It’s a much shorter, but exciting season which finally kicked off a few weeks ago for Southern Football League. Here’s a look at how it’s shaping up after the first two rounds, thanks to Think! Road Safety.
By Nick Dillon
It is Southern football, but not quite as we know it.
With no Aldinga in the senior men’s competition and only nine minor round games, so much more rides on every win or loss.
And after two rounds, Christies Beach has shown the way with a couple of remarkable wins.
In round one, Christies Beach trailed Noarlunga by a whopping 41 points, before piling on nine majors to two, claiming a thrilling one-point victory.
Last Saturday’s round of matches saw the Saints do it all over again, giving Reynella a 31-point head start, before gradually reeling in the deficit to win by 24.
The celebrations were wild for the Saints, who lured former gun spearhead Daniel Nobes back to the club from Waikerie in the off-season.
Southern Football League secretary Malcolm Martin said the shorter season made for some exciting football and Christies Beach could be the real deal this year after finishing third in 2019.
“It’s fantastic that that can happen,” he said. “They could be a little bit fitter than most other clubs at the moment, or maybe it’s just talent.
“You can’t afford to lose three or four in a row because you’re out of it. It does make things more exciting and I think the clubs, players and spectators are all loving it.”
One team that is already on the back foot is Noarlunga.
The Shoes went through the 2019 minor round undefeated before losing to powerhouse Flagstaff Hill in the grand final.
Round one’s capitulation at the hands of Christies Beach was followed by another final quarter fade out against Morphett Vale.
However, the Shoes only decided to nominate a senior team very late in the piece which is the likely reason for their poor finishes.
“Initially they didn’t nominate their senior team and they all got together and said we ought to give it a crack,” Mr Martin said.
“They are a top team, but they had a delayed start coming back to training. So I think they’re a bit underdone at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll be keen to get a few wins soon.”
Mr Martin said he was grateful to all clubs for their efforts in ensuring football was played this year, including Aldinga which is aiming for a 2021 return to A grade.
“We asked clubs to nominate what they can,” he said.
“A lot of Aldinga players are tradies and they thought if we can’t play footy, we might as well go out and work on Saturdays.
“They did end up putting in a very competitive B grade side and they’re looking to build back to A grade in 2021.
“Hats off to the volunteers at all the clubs. They’ve been absolutely fantastic in embracing the protocols and hygiene.
“It’s a massive job and it shows they’re there for the right reasons to make sure there is games played in seniors and juniors on Saturdays.”
Over 160 teams will compete in the SFL this season from under 8s all the way through to senior men and women.
Morphett Vale 13.11 (89) d Cove 12.5 (77).
BEST: Morphett Vale – S. Carpenter, M. Smith, J. Langdon, B. Hartwig, A. Baker. Cove – O. Moore, M. Galley, A. Marra, B. Young, B. Charlesworth, S. Grieve.
GOALS: Morphett Vale – S. Carpenter 3, M. Joraslafsky 2, B. Hartwig, J. Langdon, J. Leake, C. Lock, T. Bennetts, D. Earl, L. Corrie, J. Williams Sr. Cove – B. Young 4, M. Galley 3, R. Need, S. Grieve 2, L. Holder.
Happy Valley 13.11 (89) d Port Noarlunga 6.11 (47).
BEST: Happy Valley – T. Coleman, D. Birbeck, N. Frisby-Smith, M. Lillis, J. Beeche, H. Davenport. Port Noarlunga – C. Sampson, J. Vaughan, J. Mewburn, P. Randall, I. Brown, R. Curyer.
GOALS: Happy Valley – H. Kerrison, L. Davis, J. Beeche, T. Coleman 2, R. Mullins, D. Zeitz, R. Barrett, A. Bone, L. O’Connor. Port Noarlunga – A. Baxter, I. Milera, T. Pearce, A. McKay, N. Steele, D. Williams.
Christies Beach 17.7 (109) d Noarlunga 17.6 (108).
BEST: Christies Beach – M. Mazey, J. Crate, C. Mesecke, B. Carter, D. Nobes, S. Archbold. Noarlunga – J. Liebelt, N. Robertson, N. Schulz, T. Caudle, Z. Williams, K. Opperman.
GOALS: Christies Beach – D. Nobes 4, M. Spencely, B. Carter 3, B. Short 2, M. Mazey, A. Ciccarello, B. Ross, N. Stock, C. Mesecke. Noarlunga – V. Robertson, C. Gaspari, T. Caudle 3, T. Milera, N. Robertson 2, R. Martell, N. Schulz, M. Fry, T. Johnson.
Flagstaff Hill 12.8 (80) d Reynella 4.2 (26).
BEST: Flagstaff Hill – D. Kearsley, S. Tharaldsen, M. Walton, D. Butcher, M. Renfrey, B. Kirk. Reynella – M. Fox, J. Frisby, N. Dixon, D. Whitaker, B. Austin, D. Roser.
GOALS: Flagstaff Hill – D. Butcher 5, S. Tharaldsen, D. Webb 2, B. Kirk, R. Mountford, M. Shearer. Reynella – J. Frisby 2, B. Marshman, M. Fox.
Port Noarlunga 9.11 (65) d Cove 7.11 (53).
BEST: Port Noarlunga – J. Ledgard, P. Brown, C. Sampson, N. Steele, D. Williams, E. Satala. Cove – M. Galley, B. Charlesworth, K. Stoldt, S. Grieve, S. Abbott, A. Marra.
GOALS: Port Noarlunga – D. Williams 3, E. Satala, I. Milera 2, R. Curyer, N. Steele. Cove – L. Holder, S. Grieve 2, B. Brummelhuis, K. Gohl, S. Abbott.
Flagstaff Hill 10.10 (70) d Happy Valley 7.4 (46).
BEST: Flagstaff Hill – B. Kirk, M. Hollis, C. Puiatti, B. Heyward-Ferors, D. Kearsley. Happy Valley – M. Lillis, D. Birbeck, J. Beeche, J. Hay, D. Ruddock, R. Mullins.
GOALS: Flagstaff Hill – M. Johnson, R. Mountford, S. Tharaldsen 2, D. Webb, T. McAllister, B. Rossi, N. Mitchell. Happy Valley – J. Beeche 2, L. Davis, B. Ryan, T. Coleman, J. Hay, H. Davenport.
Morphett Vale 8.2 (50) d Noarlunga 5.11 (41).
BEST: Morphett Vale – B. Sowter, A. Baker, D. Bode, M. Smith, J. Langdon, J. Dorshorst. Noarlunga – N. Robertson, K. Opperman, N. Schulz, B. Goldfinch, T. Johnson, J. Brown.
GOALS: Morphett Vale – N. Bayly 3, M. Joraslafsky, S. Carpenter, J. Dorshorst, R. Reynolds, L. Marsh. Noarlunga – N. Robertson 2, J. Birch, J. Snelling, K. Opperman.
Christies Beach 13.16 (94) d Reynella 11.4 (70).
BEST: Christies Beach – M. Mazey, J. Crate, R. Parry, B. Carter, J. Sheppard, M. Spencely. Reynella – B. Marshman, R. Richardson, B. Lockett, M. Warman, S. Farrelly, L. Matheson.
GOALS: Christies Beach – B. Carter 5, D. Nobes 4, A. Ciccarello, N. Stock, B. Short, M. Spencely. Reynella – J. Frisby, C. Semple, B. Potter, B. Marshman 2, M. Fox, P. Davies, S. Farrelly.
July 25 – Christies Beach v Flagstaff Hill; Happy Valley v Reynella; Noarlunga v Cove; Port Noarlunga v Morphett Vale.
Aug 1 – Noarlunga v Happy Valley; Cove v Christies Beach; Flagstaff Hill v Port Noarlunga; Morphett Vale v Reynella.
Aug 8 – Christies Beach v Happy Valley; Flagstaff Hill v Morphett Vale; Port Noarlunga v Cove; Reynella v Noarlunga.
Aug 15 – Flagstaff Hill v Reynella; Happy Valley v Noarlunga; Morphett Vale v Cove; Port Noarlunga v Christies Beach.
Aug 22 – Christies Beach v Happy Valley; Cove v Flagstaff Hill; Noarlunga v Morphett Vale; Reynella v Port Noarlunga.
Aug 29 – Cove v Reynella; Flagstaff Hill v Christies Beach; Morphett Vale v Happy Valley; Port Noarlunga v Noarlunga.
Sep 5 – Reynella v Port Noarlunga; Christies Beach v Morphett Vale; Happy Valley v Cove; Noarlunga v Flagstaff Hill.