By ZAC MILBANK
Glenelg kept Port Adelaide goalless for a half as it again flexed its defensive muscle with a 24-point win at Alberton Oval.
Now sitting outright top on the Statewide Super League ladder, the Bays ensured the Magpies would have a goalless first half for the first time since 2013.
Restricting the hosts to just four behinds before half-time, the Tigers set up the win with 5.5 for themsevles as star midfielder Luke Partington continued his red-hot touch with 33 disposals and four goals.
Glenelg has only conceded 925 points for the season, second to Sturt with 917 as leadership duo Chris Curran and Max Proud continue to lead the way with their composed back six.
Tackling pressure was another key feature for the Tigers, who, despite leading all afternoon, still laid 23 more tackles than their rivals to illustrate their hunger for the contest.
The visitors stretched the margin to as much as 49 points when ruckman Jesse White’s behind followed a goal from former Bays skipper Andrew Bradley early in the fourth term.
But the Magpies restored some respect into the scoreboard by booting five of the next six majors before the final siren.
Tireless Tigers Matthew Snook and classy Marlon Motlop also provided excellent assistance to Partington while youngster Brad McCarthy (pictured above) continues to evolve as a versatile player with 21 disposals and eight tackles.
Amid controlling the play against the finals-bound Magpies, Tigers coach Mark Stone was still able to keep one eye on the long term by handing Darcy Le Cornu his Statewide Super League debut as well as recalling first-year midfielder Finn Betterman for late withdrawals Cory Gregson and Elliott Chalmers.
Port’s first goal came from ruckman Sam Hayes nearly five minutes into the third quarter with fellow bigman Peter Ladhams ensuring the hosts would have two before the final change.
The last quarter fightback came too late for Magpies coach Matt Lokan, who had few players put in a four-quarter performance as they slipped out of the top-three.
Port will now be looking to respond against South Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium next Sunday while Glenelg will host Adelaide in a top-of-the-table clash against Adelaide on Saturday.
GLENELG 3.2 5.5 9.6 12.9 (81)
PORT 0.1 0.4 2.6 8.9 (57)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Glenelg: Partington 33, Snook 32, Motlop 26, Curran 24, McCarthy 21, Proud, Scharenberg 20, Gould, White 19, Agnew 17.
Port: Drew 30, Pudney 29, McKenzie 27, Hewett 24, Mayes, Trengove 23, Atley, Frederick 22, Woodcock 19, Ladhams 18.
GOALS – Glenelg: Partington 4, Motlop 2, Bailey, Bradley, McBean, Reynolds, Schott, Uebergang.
Port: Hayes, Ladhams, Woodcock 2, McKenzie, Ryder.
Central District snapped its nine-game losing streak in emphatic fashion, causing a dramatic turnaround en route to a 23-point win against Woodville-West Torrens at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
After trailing by 29-points at half-time, the tough-tackling Bulldogs produced their best football of the year to engineer a seven-goal third quarter while also keeping the Eagles to just two behinds.
Clean centre clearances and polished ball movement were hallmarks of the visitors’ style of play as a multitude of Roy Laird’s charges stepped up to shine.
The Schiller brothers – Jarrod and Travis – were again prolific in the midfield while Fraser Fort looked dangerous in attack while also lending valuable support in the ruck.
Classy Troy Menzel provided a spark in the third quarter with his creativity while also attacking the ball with ferocity to win loose balls further up the ground.
Second-gamer Ethan East even got in on the act nearing three-quarter time, getting his boot to the ball on the goalline to give the Dogs a 13-point lead at the final change.
This advantage was quickly erased when Eagles forward Seb Guilhaus slotted his set shot from 45m before Nick Moore made the most of Jared Petrenko’s clever foot pass across half-forward.
Just when it looked like the Eagles were going wrestle back control of the contest, the Bulldogs bit back as lanky East ensured he would never forget his second game of Statewide Super League football.
East booted three of his team’s five final term goals as Central prevented its arch-rival from catapulting back into the top five.
Bulldogs defender Luke Habel was another unheralded performer as he kept the dangerous James Rowe goalless while Marcus Barreau was also an important link player through the midfield and half-forward.
Central finished with a staggering 92 tackles to the Eagles’ 58 to continually have their opponents under immense pressure.
Eagles Joseph Sinor and Angus Poole had particularly strong first-half performances before slowing after the main change like the rest of their team-mates.
Matt Goldsworthy read the ball well across half-back before distributing with poise but it was always going to be tough with Chris Hall injuring his hamstring 10 minutes into the first term.
This ensured the Eagles would be down one rotation for the majority of ruckman Jarrad Redden’s 100th match as promising midfielder Jackson Mead booted a fine goal on the run in his first game of Statewide Super League.
CENTRAL 2.4 3.4 10.6 15.8 (98)
EAGLES 3.0 8.3 8.5 11.9 (75)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Central: T. Schiller 30, J. Schiller 28, Goodrem, Hoskin 21, Barreau 20, Jenner, Menzel 18, East, Fort 17, Habel 16.
Eagles: Sinor 31, Poole 29, Foote 27, Lonergan 26, J. Hayes 21, Goldsworthy 19.
GOALS – Central: East 4, Fort 3, Jenner, Menzel 2, Gillard, Madden, J. Schiller, T. Schiller.
Eagles: J. Hayes, Moore, Petrenko 2, Guilhaus, Hall, N. Hayes, Mead, Poole.
Sturt strengthened its 2019 campaign by bursting clear of West Adelaide to record an impressive 62-point win at Peter Motley Oval.
Suddenly nestled inside the top three after Port lost to Glenelg, the Double Blues piled on the pain for the Bloods in a rampant seven-goal second stanza.
After reaching the first break with three goals each, the Blues and Bloods went their separate ways as the hosts established a 32-point lead after a goal to skipper Zane Kirkwood nearing time-on.
Further majors to bigman Josh Patullo and Aidan Riley – who finished with four for the match – pushed the advantage out to 48 by the main break.
The shell-shocked visitors pegged this back to 32 points on the back of goals to captain Tom Keough and Hawthorn recruit Dallas Willsmore.
But that’s when Sturt premiership forward Josh Hone produced his trademark classy finishing skills to boot two goals nearing the final change.
Hone then had plenty to celebrate when he booted three of his game-high six straight in succession to blow the margin out to 68 points midway through the fourth term.
It was a much more convincing victory than falling across the line against Central District in Round 13 as Nathan Grima’s men look to continue this form nearing September.
Blues ball magnet Sam Colquhoun went on with his collecting of huge numbers, this time chalking up 39 disposals and 12 marks while James Battersby wasn’t far behind him with 34 and 13 clearances.
Defender Henry Carey continued to cement his place in the best 21 with 24 disposals while Hone made his 11 touches count by booting six without a miss to go with his six marks.
The battling Bloods had experienced premiership pair Kaine Stevens and Chris Schmidt lead the way with 28 possessions each while Elliot Dunkin continues to make a case for the Powerade Breakthrough Player Award.
Willsmore finished with 25 disposals, 11 marks and two goals to go on with his mid-season form surge as he continues to adjust to the Statewide Super League.
STURT 3.3 10.8 12.10 17.10 (112)
WEST 3.2 3.2 6.2 8.2 (50)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Sturt: Colquhoun 39, Battersby 34, Carey 24, Riley 22, Slimming 21, Stephens 20, Crocker, F. Evans 19, Kirkwood 18.
West: Schmidt, K. Stevens 28, Dunkin 27, Willsmore 25, Batley 24, Hill 21, Levicki 18.
GOALS – Sturt: J. Hone 6, Riley 4, M. Evans, Patullo 2, Fahey-Sparks, Kirkwood, Sutcliffe.
West: Keough 3, Thilthorpe, Willsmore 2.