BAD KICKING IS BAD FOOTY
No doubt about it, Central District did everything right to win its round 13 SANFL game against Port Power reserves, except kick straight, which proved costly in a nine-point loss at Elizabeth on Saturday.
With a 33 percent accuracy rate in scoring (6.12) to Port’s 75 percent (9.3), the Bulldogs actually had six more scoring shots.
No more was this more obvious than in the second half, as Port booted seven majors without a miss, while Central managed three goals and five points after the long break.
But inaccuracy plagued the Bulldogs throughout the game, as they managed four consecutive points to start the first quarter, while Port managed a couple of goals, before Aiden Grace booted two time on goals for the home side to lead 2.4 to 2.1 at the first break.
Similar to Central’s third quarter against Norwood the previous week, the Bulldogs controlled the second term against Port but only managed one major, from a clever piece of work by Justin Hoskin that set up Chris Olsson half way through the period.
It wasn’t convincing, but Central led by 10 points at the long break, 3.7 to 2.3. It should have been closer to a 30-point lead the way the Dogs were playing.
Through the first half of the third term, again it seemed like the home side looked the more dangerous side, but with a return of just three behind to one Port goal, Central was not cashing in on its opportunities.
Finally some breathing space just before the time on period, when Nick Gillard took a contest mark and converted for the goal of the game.
But Port kicked another major to reduce the margin to eight points at the final change of ends.
Using a set play, Port opened the final quarter with a quick clearance from the bounce and kicked a goal to signal its intentions.
Some committed effort from the Bulldogs saw a response when Fraser Fort – who played an inspired final term against the odds – kicked truly to restore the advantage a minute later.
Port then took charge, as its ‘fitter’ AFL-trained players took control and booted the next three majors to all but set up the win.
Time was starting to tick away, but when Grace kicked his third goal of the game into time on, the door remained open for Central to steal the points back. But that opportunity evaporated when Port put the final nail in the coffin with a major two minutes later.
Was it a frustrating loss? Yes, it certainly was, because the Bulldogs did everything to win the game with a committed effort, but still came out on the wrong end of the result.
Over the four quarters, Travis Schiller and Hoskin were consistent and continually looked to be creative in forcing the ball into scoring opportunities.
Fort was outstanding in the final term and good throughout, while Kyle Presbury and Harry Grant again were conspicuous. Dylan Weaver led a solid defensive effort for the Bulldogs.
This Saturday Central District travel to Prospect to take on North Adelaide.
Goals: Grace 3, Olsson, Gillard, Fort 1.
Best: T. Schiller, Hoskin, Fort, Presbury, Grant, Weaver.
By Robert Laidlaw