By ZAC MILBANK
Woodville-West Torrens reclaimed top spot on the ladder with its extreme efficiency propelling it to a 21-point win against South Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium.
The Statewide Super League’s pacesetters refused to panic despite having 22 fewer disposals, 32 fewer marks and a staggering 13 fewer inside 50 entries than the wasteful Panthers.
Scoreboard pressure proved too much for the hosts to overcome as the Eagles slammed on 5.2 in the second term to construct victory as South managed an inaccurate 1.6.
With just 2.10 to their name after the opening half, the Panthers quickly scored as many goals in two minutes as they did in two quarters to open the third term.
Key South forward Sam Overall – responsible for the second half brace – had suddenly sprung to life and when his fellow forward Tom Whittlesea snared a contender for Digital Pass Mark of the Week with a one-hander, the margin was set to be as little as three points.
But former Eagle Whittlesea missed a relatively simple snap set shot from 15m, leaving the visitors to make South pay by taking the ball swiftly to the other end where Nick Hayes got on the end of a Jake Von Bertouch pass to extend their advantage to 15 points.
Overall impacted the game again on the verge of the three-quarter time siren, nailing a 50m set shot to have his side within seven points with a quarter to play.
Little did the blue-and-white faithful realise, this would be their team’s last goal for the game as South managed just two behinds in the final stanza.
The crafty James Rowe once again found space inside 50m to mark a clever centering pass from Geelong VFL recruit James Tsitas, who was the Eagles’ leading disposal winner with 25 to go with his eight tackles and nine clearances.
Rowe calmly extended the advantage to 12 points nearly eight minutes into the final half-an-hour and while the Eagles continued to leave the door slightly ajar with behinds to Jordan Foote and Tristan Carcuro, they were in control of general play.
Foote soon made up for his pair of blemishes to feed Von Bertouch, who booted the sealer with his second major in the 24th minute.
The Eagles’ seventh win of the season was the ideal way to celebrate the 200th League game of premiership star Matt Goldsworthy, who hit the scoreboard with a classy checkside finish in the second quarter.
The evenness of the Eagles’ performance will again be satisfying to coach Jade Sheedy, who had Tsitas, Foote, Joseph Sinor, Chis Hall and James Rowe all eclipse the 20-disposal barrier.
Victory was also secured without significant influences from the Hayes brothers, Jack and Nick, while Von Bertouch continued his consistent season by also producing two goal assists.
Tough-tackling Jack Firns will be feted at the Eagles’ presentations tonight after performing a difference-making negating role on South star defender Joseph Haines.
Firns was able to ensure Haines didn’t register his first kick until the second minute of the second term and just three kicks up until the final change.
South co-captain Joel Cross had an equal team-high 24 disposals along with ruck recruit Paul Hunter, who displayed that he will be a massive boost for the Panthers while also collecting nine marks and nine clearances to go with 22 hit outs and eight inside 50s.
Nic Schwarz and Tyson Brown did a lot of hard, bullocking work in close while Reece Milsom and Hayden Sampson continue to look at home amongst League company.
The unearthing of another local AAMI Rookie will be another major positive for the Panthers, with Brighton Bombers defender Danny Juckers looking very polished in tallying 18 disposals and seven marks on debut.
By ZAC MILBANK
Glenelg’s nine-year wait for a win at The Parade has finally ended after the Tigers eclipsed Norwood by 33 points on Saturday night.
Without victory at Woods Street since April 15, 2011, Mark Stone’s men produced their best performance for the season while catapulting themselves into the top four.
Rising from fifth to third after securing the premiership points, the Bays defended with precision to keep the normally-potent Redlegs to just 5.11 (41) for the match.
Norwood managed just one goal – to key forward Tom Pinyon – in the second half as the visitors guarded the corridor and pushed back hard whenever the Legs streamed forward.
It didn’t matter that Glenelg’s star premiership forwards Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds mustered just two goals from seven shots between them such was the even spread of scoreboard contributors, let alone those working hard further up the field.
Despite Glenelg having a clear advantage in the inside 50m count, which finished 59-44 in its favour, the Tigers led by just 16 points at the final change.
Any hope of a dramatic Norwood comeback was quickly snuffed out though, when the unpredictable Jack Kluske intercepted a handball at half-forward before slotting a classy goal from the paint of 50m.
Five minutes after Kluske became his team’s sole multiple goal kicker, his desperate lunge forward with the ball resulted in former Melbourne Demon Billy Stretch coolly goaling on the run from 45m without breaking stride.
Suddenly the Tigers’ advantage was out to 28 points as the Redlegs’ faithful went silent knowing Glenelg was set to snap its nine-game losing streak at The Parade.
Jack Oatey Medallist Matthew Snook was again in peak form, tallying 32 disposals, nine tackles, seven clearances and a 45m set shot goal which tested the depth of his left-foot kick.
Magarey Medallist Luke Partington found 31 possessions as his season gathers steam but Stretch’s game was his best since returning from AFL level as he finished with 27 disposals and seven clearances to go with his sealing goal in the final term.
Wise heads Brad Agnew and Andrew Bradley played important roles in the midfield and across half-back while Tiger Jack Hannath negated in-form Norwood bigman Sam Baulderstone in the ruck.
Michael Virgin and Max Proud were solid in defence, which kept Dylan Morton at ease in his first SANFL League match for the Bays after crossing from the Wagga Tigers in the off-season.
Norwood’s Nik Rokahr started brightly before finishing with 21 disposals in defence, where last year’s Michael Taylor Medallist Brad McKenzie earned a team-high 31 touches.
Matthew Nunn produced a well-rounded game by collecting 23 disposals, 11 tackles and seven clearances but ultimately, the Redlegs didn’t have enough players to significantly influence the contest.
By ZAC MILBANK
A six-goal haul from Jake Sutcliffe and a stunning midfield display from captain James Battersby were catalysts in Sturt’s 65-point win against Central at Peter Motley Oval.
As both sides managed just one goal in the opening term, it was the Double Blues who set up victory in the second stanza on the back of five majors, including two contenders for Channel 7 Goal of the Week.
Central’s Chris Olsson gave his side a brief three-point lead just 51 seconds into the second quarter, only for it to be cancelled out by talented Daniel Fahey-Sparks kicking truly two minutes later.
Enter Double Blues’ recruit Aidyn Johnson.
The former Port Adelaide speedster – featured in the clip below – gathered the ball from the centre clearance, evaded two would-be tacklers before goaling on the run from 50m.
Then Ken Farmer Medallist Mark Evans showed why he’s such a valuable player when he followed up his first goal with another remarkable effort nearing time-on in the first half.
Positioning himself perfectly for the crumb, Evans – featured in a clip at the bottom of the screen – swooped on the loose ball to soccer off the ground on a tough angle from 20m.
Suddenly the margin had been stretched to 22 points in Sturt’s favour as the hosts gained confidence nearing the main break.
The first of Sutcliffe’s six-pack came 25 minutes into the second term, with his second opening up a 40-point margin nine minutes into the third quarter.
Premiership wingman Steven Slimming then kicked consecutive goals to push Central’s deficit beyond 50 points before Sutcliffe nailed four of the Blues’ final five goals to stretch it to a game-high 74-points.
Battersby continues to thrive on the added responsibility of leading the Double Blues, racking up 34 disposals, seven marks and a game-high 12 clearances.
Abe Davis is relishing being settled into the centre square, racking up 32 possessions and 12 marks against the Bulldogs while Sturt’s Sam Colquhoun had 29.
Late VFL recruit Jack Henderson finished with 25 disposals for the hosts while Johnson had 22 and five marks to with his second-term stunner.
Central premiership midfielder James Boyd again led the way on the stats sheet with 29 disposals and a clever goal while using his body to nudge his opponent under the ball midway through the third term.
It was just the Bulldogs’ third goal of the game, coming more than a quarter after former Redleg Olsson kicked truly to open the second stanza.
Last year’s Norm Russell Medallist Jarrod Schiller had his best game for the season with 24 disposals, 12 tackles and 10 clearances while younger brother Travis had 27 and kicked the last major of the game.
But it wasn’t enough to prevent the visitors’ winless run from continuing into an eighth week, securing only a draw with West in Round 2.
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