By ZAC MILBANK
Woodville-West Torrens has all but sewn up the Statewide Super League minor premiership after a 78-point demolition of reigning premier Glenelg at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
Still a game clear of second-placed North Adelaide in top spot, the well-balanced Eagles appear set to strengthen their hold on first-ranking with clashes against bottom pair West and Central to close out the minor round.
And if their Round 12 performance against the Tigers is anything to go by, Jade Sheedy’s charges are going to be very tough to shake with a double-chance in the major round.
Setting up the convincing victory with a commanding opening term into the wind, the Eagles were then able to cruise to victory across the final three quarters while holding Glenelg to its lowest score for the season.
With Jordan Foote returning to his top form with 32 disposals and three goals, coupled with exciting teenager Lachie Jones soaring high for a contender for Mark of the Year, the hosts were simply irresistible.
The only concern for the Eagles will be possible injuries to veteran Matt Goldsoworthy (glute), Jesse Lonergan (calf) and Rhyan Mansell (ankle), with the latter two sporting ice packs after the final siren.
”Hopefully it’s (glute injury) not too serious, we’ll get it scanned and see how it is,” Goldsworthy told Channel 7 after the match.
”Our first quarter into the breeze really set us up for the day.
”It’s important to get that top two so you get two shots at winning the grand final, we’ve got West and Central to come but we can’t take them lightly either.”
The Eagles were on from the first bounce as they booted 4.3 to 1.1 in the opening quarter into the strong wind which was favouring the northern end.
Their dominance was beginning to show on the scoreboard but it was well and truly on the stats sheet as they collected 39 more disposals, five more clearances, five more inside 50s and 15 more marks in the opening half-an-hour.
Glenelg’s sole major for the first half came when Carl Nicholson intercepted passed to Jack Kluske, who goaled from a 35m set shot on the quarter-time siren.
Either side of the Bays’ lone goal, the Eagles created havoc as they set up a 64-point half-time lead while piling on 6.8 to no score, resulting from having the first 17 inside 50s of the second term.
And the play of the day came in the 24th minute of the second stanza when Jones flew from the back of the pack to take an eye-catching mark worthy of winning the 2020 Digital Pass Mark of the Year.
The ball ended up in the hands of Jack Hayes, who made the most of a relayed free kick to put his side up by 56 points with a goal from point-blank range.
As Foote returned to the touch which earned up last year’s Eagles Club Champion Award, he had plenty of helpers as Joseph Sinor (30 disposals, 12 tackles, eight clearances), Lachie McNeil (25 dispsosals) and James Tsitas (23 disposals and a goal) joined in on the act.
Impressive defender Jacob Wehr had 29 touches in defence while Sam Rowland had 25 as Jack Hayes was again a strong influence with 21 disposals, six marks, six tackles and two goals.
It was an afternoon to forget for the Bays, who had Matthew Snook and Luke Partington collect 47 disposals between them as former captain Andrew Bradley flew the flag for the visitors with his tremendous courage.
After taking a gutsy mark running back with the flight in the second term, Bradley was at it again in the middle of the ground midway through the third term.
The Tigers veteran didn’t flinch as he collided with Eagle Mansell, leaving Bradley dazed and forced to leave the ground with a possible fractured cheekbone.
By ZAC MILBANK
North Adelaide overcame early injuries to engineer a comfortable 32-point win against Central District at Prospect Oval.
Determined to atone for last round’s loss to top-placed Woodville-West Torrens, the Roosters were forced to do it the hard way with talls Alex Barns and Tanner Smith sidelined in the first term.
Key defender Smith hurt his ankle and was unable to return while Barns had to be stretchered from the field 16 minutes after the first bounce after copping a deep cut to his thigh from an accidental sprig.
Despite also missing star midfielder Andrew Moore, who suffered a leg injury in Round 11, the Roosters led at every change but weren’t able to breakaway until piling on 8.6 with the wind while holding the Dogs scoreless in the third quarter.
Leading by just eight points at the main change, the hosts got to work straight away when Will Combe booted one of his four majors from a 40m set shot.
Robbie Young soon made the most of a free kick for an indiscretion off the ball by Bulldogs defender Nick Madden, kicking truly from the goal square.
And by the time Lewis Hender produced a contender for Channel 7 Goal of the Week with a stunning snap from a tight angle in the pocket, North suddenly led by 28 points en route to a commanding 62-point buffer at the final change.
Central was able to regain some scoreboard respect with the wind to the Farmer End in the last term with seven goals but the deficit was too much to overcome as North secured its ninth win of the season.
Campbell Combe’s tremendous campaign continued for the Roosters, with the Crystal Brook product just overshadowing his brother Will with 34 disposals, ten tackles and seven clearances to be best afield.
Will Combe hit the scoreboard with 4.1 to go with his 21 touches and seven marks while Jarred Allmond was constructive with his 27 possessions and 15 marks.
Cameron Hewett made a successful return from a long-term foot injury to tally 20 disposals while North’s bevy of classy indigenous forwards were dangerous all afternoon as Frank Szekely (2.3), Keanu Miller (2.0) and Robbie Young (2.0) went to work.
Central’s James Boyd again led the way for his team with 38 disposals, nine marks, six clearances and a goal while Kyle Presbury, Darcy Pisani and Travis Schiller all surpassed the 25-disposal mark.
Justin Hoskin and John Butcher kicked three goals each for the Bulldogs, with the latter continuing his late-season surge to also snare six marks.