BULLDOGS BRAVE AGAINST THE ODDS
My how the odds were stacked against Central District in its round 16 SANFL clash with Port Adelaide at Woodville – yet the Dogs fought the game out well in going down by 23-points.
Central was in the contest right up to half way through the final quarter, when a pair of Port Power reserves’ goals put victory out of reach.
The Doggies did not die wondering though, as they kept pushing until the final siren, booting two late majors, including a magnificent over the shoulder snap for goal of the day by Nick Lange – a split second before the final siren.
How much harder could the odds be stacked against Central?
Firstly, the incredibly poor timing of the game – 7.40pm in the middle of winter. Port’s choice of time to suit tying in with its AFL team’s game – yet the Dog’s reserves were programmed at Norwood Oval in the morning!
It allowed the Port Power reserves team to load up with extra AFL listed players, which proved the difference in the run home, as thier fitness level was too much in the end.
Central coach Paul Thomas was missing because of health protocols – although there wouldn’t have been any social distancing problems, as the sparse crowd (676) was a low record for a Bulldogs’ league game.
Still, the Dogs played competitively throughout the game, with Port’s extra talls the major difference – as it led 58-17 in hit-outs and 19-10 in contested marks.
The first quarter was a dour period, as both teams scored just one goal, with the first break level-pegging at 1.3 each.
Port moved ahead in the second term with two braces of goals, with Central answering both times with single majors, as the Power reserves led 5.5 to 3.5 at half time
Similar to the opening term, the third quarter saw only one goal each, as Port was 6.6 to 4.7 ahead at lemons.
When Port opening the final stanza with an early goal, it looked journey too far, but hopes were revived when Kyle Presbury cleverly worked the ball forward, which resulted in Ethan East putting the one through the big uprights.
Another Port goal seven minutes in created some headaches, but the Power reserves’ two mid-term majors sealed the deal.
A couple of ‘misses’ by the Dogs into time on was a little deflating, especially when Port managed another goal, but then Lange kicked the final two majors of the game to bring the margin back.
Central’s three most consistent performers this season, the Schiller brothers Jarrod and Travis, and Presbury, again were prominent, while Rhett Montgomerie and Lange continue to have impacts, and young gun Lewis Cowham is the real deal.
And so now it’s time for another bye, with the Bulldogs next game on August 6 at home against Norwood – check for starting times closer to the game.
Goals: Lange 3, Grace 2, J. Schiller, East 1.
Best: J. Schiller, T. Schiller, Lange, Presbury, Montgomerie, Cowham.
By Robert Laidlaw