BULLDOGS BARK AGAIN
By Robert Laidlaw
Woof, Woof, the Doggies are barking again, after beating the Eagles by 23 points in the SANFL round 14 clash at Woodville.
And it was a complete turnaround, not only from a half-time deficit of 29 points but in a season where there was little joy after nine consecutive losses.
The writing was on the wall the previous week when Central District lost a close game to Sturt, with the effort against the Eagles demonstrating an unquenchable thirst for victory that now exists with this playing group.
A seven goal to none third term turned the game around, which was the best quarter of footy by the Bulldogs this season – even better than the seven-goal-to-one last stanza against Norwood early in the year.
In the first quarter Central was competitive but inaccurate, with a return of 2.4 to 3.0, after Fraser Fort and Kyle Jenner goals.
But the second term had supporters remembering the bad times again, as the Eagles booted 5.3 to just a single Fort goal, to lead by 29-points, with many thinking “Woodville West Torrens by how much?”
After Fort booted his third major of the game to open up the third term, and then a Central behind, the floodgates opened with an amazing run of sensational goals.
Jenner backed into a pack to take a courageous mark and converted from 30m, for the Dogs to trail by just 16 points.
Then Trav Schiller offered a piece of magic with his contested ball get, and snap – 10 points in arrears.
A huge bomb from 50m by Troy Menzel, followed quickly by a Schiller brother combination, when Trav handballed to Jarrad, who snapped a beauty from 40m – and Central was in front!
Yet there was still more to come in the third quarter, as a nifty handball from Isaya McKenzie gave Menzel a clear chance for a snap at goal, which he did not miss, just on the cusp of time on.
Then Jonathan Marsh attempted a long running shot from 50m, which was ‘converted’ on the goal line by Ethan East for his first major in league footy, as the Doggies led by 13 points at lemons, 10.6 to 8.4 – what a turnaround!
And the goal of the game? Step up Jarrad Schiller for this week’s winner among a closely fought tussle in the third term for this recognition.
With the season Central has had, most people were wondering how long before the bubble would burst, and with the Eagles opening the final stanza with two goals and a behind in the first six minutes, the game was tied.
But the Doggies had their tails in the air and were flying, with first a point to regain the lead, then a wonderful tackle and conversion from the resulting free – from 45m out – by youngster East supplied some breathing space.
Then at the 15-minute mark Nick Gillard held his nerve and kicked truly from 35m to signal that the drought could be over, as Central led by 12 points.
A desperate five minutes by both sides saw no change to the scoreline, with 19-year-old East making a bigger mark on the game with a pair of goals.
While the Eagles did kick a goal late, even that wasn’t acceptable to the Bulldogs, as Nick Madden booted the game’s final six-pointer after the siren ended the contest.
And it wasn’t only the “big four” in the Schiller siblings, Menzel and Justin Hoskin who led the way – although Jarrad’s first half was sensational and Trav set up a lot of forward momentum in the final term – there were 21 contributors on the day.
Fort is proving a valuable pinch hitter for the team, whether it’s providing headaches for opposition defenders, working hard in ruck or just his ability to get to a contest around the ground.
Another pleasing aspect all game was Central’s tackling (91-58 on the day) especially in the forward 50m, with East a standout, holding nine huge tackles, to more than earn his opportunity to boot four goals.
This Saturday Central travel to Richmond to take on West Adelaide, with a victory all but certain of putting the Bulldogs out of cellar calculations.
Best: J. Schiller, Fort, Menzel, T. Schiller, East, Goodrem, Barreau, Hoskin.
Goals: East 4, Fort 3, Jenner 2, Menzel 2, T. Schiller, J. Schiller, Gillard, Madden 1.
|Central District||2.4 (16)||3.4 (22)||10.6 (66)||15.8 (98)|
|Woodville||3.0 (18)||8.3 (51)||5.3 (53)||11.9 (75)|