By Peter Argent
Round 17 matches in the KNT competition saw a number of close results, leaving the race to the finals wide open.
At Francis Oval, Border Districts fell 11 points short of the Keith Crows in a low scoring affair.
The Crows were four points up at three quarter time and kicked two goals to one in the last quarter to win 6.10 (46) to 5.5 (35).
George Johnston was the Crows’ best, followed by former Richmond listed player Matthew McDonough and young Will McMurray. Cameron Blake kicked three goals, while Tom Geyer and Seamus McMurray we’re also strong contributors.
Fraser Adams was Border Districts’ standout while Sean Mansell, in a unique achievement, kicked all five of his team’s goals. Brad Keast, Zak Edwards and Brayden Denmead also were solid contributors for the hosts.
Winning at home at Mundulla Oval, the top of the table Tigers got up by five points in the battle with another finals contender, the Penola Eagles.
Up by two points at half-time, Penola fell short by less than a straight kick – 8.12 (60) to 8.7 (55).
Back at his foundation club, after a productive couple of years at Angaston, Lachie Duell was Mundulla’s best, followed by Nicholas Gregurke and talented cricketer Jake McGrice. James Hinge, Timmy Ballinger and Tom Gates all had moments.
Mercurial midfielder Simon Berkefeld was the Eagles best, followed by Scott Merrett, Bradley Bryant and Jacob Pfitzner. Country football legend and 2019 SA state country coach Adam Merrett kicked two goals for the Eagles.
On the bottom of the ladder, the Kybybolite Tigers came from nine points down at half time to beat Kingston by a couple of goal with the final score being the Tigers 12.12 (84) defeating Kingston Saints 11.8 (74).
Jack Mckay was the Tiger’s best, followed by Matthew Tonkin, Scott Tonkin and Jock Clark, with Kane Rodgers kicking five goals.
Dylan Richardson was Kingston’s leading performer, while Jarryd Hill and Ben Warner were conspicuous. Jacob Fisher also kicked three goals.
At home Padthaway finished nine-points shy against the second-placed Lucindale Roos.
Lucindale had a significant 21 point lead at half-time and held on against Padthaway who were gallant in the second half.
For Lucindale, former Port Adelaide Magpie Ryan McInerney was their best, followed by Shane McGurk and Scott Spriggs.
Former West Adelaide 2015 premiership footballer Aaron Fielke slotted three goals while Lachlan Jones also had his moments
An SA state country player, the robust Ray Jaensch, was Padthaway’s key player. Jason McCartney, Tom Moyle-Read and Matthew Raitt all were strong contributors while Josh Vandermeer kicked five of his team’s eight goals.
The only one-sided affair of the round was Naracoorte defeating Bordertown by 11 goals at the Demons’ home ground.
Still in the game, 22 points down at half time, the Roosters conceded seven goals to one from this point.
Josh Gregg was the Demons’ best followed by Sam Willson who kicked five goals, while Brett Gould finished with four. Nicholas Boon and Nick Lacey were significant contributors as well.
Ultra-consistent Rory Tink stood out for the Roosters, while Brent Lodewyk, Lachlan Makin and Tommy Pepper also kept battling all game.
With final ladder positions up for grabs, the final weekend of the minor round will be hotly contested.
Fifth placed Kaniva-Leeor United take on ladder-leaders Mundulla at home in a critical clash.
Lucindale, second with 11 wins and fourth placed Naracoorte have a clash and the third placed Penola Eagles host the sixth placed Border Districts.
Currently sitting third, fourth and fifth, each have 10 wins, while Borders are in sixth place with nine victories.
The four-team competition concluded its 12 round regular season with two expected results on the weekend.
At Kimba, the Districts’ Tigers had a mammoth 146-point win over the bottom placed Cowell Cats.
Joel Fitzgerald kicked nine goals for the Tigers and finished with 84 majors across the minor round, while Darcy Noll kicked five and Brook Seal bagged four.
Eyre Peninsula representative player Riley Maitland was Kimba’s best, winning possessions at will, while Bart Stutley, Shannon Larwood and Nick Pengelley all stood out.
For the undermanned Cowell Cats, Zane WyKamp, Alec Klingberg and Tom Ryan all had an impact, while Lachlan Crabb kicked two of the four goals.
Equally one-sided was Eastern Ranges win over the Port Magpies.
They got up by 116 points, 23.25 (163) to 7.5 (47). Patrick Jenner, the sibling of Central Districts Kyle, kicked eight goals.
Kyron McCallum finished with four and Ethan Kwaterski helped himself to a trio.
Dean Storic, Damien Hannemann, Tommy Rees, Jake Bruce and Dustin Harris all played their roles in the Rangers emphatic triumph.
Corey Ainsworth was Ports’ best followed by Ashley Masters, one of three siblings playing in this game along with brothers Scott and Tommy.
Tyrone Bishop kicked four of his team’s seven goals. Caleb Prime, Dustin Lienert and Jake Turner were also serviceable.
Ports take on Cowell this Saturday in the first semi-final at Port Neill on Saturday.
The Far West competition completed its minor round on the weekend with Western United finishing minor premiers with 11 wins and a final round draw from their 12 games.
In the last minor round game on Saturday they had a draw with the second placed Koonibba Roosters at the Far West Aboriginal Sporting Complex.
Koonibba were 18 points down at three quarter time but kicked four goals to one in the final quarter.
The Roosters’ best was Bobby Warren, followed by Troy Newchurch, Sean Miller and the mercurial Waylon Johncock, who played SANFL League football for Glenelg.
The trio of Jesse Lennon, Royden Miller and Maliki O’Loughlin kicked two goals each for the hosts.
For the still undefeated Western United, Jake Warmington was best while Jarden Stoetzer kicked five of his team’s eight goals.
Jesse Chandler, Tommy Woods, Dale Shipard and Blae Dunn also had an impact in this thrilling encounter.
In the preview of this weekend’s first semi-final, the Ceduna Blues had a 32-point win over the Thevenard Magpies.
David Wright was the Blues’ best followed by six-goal forward Tommy Clayton, while Jackson Bennett, Jacob Collins and Mark Mozol all had their moments. Trevor Peel and Andrew Cox both kicked three goals for the Blues.
Beau Halbert was the Magpies’ best followed by six-goal big man Dom Denton.
Ty Mullen, Jared Trowbridge and the classy Robin Saunders also took the eye.
Sign up to see all the news from around the SANFL each week – directly in your inbox!