League Match Report

SANFL Round 15 Match Report


What a turnaround?

Central District almost came from the clouds to snatch another victory, but fell four-points short in a gallant effort against Sturt, in the SANFL round 15 clash at Elizabeth.

Just over two months ago the Bulldogs went down to the same side at Unley by 98-points – a 94-point turnaround.

The excitement in the closing stages of last Saturday’s match was palpable, as Central dominated through the time on period of the last term, with the ball continuously in its 50m area, but could only managed two behinds.

It was an amazing final term, as the Dogs trailed by 15-points at lemons but had seven scoring shots to just one by Sturt, and will rue those missed opportunities.

Just two and a half minutes into the final stanza, Ethan East read the ball off the pack well and kicked truly, for Central to be just nine points in arrears.

The next 10 minutes was the source of much frustration, as the Doggies only managed three behinds, but were in celebration mode when Nick Lange converted for full points half way through the term, to tie the scores.

But against the run of play, on the cusp of time-on, the Double Blues managed to get their noses back in front with a goal, which led to the disappointing ‘non-result’ through the later stages of the game.

If Central had been playing the type of footy it has over the past five matches all season, it would have been a finals contender.

In the opening quarter both sides fought hard, with just one goal each, Sturt scoring full points four minutes in, and the Dogs having the answer at the 11-minute mark, when some clever work by Kyle Presbury set up East for his first major. Central trailed 1.2 to 1.3 at the first break.

At the end of the day Sturt set up its win with a solid four-goals-to-one second term, which saw it go into half time 5.7 to 2.6.

Another hard-fought quarter in the third, saw both teams score two goals. The Doggies had more of the play but could not kick straight, adding 2.5 to 2.1.

The first Central major after half time came in just 17 seconds, when Fraser Fort snapped the goal of the game, which was a clear message the Bulldogs wouldn’t lay down, and were trying everything within their power to gain some respect after the previous game between the teams.

Trailing 4.11 to 7.8 at lemons, Central had the same number of scoring shots but trailed by 15 points. And even though adding seven scoring shots to just one in the last quarter, it wasn’t enough.

Travis and Jarrod Schiller, as well as Presbury were again standouts with their work around the packs, while Billy McCormack continued with his hard work in ruck and around the ground.

This Saturday is a strange game, as Central will play Port Adelaide at Woodville – only the second time the Dogs have played at the ground twice in one year, with the only other time in 1964 when Elizabeth Oval was unavailable for the first half of their inaugural season.

And it is at the unusual time slot of 7.40pm – so make sure to rug up for this one.

Goals: East 2, McCormack, Fort, Grace, Lange 1.

Best: T. Schiller, Presbury, J. Schiller, McCormack, East, Cowham.

By Robert Laidlaw