By ZAC MILBANK
Central District opened its account for season 2019 by grinding its way to a 20-point win against West Adelaide at X Convenience Oval on Saturday.
With both teams staring down the barrel of an 0-3 win-loss record, it was the Bulldogs who overcame a wasteful first quarter to claim their first premiership points.
It wasn’t until nine minutes into the second term that the hosts kicked their first goal – through Troy Menzel – after kicking a staggering eight behinds in succession.
Former Crow Menzel was providing a much-needed spark for Roy Laird’s charges in attack while the Schiller brothers – Travis and Jarrod – got the ball rolling in the middle for the Dogs.
But the true standout was Justin Hoskin, who proved to be the most damaging player on the ground while dividing his time between the centre square and attack.
The former Power rookie finished with an eye-catching stats sheet of 35 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles while his two goals came at critical junctures during the fourth term.
With the Bloods trailing by just eight points when key forward Mason Middleton booted his second two minutes after the final change, the home side needed to steady.
And it was that man Hoskin who stepped up to the plate to extend the margin back out to 14 points seven minutes later.
By the time Central’s No.20 slotted through his second and his team’s seventh major, the result was well and truly in hand during time-on.
Veteran Central defender Luke Habel read the play well to often find himself in space inside defensive 50m while improving utility Nick Gillard was also creative while kicking a nice goal on the run between two defenders early in the third term.
Still without a win after the opening three rounds, the Bloods were again well served by star midfielder Kaine Stevens, who rarely missed a target by foot with his 29 disposals.
Josh Schiller not only collected 25 touches but also showed desperation with his smothering and tackling while inexperienced defender Elliot Dunkin continued his development nicely by hitting the majority of his targets at the kick-ins.
West will now focus on winning its first match of the year against the Eagles on Good Friday while Central will travel to Prospect to confront North Adelaide on the same day.
CENTRAL 0.6 2.10 5.11 7.12 (54)
WEST 2.2 3.2 4.3 5.4 (34)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Central: Hoskin 35, T. Schiller 32, J. Schiller 28, Habel 23, Goodrem, Hanna 22, Jydon Neagle 18.
West: K. Stevens 29, Schiller 25, Snelling 24, Noble 22, Fairlie, Schmidt 21, Keough 18.
GOALS – Central: Hoskin, Menzel 2, Auckland, Gillard, Presbury.
West: Keough, Middleton 2, G. Turner.
Glenelg fell short of producing a remarkable comeback against South Adelaide at ACH Group Stadium, with the two sides sharing the premiership points in a dramatic draw.
Seemingly out of the hunt for the majority of the afternoon, the Tigers left their run very late after trailing by five goals at the final change.
Panthers Magarey Medallist Joel Cross extended that margin to a game high 35 points when he kicked truly five minutes into the fourth quarter.
The visitors looked set to bank their third win in succession to start the season until star Bays forward Josh Scott left the ground with a broken arm which is expected to sideline him for 6-8 weeks.
After a lengthy delay, the hosts seemed to spring to life as they booted three quick goals – two to Lachie Hosie – before South forward Sam Overall put the lead back out to 23 points 15 minutes into the final stanza.
Mark Stone’s men then had the next eight scoring shots to finish the pulsating encounter with former Magpie Luke Reynolds cutting the deficit to just three points with his first major 28 minutes in.
But three missed opportunities to Marlon Motlop, Liam McBean and Reynolds only leveled the scores rather than put the Tigers in front in the dying stages.
The Tigers had more of the ball overall, including 36 more marks, yet five fewer scoring shots than the wasteful Panthers, who booted an inaccurate 9.16 (70).
Glenelg wingman Carl Nicholson led the way on the stats sheet with 30 touches while defenders Chris Curran, Will Gould and Elliott Chalmers all pushed past the 20-disposal mark.
Hosie finished with a game-high four goals while McBean was unable to kick truly after bagging a career-high nine last round.
South, aiming to honour 200-gamer Bradley Crabb, had strong contributions from Abe Davis (28 disposals and nine clearances) while Overall bounced back from a sore groin the week before to boot a third of his team’s goals.
The Panthers will now host Adelaide on Easter Saturday while Glenelg will tackle Sturt in a Good Friday blockbuster at the Bay.
GLENELG 1.3 2.3 4.4 10.10 (70)
SOUTH 3.5 4.9 7.16 9.16 (70)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Glenelg: Nicholson 30, Curran, Gould, Motlop 24, Bradley 23, Chalmers, Scharenberg 22, Close, McCarthy 18.
South: Davis 28, Haines 23, Rose, Schwarz 22, Liddle 20, Brown, Cross, Irra 19, Haren 18.
GOALS – Glenelg: Hosie 4, White 2, Gregson, Koster, Reynolds, Scott.
South: Overall 3, Cailotto, Fitt 2, Cross, Schwarz.
Adelaide produced a blistering third-term to earn a 23-point win against the Eagles at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
Faced with a five-point deficit at the main change, the Crows accelerated with a match-defining seven-goal quarter while holding the hosts to just 1.4 to take a 32-point buffer into three-quarter time.
Using the ball by foot more than the hosts to register 49 more kicks yet 15 fewer handballs, Heath Younie’s outfit responded to the coach’s half-time message to put the highly-fancied Eagles on the back foot.
A goal to former Richmond goalsneak Tyson Stengle 12 minutes into the final term extended the margin out to 41 points in favour of the visitors, only for the Eagles to make a late dash at producing a come-from-behind win.
Three goals in succession to James Boyd, James Rowe and Jake Von Bertouch trimmed the lead to 24 points but Sam Lonergan’s men were unable to keep the momentum rolling during time-on to cause the surprise comeback.
Big-bodied Adelaide midfielder Pat Wilson was the leading disposal-winner on the ground with 42 while also taking 11 marks and having five clearances.
Hugh Greenwood also lifted his output on the previous week to finish with 33 touches, 10 clearances and two goals to push his case for AFL selection next round.
Playing his first SANFL League match since Round 23 2006, Bryce Gibbs had 28 disposals while Stengle always looked dangerous en route to having seven shots on goal for a return of 2.5.
The overwhelmed Eagles got a career-best performance from Rowe, who kicked a team high five goals from 13 possessions while Swans recruit Jordan Foote (36 disposals and nine marks) continues to produce big numbers in his first foray into SANFL footy.
The Eagles will now head to City Mazda Stadium to tackle winless West Adelaide on Good Friday while Adelaide will face an in-form South Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium on Easter Saturday.
ADELAIDE 3.6 5.8 12.13 14.16 (100)
EAGLES 3.3 6.7 7.11 10.17 (77)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Adelaide: Wilson 42, Greenwood 33, Gibbs 28, Sholl 25, Boyle, Wright 22, Latchford 21, Gallucci, McHenry 20.
Eagles: Foote 36, Petrenko 35, Boyd 31, Hall 25, Rowland 19, Von Bertouch 18, Lewis 17.
GOALS – Adelaide: Wright 3, Greenwood, Himmelberg, Stengle 2, Boyle, Davis, Gallucci, Ryan, Strachan.
Eagles: Rowe 5, Von Bertouch 2, Boyd, J. Hayes, Lewis.