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The Courier SPORT Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – PAGE 7
DIVISION 2 FOOTBALL
with Ben Goldfinch
Kangarilla graced the Hills
Football League Division 2
winner’s podium for the first
time in the 2015 season with a
character building eight-point
victory against Gumeracha last
Saturday at Yaroona Oval.
The southern Blues have confronted
adversity over the pre-season period,
however, they have dug deep and the
reward on the scoreboard came at home
against the northern Magpies.
Kangarilla were in control for the first
quarter with goals to Timothy Irvin (two),
Matthew McGrath, Mitchell Young and
Holding a 5-4 to 2-1 lead at quarter
time, the Blues dropped off in the second
quarter, giving Gumeracha a sniff and
Gumeracha played pretty well and the
aerial battle was certainly intriguing with
Jordan Noble leading Kangarilla’s ruck.
In a real dour battle, scores were locked
away at half-time before Kangarilla kicked
the first goal in the third quarter through
Over the following 10 minutes Gumeracha
fought back to hit the lead and once again
Young popped up to kick another major for
The highlight of the quarter was Shaun
Gale’s brilliant dodge and weave, before
slotting a goal from 40m out for the Blues.
Kangarilla regained the upper hand and
at three-quarter time led by three goals.
Gumeracha kicked the initial two goals
of the final quarter in quick succession to
close the gap.
However, Kangarilla steadied and
controlled the contest and eventually
secured a breakthrough 14-9 to 12-13
Jarrad Hirst and Trent Thorpe were
terrific across the back line all match for
Ruckman Noble worked hard and Young
up forward provided the spark to kick four
Kangarilla can take a lot of confidence
from the win and some key players should
return for the away clash against Sedan-
Cambrai this Saturday.
Goal kickers for Gumeracha included
Matthew Grgurovic with four, whilst Shawn
Mansell (three) and Andrew Mapstone
(two) also finished with multiple majors.
Best players for the northern Magpies
included Lachlan Carpenter, Matthew
Armstrong, Brodie Pool, Jesse Diotti and
Birdwood had Bridgewater on the ropes
following a punishing start at Birdwood
Oval last Saturday, before the Raiders
recovered to record a fourth successive
Hills Football League Division 2 victory by
It was a tough match and an ever improving
Birdwood combination certainly played well in
the first quarter and definitely got the jump on the
The Raiders had some early injuries which affected
their structure, however, in fairness the first quarter
belonged to Birdwood.
Birdwood had a good system going and it was only
some sloppy ball use and good defending which
prevented the hosts from leading by more at quarter
It was the best football Birdwood have played in
There was plenty of run and carry and hitting targets
going forward, which is always helpful.
The second quarter was a bit more of an arm wrestle
with Bridgewater fighting back into the contest.
Further injuries to key players Tom Schwarz (ruck),
and forwards Dylan Radbone and Sam Foutoulis
resulted in the Raiders being under the pump.
Coach Rob Prime is away for two weeks so the main
duties fell to assistant playing coach Stuart Bown.
Bown did a mountain of work playing wise, whilst
his ability to direct the Raiders young group was
Bown used his experience well and it was a great
battle between himself and Birdwood skipper Jock
McLeay in ruck.
McLeay was fantastic and proved why he is one of
the best ruckman in the competition.
The Roosters got caught going back to their old
ways, bombing the ball forward and not lowering
Bridgewater started to get on top in the middle
with John McDonald displaying his class.
McDonald peeled off the contest well and used
the ball with precision and poise.
Bridgewater narrowed the deficit to eight points
at half-time and the third quarter was much of the
same with Bridgewater entering its forward line
cleaner than Birdwood.
Birdwood’s Jack Wood – who usually rucks
and frees up McLeay – didn’t play which left the
Roosters short across centre half forward.
Bridgewater’s defence also peeled off well to
curtail Chad Connolly’s early dominance and the
Roosters forwards were a little slow to react.
Birdwood’s defence held up reasonably well
considering the clean ball movement the Roosters
were getting through the middle of the ground.
Birdwood vice-captain Luke Snowden has come
along in leaps and bounds over the past 18 months,
taking his defensive game to another level.
Snowden sets Birdwood up across half back with
his precise foot skills.
His younger brother Brad is also having a great
season, taking a leaf out of his brother’s book.
Bridgewater claimed the lead at three-quarter
time by 13 points.
Simon Muster was pushed up the ground across
half forward to give Birdwood another target in the
Birdwood seemed a lot sharper going forward
and it kept the Roosters in the game.
The hosts kicked two quick goals with about 10
minutes remaining, which put the Roosters back
Birdwood were on top all over ground, however,
the Raiders dug deep and kept taking on the game
with two quick replies of their own.
That was basically the ball game in the final five
The Roosters continually thrust the ball forward,
but were unable to capitalise on opportunities,
whilst Bridgewater defended strongly.
It was another step forward for the Roosters
young group, however, they shouldn’t accept these
If Birdwood want to regain respect in the
competition they have to start winning the big
games and the players are fully aware of that.
Unfortunately it was the second and third quarters
which let the Roosters down.
Bridgewater’s win was character building,
considering it played with three points of a possible
13 and had 16 fit players in the final quarters.
The Raiders effectively didn’t have a bench after
quarter time, and they will subsequently be tested
over the next few rounds.
Bridgewater’s youngsters stood up, namely Pierre
Bushell, Adam Houlahan, Will Fearnhead and Nick
Birdwood’s Ryan Cranwell (12) offers
a barrier to air-borne Bridgewater
Raiders duo Stuart Bown (centre) and
Ben O’Donnell in last Saturday’s Hills
Division 2 A-grade football clash at
Birdwood Oval. Bown stepped in as
substitute coach for the Raiders and
would have been relieved as the team
continued its undefeated start to the 2015
campaign with a 10-point victory over a
determined hosting Roosters combination
which led throughout the first half of the
Round 4 fixture.
.... on the
ball with the
best in Hills
Saturday’s Hills Football League Division 1
action could make or break several sides.
Mt Lofty (1-3) and Mt Barker (1-3) sit in eighth and ninth place
respectively and square off at Heathfield and commentary
will be available on 88.9FM from 2pm.
It’s a massive game, considering the loser could be two
games and percentage outside the top five.
It will be a special day for the Mountain Devils, celebrating
the gathering of heritage clubs Stirling and Heathfield-
Aldgate, with 60 and 40-year premiership reunions.
The Barkeroos broke away from Onka Valley in the final
quarter last Saturday to record a breakthrough scalp.
Recruit Stuart Hill has kicked seven goals in the past two
Mt Lofty have already used 29 players this season, which
has hampered stability, and Brad Burch, Sam Hammond,
Alex Weeks and Sam Miles battled hard against Lobethal.
Echunga (3-1) venture to confront neighboring rival
Hahndorf (2-2) under lights.
The Magpies have certainly improved, exempified by an
intense battle against Uraidla.
Michael Handby could make his first appearance since
Handby is balancing his time at Hahndorf with assisting
North Adelaide’s league side, whilst Josh Wittwer may make
his second appearance.
Echunga return to the site of last season’s memorable
The Demons bounced back with a character building victory
against Blackwood at Windy Hill, as Sam Bates made his
Echunga will miss Steve Edmonds, Dwayne Henke and
Brock Rothe for the clash, whilst David Edmonds could
return along with Steve Koop.
Whether Luke Carey makes an appearance for Echunga
remains a query, considering his impressive form in the
SANFL with Adelaide.
Winless Onkaparinga Valley suffered another setback with
Tom Jefferies sustaining an ankle injury.
Key personnel including Steve Tanner, Zac Hausler, Damian
Green and Angus Glazbrook are also currently missing.
The youthful Valley Bulldogs host undefeated Uraidla
Districts, which have conceded on average just six goals per
Uraidla appear rejuvenated with Will Young, Mick
Sandercock, Simon Parker, Billy Gepp, Rob Kepa, Will
Trengove and Liam Soar stepping up to A-grade ranks on a
Torrens Valley remain undefeated and Johnny Boras, Luke
and Dale Ellis have combined for 66 percent of the goals
The Valley Lions face Blackwood (2-2), which is getting
tremendous drive from defence through Scott Bricknell and
Time for a stand
Torrens Valley youngster Tom Wachtel and experienced
Blackwood counterpart Lucas Herbert clash in ruck.
Blackwood must nullify midfielders Chad O’Sullivan, Brad
Hunter and Tom Eichner.
Lobethal (2-2) will have to adjust to Mortgage Choice
Adelaide Hills Arena in Ironbank.
The Tigers have found form with wins against Onka Valley
and Mt Lofty.
Past Ironbank wingman David Kruse was a star last
Saturday, whilst Braydn Fisher and Trevor Baust combined
for 10 goals.
Lobethal aren’t one dimensional, with six multiple goal
kickers against Mt Lofty.
Ironbank (1-3) have lost three on the trot without Daniel
Motlop, using 34 players and have had chances over recent
rounds, but when the door was ajar they couldn’t pounce.
Undefeated Bridgewater and Nairne-Bremer had character
building victories last Saturday and duly sit atop the HFL
Division 2 premiership ladder.
The Raiders suffered injuries and trailed Birdwood, before
recovering to win by 10 points.
Nairne defeated Kersbrook in a minor rounds match for the
first time since 2006.
The Rams found a way to win, even with leading goal kicker
Wade Hancock red carded and Micah Rupcic yellow carded
in the second quarter.
Both sides possess plenty of young talent and speed
across the ground.
It’s been a while since Nairne have played at Bridgewater
Oval and it will be interesting how it sets up in attack.
Sedan-Cambrai (1-2) and Kangarilla (1-2) will be gunning
for a second victory for the season in the Round 5 clash at
The southern Blues accounted for Gumeracha, with
Mitchell Young kicking four goals, which brought welcome
relief to all involved in the club.
Sedan-Cambrai were clearly disappointed with its output
against Meadows and have an opportunity to respond.
Winless Gumeracha host a refreshed Macclesfield (1-2)
and the northern Magpies are struggling, already using 34
Both sides met in last season’s elimination final, and it’s
likely Macclesfield will win this contest comfortably and
maintain its push for a top three position.
Kersbrook (3-1) host Meadows (1-3) and the Brookers will
be eager to respond after losing to Nairne.
The southern Bulldogs clicked into gear against Sedan-
Cambrai, however, they will require another rise in intensity
to match the Brookers.
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