2012 SANFL 1st Semi Final Centrals vs North
SAD END FOR BULLDOGS
By Robert Laidlaw
Central District lost to North Adelaide by 88-points in the 2012 SANFL first semi final, to end what has been a magnificent dynasty of 12 straight grand finals.
Unfortunately the loss was the second worst in the club's finals history, only behind the 90-point thrashing handed out to Central by Port in the 1994 preliminary final.
The 88-point margin is the greatest ever in a first semi-final, going back to 1931, and it was the first time the Bulldogs have lost to North in any type of finals game.
And, it is the first time since 1989 Central has been bundled out of the finals in straight sets.
It was also the 246th and final game in the red, white and blue for Chris Gowans, and 245th and the end of the road for James Gowans, a champion set of twins who played a major part in the club's magnificent reign – thankyou boys on behalf of all club supporters.
The game was forgettable. There were issues with correct disposal, discipline and team chemistry – three traits made famous by the Dogs over the past decade-and-a-bit in finals footy.
North hammered Central from the start with six of the game's first seven majors, with only two 'magic' goals keeping the Dogs close at quarter time, 3-1 to 6-2.
Chris Gowans kicked what could have been the goal of the game at the 26 minute mark, when he threaded a beauty through from the boundary.
It wasn't though, as a couple of minutes later, Trent Goodrem trumped Gowans' effort, when a long, high, floater, dissected the white sticks for a miraculous effort, and the 'real' goal of the game.
Any hopes raised by those two goals were quickly snuffed out when the Roosters booted the only five majors of the second term, and went in at half time with an 11-5 to 3-4 advantage.
Opening with the first two goals of the third term, the Bulldogs looked to have turned the corner, but no, North was the dominant side on the park and unleashed further agony on the Central faithful, with six of the next seven majors to go in at lemons with a 70 point advantage.
The last quarter was a formality, with the Roosters cruising home.
Central District's reserves had another easy finals win, beating West Adelaide in the first semi-final, and will play Sturt in the preliminary final.
North Adelaide 6.2 11.5 17.9 21.12 (138)
Central District 3.1 3.4 6.5 7.8 (50)
Best: Sansbury, Symes, C. Gowans, Goodrem, Thomas.
Goals: C. Gowans 2, Goodrem 2, Hayes, Sansbury, Hardy.