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The Courier SPORT Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – PAGE 5
GREAT SOUTHERN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
By Matt Pistola
Reigning Great Southern Football League
A-grade premier Strathalbyn is well and truly
experiencing the contrasting fortunes of
The Roosters now find themselves in bottom place on
the premiership table following a Round 4 loss to Victor
Harbor last Saturday.
In a tale of two teams heading in opposite directions,
2014 straggler Victor Harbor ascended into top position
on the 2015 ladder following a 15-9 (99) to 11-9 (75)
triumph over the struggling Roosters.
Strathalbyn appear a shadow of the team which
claimed the ultimate prize last season following a series
of off-season player losses, however, it made a bright
start as it headed the visiting Roos by three points at
the first break.
Victor Harbor hit back during the second term as it
scored five goals to two through a variety of scoring
options to enter half-time with a 16-point advantage.
The third term was where the match was won for
Victor Harbor as the exciting Roos clamped down in
defence – keeping the hosts to just a solitary goal, while
stretching their lead out to 31 points.
Strathalbyn were unable to make a serious dent into its
deficit during the final term as it eventually succumbed
by 24 points – leaving it as the only winless team in the
competition following the first month.
Ben Basham booted five goals for the Roos while
James Bramley and Denis Iljcesen both bagged three
majors to underline the scoring power the team now
Key trio Tarquin Brown, Josh Thewlis and Clifford
Weetra were all dominant in setting up the visitors’
numerous forward forays throughout the afternoon.
In an all too familiar tale for the Roosters, Marc Elliott
was left to carry the scoring as he provided a six-goal
haul – the only multiple goal-scoring contribution for the
Elliott was deservingly voted as best afield for
Strathalbyn while Simon Munn and Austin McFarlane
also battled hard in the losing cause.
Down the road at Langhorne Creek, the hosting Hawks
also suffered a defeat as they fell to Myponga-Sellicks
18-14 (122) to 12-6 (78).
After opening its 2015 account with an Anzac Day
victory over Strathalbyn, Langhorne Creek started full
of confidence in the second successive match under
lights at Hawk Park.
The hosts held a narrow four-point advantage after a
combined 11-goal opening term and continued to match
it with the Mudlarks during the second term in what was
an entertaining encounter for the spectators.
Having entered the long break with just a three-point
advantage, Myponga-Sellicks lifted its game to begin
the second half of play and it appeared that the youthful
Hawks had started to run out of steam.
As the final quarter commenced, the Mudlarks quickly
blew out their 19-point three-quarter time lead as the
vastly inexperienced hosts stopped in their tracks.
The eventual 44-point margin was a fair reflection
of Myponga-Sellicks second half dominance after it
withstood a brave Langhorne Creek first-half challenge.
Scott Ogilvie, Matt Flintham, Tom Carroll and
debutante Justin Hentschke each kicked three goals for
the Mudlarks to prove a handful for the Hawks defence,
while Nick Hassan and Wade Hutchinson also shone
under the lights.
Curtis Perrey booted four goals in a best afield
performance for Langhorne Creek, and Tynan Keeley a
further three, while Matt Tonkin, Aaron Killian and Boyd
West also put in notable efforts while the team’s many
youngsters will continue to learn on the job as they are
exposed to A-grade football.
In a clash between two unbeaten teams at Mt
Compass, the hosting Bulldogs surprisingly prevailed
comfortably over Goolwa-Port Elliot 13-14 (92) to 5-5
Mt Compass booted five goals to one during the first
term and never looked back against an outclassed
Magpies team which struggled to enter the forward half
with any regularity.
Key forward duo Tom Pinyon and Ziggy Vitkunas
contributed a combined seven goals for the Bulldogs
which would prove more than enough to win on the
afternoon against the disappointing visitors.
Encounter Bay bounced back from last week’s loss to
Victor Harbor with a 13-8 (86) to 8-5 (53) victory over
In a clash of the Eagles, the hosting Encounter Bay
variety set the game up during the first half – keeping
McLaren to a single goal before half-time and cruised
through the second half to a comfortable victory.
Tyson Neale booted six majors for the victors while
Matt Allen was selected as best afield.
Jake Rowe was best for McLaren while Jordon Mutton
and Jason Cowling booted three goals each.
A huge result was recorded at Willunga Oval as visiting
Yankalilla recorded its first victory since 2013 with a 13-
16 (94) to 10-9 (69) victory over the Demons.
Yankalilla edged out to a 26-point lead during the first
term and continued to build as it again outscored the
hosts during the second quarter to lead by 37 points at
the long break.
After blowing the lead through a scoreless second half
against Encounter Bay in Round 2, Yankalilla made
sure it wouldn’t make the same mistake again as it held
firm during the second half to secure a much awaited
victory by 25 points.
Ryan Lewis led the Tigers scoring with three goals while
Andrew Cook was the pick of the visiting performers.
Daniel Butcher booted five goals for Willunga – which
received a best on ground performance from Joel
Garrett in his first game since 2012.
GSFL ladder (after Round 4): Victor Harbor 8, Mt
Compass 8, Encounter Bay 6, Goolwa-Port Elliot 6,
Myponga-Sellicks 4, McLaren 2, Langhorne Creek 2,
Willunga 2, Yankalilla 2, Strathalbyn 0.
Round 5 fixture: Strathalbyn v McLaren, Willunga
v Langhorne Creek, Yankalilla v Mt Compass, Victor
Harbor v Goolwa-Pt Elliot, Myponga-Sellicks v
Stellar to cellar for Strath
Blackwood and Echunga squared
off last Saturday for the first time
since last season’s hotly contested
The highly anticipated Round 4 Hills
Football League Division 1 clash at Windy
Hill lived up to the hype, with Echunga
pulling away to win by 25 points after
leading by a point at half-time.
“We were under the pump from the
opening bounce with 20 players all match,”
commented Echunga coach Lindsay
“It was great to give another Senior Colt in
Sam Bates a run in A-grade.
“The milestone players in Clint Guy (100th)
and Adam Jennings (50th) were terrific
and again the workload was shared, but
Blackwood were dangerous all day.
“I was surprised by the margin in the end
and credit to our boys with a danger game
against the unknown and much improved
Hahndorf coming up.”
The Woods welcomed West Adelaide
recruit Simon Wong into the starting line up
for his first match with the club.
Blackwood’s stand-in skipper Steve Jeffery
won the toss and elected to kick down the
hill towards the railway end of the ground.
Echunga started well with Sam Cranna
winning some early hit outs, whilst gun
forward Brett Harland (five goals) kicked
the opening major of the match inside two
The game settled and Glenn Dundovic
was able to assert his dominance on the
contest, kicking the next two goals of the
match for Blackwood.
Echunga kicked two of the next three goals
through Pete Lindsay and Adam Edwards,
with Paul Magarey splitting the goals, and
the Demons led by two points at quarter
The second quarter started much like the
first, as the arm wrestle continued.
Echunga’s midfield began to get on top
through the likes of Edwards, Clint Guy
(four goals) and Shane Maslin.
Jesse Aish started to have an influence
with some valuable possessions, whilst Guy
was able to put the first goal of the second
stanza on the board after six minutes.
The battle turned into a congested game
for the remainder of the quarter with the
umpire having lots of possessions.
The teams went goal-for-goal, with ‘AJ’
Ridley, Michael Minuzzo, Lucas Herbert
and Wong scoring goals for the Woods,
whilst Guy and Austin Miller converted for
The half-time siren sounded with Echunga
leading by one point.
Echunga were the better team during the
early stages of the third term, with early
goals to Lindsay and Guy.
Aish was playing a loose man in defence
and the Demons were able to halt numerous
Blackwood forward 50m entries, until
James Catford bobbed up for a goal after
A long goal to Wong in front of the
scoreboard resulted in the margin tightening
up once again.
Harland responded for the Demons and
the visitors led by nine points at the final
Echunga coach Bassani urged his players
to lift, while counterpart Damian Salievic
outlined to the Woods players they needed
to take their opportunities.
Once again Echunga started better after
the final break, with Harland and Lindsay
putting on two goals after only four minutes.
This appeared to give Echunga the upper
hand, as it pumped the ball inside forward
50m on multiple occasions.
Kurt Thompson continued to rebound
off half back for Blackwood and Dundovic
converted from 50m at the eight-minute
mark as the Woods were still in the game.
An immediate reply from Harland, followed
by a strong mark and goal from Herbert,
and the teams were having a shootout.
Turnovers were traded between the 50m
arcs, before Lindsay and Kahran McKenzie
were able to extend Echunga’s lead to 25
points when the final siren blew.
The contest was highly attacking with 29
goals for the match, however, Echunga’s
dominance around the ball ultimately
allowed them to continue to put the pressure
on Blackwood’s defence.
Echunga’s midfield dominated the
clearance and contested ball, however,
Blackwood’s defence and counter attack
was the best the Demons have played
against this season.
Scott Bricknell and Thompson were the
architects in the Woods progression forward.
Bates made his debut for Echunga and
made the most of his limited time in the
forward pocket with a few disposals and will
develop into a handy A-grader in years to
Guy finished with four goals in his 100th
game and produced silky smooth work
across half forward.
Cranna rucked solo all match and won the
majority of centre square taps, which gave
Echunga’s on-ball brigade first use more
often than not.
Also featuring in Echunga’s best, Maslin
played through the midfield and swapped
with Guy, Jennings played his usual ‘in and
under’ work, whilst Adam Edwards kicked
McKenzie, who played a solid game off the
wing, Brodie Fleet was hard at it again and
Harland kicked 5-3, and all of his misses
were in the third quarter from relatively easy
Echunga suffered injuries in the match with
David Carter breaking his nose in the first
quarter, while David Liston suffered a head
knock in the second term.
Players currently missing for Echunga
include David and Steven Edmonds, Steven
Koop, Dwayne Henke and Luke Carey
Blackwood’s best included Bricknell, who
played pretty loose across half back and
found plenty of the ball in space.
Thompson rebounded well out of half back
and set up lots of drive from defence.
Dundovic played a lone hand in attack and
was the most damaging player up forward
for Blackwood with three goals.
The majority of Blackwood’s better players
were players from its defensive half and
their transition from into attack was first
Hot time atop Windy Hill
Kurt Thompson (centre) manages to get a clearing kick away for Blackwood under pressure from
Echunga’s Austin Miller as past West Adelaide and now Woods team-mates Simon Wong (left) and
Scott Bricknell (right) watch on during last Saturday’s Hills Football League Division 1 A-grade
match at Blackwood’s Windy Hill venue. The Woods provided a stern test before the visiting
reigning premier pulled away to win by 25 points.
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