade Grand Final after a tough and uncompromising victory over Tanunda.
For the second time in three weeks and in consecutive games the Rovers defeated their cross town rivals, and this was a third win by Nuri over Tanunda this season.
After a Trent Goers goal, which many believe was after the three quarter time siren; Tanunda had reduced the Tigers margin to just seven points at the three quarter time break.
Across the first half, Nuriootpa the better of the contest and were cleaner at the stoppages, leading by 23 points at the long interval.
They would kick the only two goals of the last quarter to win the game by 17 points and advanced directly to the season decider.
The final score was Nuriootpa Rovers 9.6 (60) defeated Tanunda 6.7 (43); during a game that was played in blustery conditions with the wind blowing towards the racecourse pocket generally, but was swirling.
“In what a game of attrition, I felt we broke even at the contest and our back six was very good yet again,” Henry Slattery Tigers coach told Barossa Herald.
“Luke Jaunay was outstanding at full back and the rest of the defensive unit with sound all day.
“At the stoppages I felt we broke even.
“Generally as a rule, Tanunda usually have dominance in this area.
“We endured a couple of injuries.
In his first year back from a knee reconstruction, Shane Dearlove sadly injured his hamstring last Saturday and Jason Rodda also did a medial ligament in his knee.
Jackson Baldwin was physically ill following the game and needed to go to be checked out by the doctor after a sling tackle.
“It was a tough physical game which was pretty uncompromising,” Slattery said.
“I felt the group stood up when it counted and especially a number of our younger guys delivered under the pressure of finals football.”
In a game that only had 15 goals, Sam Gordon was a goliath up forward for the Tigers, kicking five of his team’s nine goals.
Strong in defence offensively and defensively was Luke Jaunay, who restricted the competition’s leading goal kicker for the past two years in a row Josh Trembath by just two goals, and Aisea “Magic” Raikiwasa.
Young talent from Bordertown Beau Shinnick was cool and composed despite his tender years, while Jacko Baldwin threw himself in recklessly after the ball all game.
Tim Dimasi was another strong performer, while veteran Shaun Gibson down back was cool and composed all game.
For the Magpies midfielder Riley McFarlane was the best, followed by Trent Goers off a half-back flank, Darcy Harman as a key defender and fellow defender Andrew ‘AJ’ Prior who played with a real physicality.
Nathan Petersen-Gray was a good link up option and Sam Brooks always gives 100 per cent.
Tanunda ruckman Angus Kurtze kicked two goals as well.
The Magpies now need to butter up and take on Williston in this Saturday preliminary final at Angaston Oval and will be looking for strong leadership from their 2018 Schluter Medalist Dean Terlich.
Reserves – Nuriootpa v Angaston
Using the ball more constructively and having better ball movement and skill set out across the game, the Nuri Tigers defeated last year’s Premiers Angaston by a comfortable 38 points in their reserves second semi-final at Eldred Ridge Reserve last Saturday.
Early veteran Nat Salter proved to be a thorn in the Angaston defence, kicking three goals.
This well-oiled Tigers outfit was already 17 points up at half-time and increase this to 31 points at lemons.
The Rovers would run out comfortable victors 9.6 (60) to Angaston 3.4 (22).
Young Tiger ruckman Bart Ryan was a key figure in Saturday’s victory as were Jackson Jaensch and Chris Hoffman in an all-round team effort.
Bill Byrum kicked a couple of goals while Rhyley Haynes and the distinctive footballer Jack Weedon also were Influential.
Brayden Dalby was comfortably the Panthers best followed by Tom Phillips and John ‘JJ’ Roesler.
Captain Tom Feist was a stoic in defence against the odds, while Josh Koch and Tommy Jackman also had their moments.
The Panthers had just three individual goal kickers and now need to back up and take on another crosstown rival Tanunda in the Preliminary Final of the BLG B grade.
Senior Colts – Tanunda v South Gawler
Tanunda have knocked off the minor premiers South Gawler in the Senior Colts second semi-final.
After conceding the opening five goals of the game, the Magpies dragged themselves back into the contest and dominated the second half.
After the Lions kicked 4.1 to nothing in the opening term, they were still 21 points up at half-time although Tanunda and finally hitting the score board with a couple of goals.
The game had a dramatic turn in the third quarter with Tanunda slotting through four unanswered goals while the Lions were kept scoreless.
The Magpies would run home winners 9.4 (58) to South Gawler 6.4 (40) in the end securing a comfortable 18 point triumph.
For Tanunda, Liam Ellis was outstanding as was Hugh Smart and Fraser Smith.
Lewis Cowham and Todd Falkenberg were also important contributors during the clash.
Jayden Birchard kicked three goals, while Aaron Bert, Henry McCabe and Jonah Whitelum each kicked a brace.
Another son of a SANFL great Bailey Fielke was South’s best, followed by Kye Pagington and Cooper Pugliese.
Others who deserve to mention included Jacob Kennon (two goals), Andrew Marschall and Sam Riggs, who also kicked a couple of goals.
Junior Colts – Barossa v Nuriootpa
In a thrilling finish, the second place Nuriootpa Rovers defeated Barossa District by five points in a game where the scoreboard didn’t reflect the final score of the match.
There is two points separating the sides at half-time and it was one straight kick the difference at lemons
Nuriootpa would win the game 6.7 (43) to Barossa District 5.8 (38)
Best for the Rovers was an Adelaide Crows Academy player Cooper Kalleske, followed by Mitch Doecke the winner of the leading goal-kicker award in the BLG under 15, plus Marcus Mader who kicked a pair of goals.
Kai Rosenzweig, Tyler Billing and Jack Gadigau also had key moments.
For the unlucky Barossa side Austin McDonald led the way while Rohan Nelson and Benjamin Pain also had a significant influence.
Nathan Dyer kicked two goals while Liam Tappert and Xander Bates also had their moments.
Barossa needs to regroup this Saturday as they take on Willaston in the penultimate game of the year.