LADY LUCK AGAINST DOGS
By Robert Laidlaw
Playing its best four-quarter game of the season, Central District fell just six points short of an upset victory over Sturt at Elizabeth in round 13 SANFL action.
A controversial reversal of a free kick at half back late in the game opened the door for Sturt to kick the final goal of the game to win 12.12 to 12.7.
The tenacious way the Dogs fought out each quarter augurs well for the rest of the season, with their fighting spirit something that has been there for periods most of the year, but by sustaining it for a full game they will now go into the final five games with some belief.
Another slow start again hampered the Bulldogs, although Jarrod Schiller booted a magic long goal in the first minute of the game, with Sturt kicking the next five majors to lead by 23-points into time on of the first stanza.
A great mark near the point post by Jydon Neagle at the 23-minute mark was converted with his around the body shot for goal of the game, to start a run of three late majors, as big man Damon Robinson converted twice in a minute to see Central trail by just four points at the first break.
The first 12 minutes of the second term was all Sturt, but fortunately after kicking two goals, four behinds followed.
A goalsquare conversion by Trav Schiller late, followed by Matt Neagle’s steady major kept the margin at seven points through half time.
Sturt again started a quarter well when it kicked two goals in the first five minutes of the third term, but then the Bulldogs controlled proceedings to kick the next three goals – including one to first-gamer Corey Durdin – to close within three points at lemons.
When Robinson took a big mark and converted in the first minute of the final term, Central was in front for the first time since the very early stages of the match.
Then after Sturt booted 2.2 in the next 10 minutes it led by 11 points, but goals to Jarrod Schiller and Justin Hoskin mid-term saw the Doggies one point ahead again, and with the momentum.
Just into time on Sturt managed a point to tie up proceedings, with a forward surge by Central a minute later resulting in a behind for another Bulldogs lead.
But at the 24-minute mark Sturt managed the final score of the game after that reversal free kick decision, with the final agonising four minutes scoreless, although Central had the ball in its forward 50m for a large period of that time.
There were three important statistical areas that the Doggies led in for the game, disposals (289-267), clearances (41-29) and tackles (72-62), all important components in winning a game.
Perhaps most disappointing for Central was the fact it did not score more heavily after winning the stoppages, especially out of the middle.
As usual, the Schiller brothers were right up there as the Dogs best, while captain Trent Goodrem played a solid game out of defense.
This Sunday Central travel to Woodville Oval to take on the Eagles, with an excellent chance of putting a dent in its 21st century rival’s finals chances.
Best: T. Schiller, J. Schiller, Goodrem, Jy. Neagle, Hoskin, Habel
Goals: Robinson 3, J. Schiller 2, Jy. Neagle, T. Schiller, M. Neagle, McKenzie, Durdin, Menzel, Hoskin 1.
|Central District||4.3 (27)||6.6 (42)||9.6 (60)||12.7 (79)|
|Sturt||5.1 (31)||7.7 (49)||9.9 (63)||12.12 (84)|