TIME ON HURTS DOGS
Against reigning premier Woodville West Torrens at Elizabeth in the SANFL round nine clash, Central District matched it with the Eagles throughout the game, except in the time on periods, to eventually go down by 29 points.
While the Dogs booted only seven goals for the game, Woodville West Torrens kicked 11, but four of those were deep into the time on periods of three of the quarters, which, at the end of the day, was the major difference.
It was an arm-wrestle in the first quarter, as Central battled it out with the Eagles, swapping goals. The Dogs managed the first major through Connor McLean, in a crowded scramble, which was quickly answered.
Then about 10 minutes in, Darcy Pisani converted a free kick but five minutes later the visitors booted their second.
The status quo remained until late in the term, when the Eagles put their noses in front with a goal to go 3.3 to 2.2 up at quarter time.
Although the Eagles appeared to dominate most of the second quarter, it wasn’t until they broke the shackles after 17 minutes of goal-less footy to put on two majors in the final four minutes of the half to push out to a 26-point advantage.
In the first 60 second of the second term, the Eagles kicked truly but the way Central answered was extraordinary, as Aiden Grace had a set shot from the boundary, 50m out on the grandstand side at the northern end, and threaded the eye of the needle.
And when the Eagles kicked another goal at the eight-minute mark it looked like they were taking control, but a committed defensive effort by the Doggies saw Central manage to hold the attack at bay, until those final few minutes, to go in 3.2 to 7.4 down at the long break.
While in normal circumstances, Grace’s goal in the second quarter would have been hard to beat, his effort early in the third term did! From a tight angle, hugging the boundary about 30m out on the school side, he laid the ball on his boot for an inside-out goal of the game.
When Kyle Presbury kicked truly 10 minutes into the third quarter, the Dogs were just 15 points down and in with a chance.
A missed opportunity by Central a few minutes later, which was responded with by an Eagles’ goal – the final major of the period – saw the home side trail 5.3 to 8-9 at lemons, with just a slight chance of victory.
It was another tight tussle in the last quarter, with both sides booting a pair of goals up to the time-on period, with the Eagles kicking one last major just before the final siren, to win 11.10 to 7.5.
With number one ruckman Jonathon Marsh missing, it was always going to be a tough assignment for Central to cover, but Thomas Graham worked manfully to try his best to nullify the Eagles huge advantage in that area, while his work around the ground was first class.
Harry Grant, Presbury, Travis Schiller and Justin Hoskin worked extra hard at the stoppages to collect possessions, as they did a great job to reduce the obvious advantage the visitors had.
For his part, Marcus Barreau continues to make marked improvements each week, as he is becoming more consistent in his contributions through games.
After a bye this weekend, Central host West Adelaide at Elizabeth on Saturday, June 19.
Goals: Grace 2, McLean, D. Pisani, Presbury, Graham, Dew 1.
Best: Graham, Grant, Presbury, T. Schiller, Hoskin, Barreau.
By Robert Laidlaw