South Adelaide propelled itself back into the Macca’s League top five with a dour 20-point win against Adelaide at Hickinbotham Oval on Saturday.
The Panthers won their second game at Noarlunga in as many starts after the margin was no greater than two goals throughout the first half.
Adelaide came within just eight points of the hosts when tall utility Paul Hunter kicked truly in the eighth minute of the final term.
But this only seemed to poke the Panthers back into life as Nick Liddle, Connor Fairlie and Matt Rankine kicked the next three goals in a row to open up a match-winning 26-point break entering time-on of the fourth quarter.
It wasn’t pretty in the typically windy conditions at Hickinbotham Oval but South coach Jarrad Wright will be pleased his side carved out a victory in testing circumstances.
Co-captain Joel Cross again led the way for South on the stats sheet with 28 disposals while Abe Davis continued his evolution as a big-bodied utility to rack up 27 touches, eight marks, eight tackles and a goal.
The Crows will be pleased with the continual build up of match fitness and form of Riley Knight, who led their possession count with 25, six marks and seven tackles while leadership group member Damon Hill had arguably his best game of Macca’s League footy to collect 21 touches.
With a high injury count at West Lakes, Adelaide now resides at the foot of the table as the only team yet to register a win.
SOUTH 2.2 4.3 6.6 9.6 (60)
ADELAIDE 3.1 3.3 4.3 6.4 (40)
LEADING DISPOSALS – South: Cross 28, Davis 27, Liddle 21, Fields 20, Rose 19, Rankine 18, Brooksby 17, Noble 15.
Adelaide: Knight 25, Hill 21, Wilson 20, Loneragan 19, Launer 18, Poholke, Costanzo 17.
GOALS – South: Fields, Overall, Fairlie 2, Liddle, Rankine, Davis.
Adelaide: McMahon, Hunter 2, Davis, Himmelberg.
Port Adelaide and the Eagles recorded their first draw in Macca’s League history in a pulsating finish to their clash at Alberton Oval on Saturday.
Despite Port leading for the majority of the afternoon, the wasteful Eagles refused to give in as they came within eight points when Nick Hayes kicked their first goal of the game 14 minutes into the final term.
This came after an incredible 13 behinds in succession and after the visitors scored another three points after Hayes’ pounced on a loose ball in the goal square, it appeared they would fall short of the Magpies.
But then former Port goalsneak Jake Johansen – who had already registered four behinds – put the Eagles in front by a point when he made a certainty of his fifth shot on goal by dodging one opponent, taking a bounce and goaling on the run from 15m.
The hosts responded to control the majority of the play during time-on, with former North Melbourne small forward Lindsay Thomas marking a pass on the lead from Jake Neade only to miss his set shot from 35m.
It tied up the scores and despite several near misses to rush the ball across the line, the Magpies were unable to wrestle back the lead as the final siren sounded around three minutes after Thomas’ behind.
Both sides walked away from Queen Street frustrated with missing several opportunities to win the match, particularly the Eagles who had 10 more scoring shots and 11 more inside 50s.
Clean passages of play were few and far between for both sides, with the Eagles’ highlight of the day being a towering mark snared by teenage forward Jack Lukosius on the head of Jimmy Toumpas at half-forward during the third term.
Port’s best attacking foray came when Thomas booted his second major after marking an immaculate pass from Dom Barry on his chest.
Aside from that, the contest certainly won’t be a bestseller as both teams finished the game locked on 28 points each.
PORT 2.1 2.2 2.3 4.4 (28)
EAGLES 0.1 0.5 0.10 2.16 (28)
LEADING DISPOSALS -Port: Summerton 36, Toumpas 29, Pittard 28, Snelling, Proude 25, Atley, Trengove 22.
Eagles: Boyd 30, Poole 28, Johansen, Hall 21, Gray, Thompson 15.
GOALS – Port: Thomas 2, Snelling, Johnson.
Eagles: Johansen, N. Hayes.
West Adelaide rebounded from its forgettable Round 2 loss by spoiling Central District’s party to the tune of nine points at My Money House Oval on Saturday.
Desperate to regain respect after losing by a record margin of 138 points to North last Sunday, the Bloods overcame poor kicking for goal to hold on against the Bulldogs.
Well aware the hosts were keen to honour captain Trent Goodrem in his 200th game, West weathered the storm to turn a 22-point deficit at half-time into a four-point buffer at the final change.
Veteran Shannon Green and pacy John Noble kicked goals inside the opening four minutes of the third quarter for the Bloods before inaccuracy threatened to derail their hopes of a comeback.
Gavin Colville’s charges then kicked a staggering seven behinds in succession before West skipper Tom Keough goaled in the 25th minute to give his side the lead at three-quarter time.
The Bloods were able to show great heart in keeping the Dogs without a goal for the entire second half, with the hosts managing just three behinds in the fourth term to fade in dramatic fashion.
Key defender Keough continues to relish his new role further up the ground, racking up an equal team-high 25 disposals with team-mate Nathan Batley.
Midfielders Josh Schiller and John Noble also found plenty of the ball for the visitors, who unleashed Conor Noonan to collect 15 touches in his first Macca’s League game.
Central coach Roy Laird will be questioning what went wrong after the main break, considering his outfit seemingly had the game in control after a solid opening half.
Goodrem tried his heart out in his milestone match to finish with 25 disposals and a goal while key defender Murray Stephenson (24 disposals) is making the most of a solid preseason.
Snapping the first goal of the game from 20m out, Bulldog Kyle Presbury showed why he has been selected in the West End State Squad to collect 18 disposals with his three majors.
WEST 2.3 4.5 7.13 8.15 (63)
CENTRAL 4.1 8.3 8.3 8.6 (54)
LEADING DISPOSALS – West: Keough, Batley 25, Schiller 23, Noble 19, Green, Burgess 18, Waite 17.
Central: Hoskin, Goodrem 25, Stephenson 24, T. Schiller 22, J. Schiller, D. Fort 19.
GOALS – West: Fielke 2, Anderson, Noble, Middleton, Keough, Karpany, Green.
Central: Presbury 3, Butcher 2, Dahms, Goodrem, McKenzie.
Glenelg broke through for its first win of the season with a comfortable 31-point victory against Norwood at Gliderol Stadium on Saturday evening.
Still stinging from a heart-breaking three-point loss to Port in Round 2, the Tigers were ultra impressive with their ball movement during the third term as they banged on 6.3 to the Redlegs’ six behinds.
This opened up a significant eight-goal break at the the final change, which proved to be enough despite a spirited flurry from Norwood in the final term which yielded five goals in succession.
Lachie Hosie – who kicked eight majors in the Reserves last round – was a late inclusion for the Bays but it didn’t take him long to adjust to the tempo by nailing the first of his three goals in the first term.
He teamed well with Terry Milera (four goals) inside 50m for the Tigers while Josh Scott and Luke Reynolds roamed further up the ground to find more of the footy against the Legs.
But the real find of the night was former West Adelaide wingman Tom Schott, who tallied a game-high 34 disposals to go with his two goals as he showed off his skills in just his sixth Macca’s League match.
Inside midfielders Matt Snook and Ben Sawford completed their customary grunt work at the stoppages for Glenelg while Jonty Scharenberg celebrated his inclusion in the West End State Squad with 28 disposals and 10 marks.
After such a strong win against South in Round 2, Norwood will head back to The Parade searching for answers as their skills were below par during the premiership quarter.
Magarey Medallist Mitch Grigg provided a much-needed spark for the visitors in the final term to boot two of his three goals in succession with classy finishes while Lewis Johnston had 28 touches and 13 marks in his role through the midfield.
As many as seven Redlegs had fewer than 10 disposals, including triple premiership bigman Brady Dawe who was sidelined by injury in the first half.
GLENELG 3.4 6.9 12.11 15.14 (104)
NORWOOD 3.3 4.5 4.11 10.13 (73)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Glenelg: Schott 34, Scharenberg 28, Sawford 26, Snook 23, Reynolds 21, Scott 19, Chalmers 18, Hawkins 17.
Norwood: Johnston 28, Jefferies, Talia 26, Shenton, Grigg, Panos 23, Fuller 20, Bampton, Pedro 18.
GOALS – Glenelg: T. Milera 4, Hosie 3, Scott, Schott 2, Koster, White, Reynolds, Scharenberg.
Norwood: Grigg 3, Surman, Panos, Shenton, Hamilton, Olsson, Fuller, Edmead.
CHIEF SANFL WRITER