By ZAC MILBANK
Central District’s retiring premiership veterans Trent Goodrem and Kyle Jenner got their fairytale finale with a dramatic four-point after-the-siren win against Woodville-West Torrens at X Convenience Oval.
Playing their final Statewide Super League games in front of the Bulldog faithful, Goodrem and Jenner had even more cause for celebration when teammate Justin Hoskin nailed his 20m set shot to secure a memorable victory.
Despite trailing at each change, Jeff Andrews’ charges piled on 6.2 to the Eagles’ 2.2 in the fourth quarter to give the healthy Elizabeth crowd plenty to cheer about.
Hoskin – who booted six goals without a miss for the afternoon – use his body nicely to mark a deep ball inside 50m from unsung hero Marcus Barreau.
The final siren sounded as Hoskin lined up from a slight angle to the northern end and once the Dogs’ best finisher earned his six-pack, every Bulldog piled on top of him to celebrate.
Finishing with 17 disposals, six marks and four tackles to round out his best-on-ground performance, Hoskin booted two of his six majors in the fourth term – matched by the emerging Barreau.
Prior to providing Hoskin with the match-winning goal assist, Barreau flew high to take a strong chest mark on the lead from a David Haydon pass.
And his 30m set shot to put his side within a goal wouldn’t have eventuated without Jenner earning a free kick for holding-the-ball on the grandstand wing.
Barreau then produced a stunning solo goal when he gathered a long pass from Hoskin 20m out and managed to slam through a major despite being spun around in a tackle.
Suddenly the Dogs led by six points in the 19th minute of the final term.
But the top-placed Eagles – resting star pair Jack Hayes and Lachlan Jones with minor ankle injuries – weren’t done with yet.
Nick Hayes climbed upstairs to take an eye-catching contested mark before giving his side a two-point lead in the 23rd minute.
The minor premiership appeared secured for the Eagles until Barreau’s kick to Hoskin’s advantage in the final minute ensured Goodrem and Jenner would be sent off in memorable fashion.
Kyle Presbury played a strong game through the middle for the Dogs, tallying 28 disposals, eight marks and five tackles while the Schiller brothers – Travis and Jarrod – had 44 disposals between them.
Jackson Kelly continued to find his feet at League level, collecting 21 disposals, laying 10 tackles and kicking a nice checkside goal in the third term.
Captain Luke Habel and Ben Nason – playing his 50th League game after making his debut in 2009 – were constructive with their 19 possessions, the same amount registered as Jack Toner who also kicked a clever snap shot goal early in the second quarter.
Former skipper Goodrem and Jenner were important contributors, with Goodrem finishing with 16 disposals and four tackles as Jenner registered 12 disposals and four tackles.
Late-season Eagles recruit James Tsitas will take his meaningful form into next Sunday’s Second Semi-Final after racking up 30 disposals, six tackles, seven clearances and a goal.
Freshened up from a week off, Jimmy Toumpas showed no signs of his hip ailment to have 28 touches and five clearances while inform defender Pierce Seymour also found plenty of the ball.
Nick Hayes and Sam Lowson booted three goals for the visitors while James Rowe – who tied for the Ken Farmer Medal with Glenelg’s Liam McBean on 38 goals – managed 1.1 after being well-held by Haydon.
By ZAC MILBANK
Glenelg’s Liam McBean earned his second Ken Farmer Medal in succession when his four-goal haul helped the Tigers overrun Sturt by 13 points at Peter Motley Oval.
Trailing the Eagles’ James Rowe by three goals going into the contest, McBean was within one of Rowe when he booted two first-half majors as the Bays led by two points at the main change.
But when Rowe kicked his solitary major for the afternoon against Central in the third term, McBean’s hopes of finishing at the top of the goal kicking list were diminishing rapidly.
The Tigers had endured a lack-lustre third quarter against the Double Blues, who led by 19 points at the final change in their desperation to honour retiring premiership trio Tom Harms, Sam Colquhoun and Byron Sumner.
Things changed rapidly in the last quarter though, when Jack Kluske’s third major for the afternoon inside the opening two minutes put the Tigers within 13 points.
Then McBean produced a stunning goal assist for Marlon Motlop, palming the ball behind his back into the path of the Bays’ smooth-moving goal sneak who kicked truly along the ground to trim the deficit to five points.
McBean’s show was just getting started as he then tapped the ball into his own path, gathered the bobbling ball and snapped truly from 35m to give Glenelg the lead and pull himself within one major of Rowe.
The Tigers’ No.1 then nailed a 50m set shot on a slight angle to put his team out to a seven-point advantage, simultaneously putting himself level with Rowe in the race for the Ken Farmer Medal with 38 goals.
It would be enough to secure his side a come-from-behind victory once Darcy Bailey capped off one of his best games of League footy with the sealing goal entering time-on of the final term.
Bailey made the most of the absence of Magarey Medallist Luke Partington – rested with knee soreness – thriving on his midfield time to collect 27 disposals, five clearances and nine tackles.
Jack Oatey Medallist Matthew Snook tallied 27 disposals, six tackles and six clearances while former West Coast Eagle Matt Allen registered 21 touches and eight tackles for the visitors.
Veteran midfielder Brad Agnew successfully returned from his ankle injury to have 18 disposals and a massive 15 tackles while premiership captain Chris Curran played just his fifth game of the season to tally 17 possessions and six marks.
The Double Blues appeared headed for a strong finish to the season by opening up their three-goal lead at the last change, built on an advantage at the clearances and to that point – inside 50 entries.
But they couldn’t sustain their effort in the last half-an-hour as Colquhoun led the way on the disposal sheet with 31 to go with his five tackles and six clearances.
Strong-bodied Abe Davis had 25 disposals while Sturt captain James Battersby filled his stat categories with 21 possessions, 11 tackles and 10 clearances.
Dual premiership defender Tom Harms finished his career with a solid performance, having 18 disposals five tackles and a near contender for Channel 7 Goal of the Year had it not faded to the right for a behind after weaving through a series of opponents in the first term.
And the final retiree Sumner – who had 13 disposals and three tackles – showed his trademark dash through the corridor to set up Jack Penfold with a goal in the opening quarter.