By ZAC MILBANK
Woodville-West Torrens extended its winning streak to four as it cruised to a comfortable 60-point win against West Adelaide at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval on Saturday.
Coming off wins against Norwood, South Adelaide and Central District, the Eagles have well and truly put themselves back into the finals mix by playing an attractive brand of football under new coach Sam Lonergan.
With key midfield recruit Jordan Foote again leading the way in the centre square, the hosts also got vital contributions from Jake Johansen, who had 27 disposals and booted two goals while ball magnet James Boyd has enjoyed his return to the League side after a stint in the Reserves.
A six-goal second stanza set up the Eagles’ fifth victory of the season, with James Rowe – returning from an AC-joint injury – pivotal in the match-defining run of play.
Rowe slotted through a tight set shot from the pocket to give his side a 32-point lead at half-time after earning a free kick seconds before the siren to end the second term.
Only inaccurate kicking prevented the lively goal sneak from finishing with an eight-goal haul, after tallying 4.4 from his 16 disposals and six marks.
”I was blazing away a bit there in the end so I’ll have to make sure I address that on the training track this week,” Rowe told Channel 7 after the match.
After failing to register a disposal in the opening term, Eagle Jared Petrenko exploded in the final three quarters to kick two goals, tally 18 disposals and produce a remarkable rugby-style tackle on West’s Murray Waite, which forced his lightly-framed opponent 15m backwards.
West Adelaide was again well served by star midfielder Kaine Stevens who took an eye-catching mark in the first quarter to go with his 34 disposals, 10 clearances and a goal.
Developing duo Waite and Patrick Fairlie cracked the 20-disposal barrier while journeyman Nigel Osborn booted two goals, laid six tackles and had five clearances.
Makeshift forward Tom Pillion looked dangerous on the lead early in the contest, only to be let down by inaccurate kicking for goal as he tallied three behinds in a frustrating afternoon for the Bloods.
EAGLES 1.1 7.3 11.9 16.11 (107)
WEST 1.3 1.7 3.10 6.11 (47)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Eagles: Foote 28, Johansen 27, Boyd 26, Sinor 24, J. Gaffney, Poole, Sharrad 19, Hall, N. Hayes, Petrenko, Von Bertouch 18.
West: K. Stevens 34, Fairlie 23, Waite 21, Keough 18, Batley, Hill 17.
GOALS – Eagles: Rowe 4, Johansen, Petrenko, J. Redden 2, Foote, Hall, J. Hayes, N. Hayes, Moore, Poole.
West: Osborn, B. Turner 2, H. Haysman, K. Stevens.
Adelaide’s red-hot form continues to roll on as it eased to a comfortable 55-point win against Central District at X Convenience Oval on Saturday.
After being handed the Wooden Spoon after winning just one match last season, the Crows are flying high under coach Heath Younie, who has helped breath new life into his State League outfit in 2019.
An injection of quality personnel this year has also had an impact with experienced midfielder Bryce Gibbs again pushing for an AFL recall with 32 disposals, four clearances, four tackles and a goal in the victory.
Riley Knight found more of the ball to register 28 possessions along with the ever-consistent Pat Wilson while young gun Chayce Jones continues to impress in his first year of regularly playing against men.
The Crows were able to establish a comfortable five-goal buffer for the majority of the match before pushing the final margin out by holding the Bulldogs without a goal for the last quarter.
Crows talls Sam Jacobs and Kieran Strachan made their hefty presence felt, with Jacobs collecting 20 disposals and 12 marks while Port Melbourne draftee Strachan kicked a career-high three goals for the first time in the Statewide Super League.
Former Richmond forward Tyson Stengle is also continuing to knock on the selection door, with his four majors giving him a total of 25 for the season after 10 Rounds.
After choosing to blood three RAA Rookies, Central coach Roy Laird was rewarded through the performance of mature-age Steve Burton, who racked up 25 disposals, five tackles and five clearances in his first League game.
The other two debutants also showed positive signs with tall forward Ryan Falkenberg kicking a goal while Mitchell Payne had 12 disposals and five marks for the Bulldogs.
Former Crow Troy Menzel did everything he could against his old side to finish with 26 disposals and two goals while veteran Luke Habel had 24 touches and four marks.
With only two wins after 10 Rounds, the Dogs will look to continue unearthing more young talent in the second half of the season.
ADELAIDE 5.2 8.3 11.6 15.10 (100)
CENTRAL 1.2 2.4 6.8 6.9 (45)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Adelaide: Gibbs 32, Knight, Wilson 28, Jones 27, Wright 24, Mackay 23, McPherson, Stengle 22, Sholl 21, Butts, Jacobs, Poholke 20.
Central: Menzel 26, Burton 25, Habel 24, J. Schiller, T. Schiller 21, Fort, Jydon Neagle 19, Hoskin 18.
GOALS – Adelaide: Stengle 4, Strachan 3, Himmelberg, Knight 2, Davis, Gibbs, Jacobs, McAdam.
Central: Menzel, T. Schiller 2, Falkenberg, Jydon Neagle.