JUST NEED A BIT OF POLISH
Central District had a slow start against Norwood at the Parade in its SANFL round 11 clash, before fighting out the game for a 30-point loss.
The way the Bulldogs regrouped after falling 37-points down eight minutes into the second quarter, proves the endeavour is there, with just a bit of polish lacking – which experience with provide.
With Norwood starting fast – with the crowd behind it and a bit of fortunate umpiring decisions – Central was under the pump, conceding three goals in the game’s first eight minutes and five for the first term, to trail 5.2 to 0.1.
When Norwood opened the second quarter with the first major, it wasn’t only the weather that was looking bleak.
But a couple of goals mid-term, to Ethan East and Aiden Grace had the Bulldogs wagging their tails.
And after Norwood managed to regain control with the next two majors, a couple of brilliant shots injected enthusiasm into the red, white and blue supporters, in what could only be described as World Cup quality goals.
First, at the 28-minute mark, Nick Gillard, from a tight angle and no time to spare, soccered what looked like the goal of the game, but it was soon trumped three minutes later by Marcus Barreau.
A loose ball came forward and it looked like a contested pack would form, but Barreau, with little time to think, had a bit of an ‘airy’, where he managed to put the slipper on the mid-air ball, which went sailing through, to trump Gillard’s effort.
After a first half that saw Norwood in command most of the way, for Central to play electrifying footy for the final few minutes of the half, the thought of a shock victory looked possible.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, although dominating the play through most of the third term, that advantage was not reflected on the scoreboard, although Chris Olsson’s snap 12 minutes into the period was the only goal of the quarter, by either side.
Trailing by 17-points at lemons, another committed effort in the final stanza could bring home the win for the Dogs, but they needed an early goal.
But when Norwood managed a major at the four-minute mark and another 10 minutes in, the result wasn’t in doubt – Central’s final five scoring shots in the final half of the last quarter resulted in minor scores, for a 10-12 to 5-12 loss.
Missing Jarrod Schiller around the stoppages hurt, but his brother Travis stepped up to play a courageous role, while second gamer Shay Linke proved he belongs at this level, collecting 13 possessions and laying nine crunching tackles.
Kyle Presbury again was high in the best players, while Fraser Fort played a pivotal role as a utility – dropping back, being creative forward and working hard in ruck.
Darcy Pisani and Harry Grant again collected numerous touches and continually do their best to push the ball forward, while the defense was tough all game.
Up forward, Grace has been a threat all season and is an important target, but if he can get a better conversion rate it could prove a major difference in close games over the later stages of the year.
This Saturday the Bulldogs host Port Powers’ reserves.
Goals: East, Grace, Gillard, Barreau, Olsson 1.
Best: T. Schiller, Linke, Presbury, Ford, Pisani, Grant.
By Robert Laidlaw