PLENTY OF GRIT BUT WORK TO BE DONE
Yes, it was a disappointing loss, going down by 43-points to North Adelaide at Prospect Oval, in Central District’s round three SANFL clash, but the players demonstrated plenty of grit.
A pleasing aspect of the game was the determination the Bulldogs showed, even when well beaten, as they stood up and fought the game out.
It would have been easy to just coast along, but the desperate efforts to earn the ball and look to create passages of play was encouraging.
The opening was also the best Central’s have had this season, although favoured by the breeze.
North kicked the game’s first major, it then could not ‘buy’ a goal, as the Bulldogs settled and worked well as a team to create opportunities going forward.
Firstly, Fraser Fort stood out like a beacon with some good grabs and a couple of goals in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Fort then set up the Dogs’ third goal with a neat pass to Justin Hoskin, while he also had a hand in Ethan East’s major – both six-pointers coming back-to-back mid-term.
When Rhett Montgomerie took a sensational mark and converted from 55m for his first goal in league footy, just before quarter time, Central led 5.2 to 1.6 and looked a chance of causing an upset.
North turned it on in the first 12 minutes of the second term to wrest the advantage though, and basically took control of the game, with 4.4, to grab a six-point lead.
Hosking steadied the ship with a major to level the scores half way through the period, but North booted four of the next five goals to go into half time with a 13-point lead.
Central needed to regain the momentum with the wind in the third quarter if it was to have any chance of winning the game, and when teenager Adam Deakin kicked a 55m bomb for goal of the game two minutes in, hopes were raised.
But the Roosters dictated terms and booted four of the next five goals to go into lemons with a handy 24-point lead, and the breeze at their backs in the final stanza.
It was a slog for the Doggies, as they battled to contain North from blowing the margin out, with only four home-team goals a better result than what it could have been.
Central managed a late major through Aiden Grace, to give Central double figures for the third straight game – an achievement it failed to do last season.
Kyle Presbury started at a million miles an hour and did not slow down to be the Bulldogs’ best, while Billy McCormack was again outstanding, with his ruckwork and what he gives the side around the ground.
Rhett Montgomerie played arguably his best game at this level, with several outstanding marks and a great goal. Matt Neagle again was consistent out of defense and is a player often overlooked in best player lists.
This Saturday the Bulldogs host the AFL reserves Adelaide Crows team.
Goals: Fort, Hoskin 2, East, Montgomerie, Lange, Deakin, Weaver, Grace 1.
Best: Presbury, McCormack, Montgomerie, Neagle, Fort, Deakin.
By Robert Laidlaw