SWEET FAIRWELL FOR KRIS
He’s been around almost as long as his beloved Bulldogs, but in his final home game as CEO of Central District Football Club, Kris Grant was farewelled with a win, as his team beat Adelaide by 33 points in SANFL round 18.
Grant has retired after initially playing in the Club’s juniors in the 1960s, before taking on his current job in 1977. His greatest legacy was being at the helm as the Club finally broke through for that maiden flag in 2000, and went on to play in 12 consecutive grand finals for nine premierships.
A happy man after the Bulldogs managed to put a smile on his face after a tough season, Grant was applauded by both sides and thanked for his service immediately after the final siren.
As for the game, Central set the standard for the match in the first quarter with four goals to one, then led 8.5 to 3.2 at half time to set up the victory.
In just over a tick over a minute after the game started, Nick Lange had the Bulldogs’ first goal, then three majors in the middle part of the first quarter – from Dylan Weaver, Jordan O’Brien and Aiden Grace – proceeded Adelaide’s sole major of the period.
Leading 4.3 to 1.2 at the first break, Central looked to be cruising after Marcus Barreau and Fraser Fort kicked truly early in the second term.
Adelaide shifted the game’s momentum with two majors mid-term, but the Bulldogs had too much to play for, to honour Grant and two milestone players – Kyle Presbury’s 100th game and Barreau’s 50th.
Fort then kicked a left foot snap, for the goal of the game, on the cusp of half time, before Lange booted a late six-pointer to finish the quarter with the Doggies holding a 33-point advantage at the long break.
In a wasteful start to the second half, Central did all the attacking for the first 15 minutes for a return of just three behinds, but managed a pair of goals late, through Grace and Lange, to go into lemons with a commanding 10.8 to 3.4 lead.
After three solid quarters of dominant footy, the Bulldogs took the foot off the pedal in the last term, with just a Fort goal to three from Adelaide, but at least the game was safe.
Presbury celebrated his 100th in style to be best on ground, while the defenders stood tall to make sure Adelaide did not really threaten Central’s dominance, with Wyatt Patterson, Weaver and Dylan Morten leading the way.
Lange, Fort and Grace were solid all game up front, while Leek Alleer continued to add to his magnificent portfolio of candidates for mark of the year with a couple of gems.
After a week off in the split round, the Bulldogs finish their 2021 campaign with a game against premiership contender Woodville West Torrens at Woodville.
Goals: Lange 3, Fort 3, Grace 2, Weaver, O’Brien, Barreau 1.
Best: Presbury, Lange, Patterson, Grace, Morton, Shaw.
By Robert Laidlaw