HATHERLEIGH 16.13 (109) d GLENCOE 12.17 (89)
A HUGE crowd was in attendance for the top-of-the-table clash at Hatherleigh in round nine of the Mid South East Football League on Saturday with the Eagles triumphing over the Murphies by 20 points.
The defeat pushed Glencoe down to third place while Hatherleigh retained top spot and ahead on percentage of reigning premiers Robe.
It was a remarkable effort by the home team as it was missing at least five first-choice players due to injury while the visitors were at full strength.
The match was played as if the players swapped jumpers at half-time.
The Murphies held the upper hand throughout the first and second terms and took a 33 point buffer into the long break.
The Eagles responded in the best possible fashion with a nine-goal blitzkrieg in the thirs term to take the lead for the first time in the match.
Hatherleigh defenders worked hard in their patch to restrict the crackerjack Glencoe forward line to a mere two goals in the third term and none in the last.
The pick of the victors were coach Gerard McGrath and stand-in ruckman who was covering for the injured Sam Waring.
All eyes at the opening bounce focussed on which Hatherleigh defender would be assigned the task of minding star Glencoe recruit Brodie Foster.
Coming into the match, Foster had led the MSEFL goalkicking with 45 majors and had also booted a carnival-high tally of seven in the SE Zone Carnival at Naracoorte the previous Saturday.
The task of minding Foster was given to Jack Skeer who spent most oof his underage carerr as a full-back.
Foster slipped away to boot the first two goals of the contest but managed only one thereafter.
As part of a nationwide Motor Neuron Disease charity event Hatherleigh and Glencoe a Grade footballers agreed to fund and wear “Big Freeze” FightMND socks.
The teams posed for a photo prior to the start of the game.
It was also a momentous day for field umpire Ben Young who officiated in his 499th A Grade match.
Looking to round 10, Glencoe heads to Nangwarry while Hatherleigh hosts Kongorong.
ROBE 39.21 (255) d NANGWARRY 1.1 (7)
THE Roosters have moved into second place thanks to a massive 248-point win at Nangwarry.
They have overtaken Glencoe and are well set to defend their premiership at the half-way mark of the season.
If Jack Kelly’s team can maintain its form it will secure the coveted second semi-final berth which gives it the double chance.
The Saints went backwards scoreboard-wise on their 155-point thumping at Tantanoola on June 1 and it was a lop-sided contest.
By quarter time, the visitors held a 72 point advantage and they increased it at every change.
Nangwarry did not register a goal until the last term and it came from the boot of first-gamer and Penola recruit Logan Gibbs.
The cause of the Saints was not helped on the morning of the match with four key players withdrawing from the announced lineup citing illness and other factors.
On a brighter note, Nangwarry Football Club treasurer Kevin Dinnison said large numbers of Robe supporters were in attendance and this fact was appreciated by his club.
The match proved the ideal opportunity for recruit Todd Lockwood to move closer to securing the Roosters’ goal kicking trophy by season’s end.
Lockwood’s haul of five majors took his season’s tally to 31 and he now sits in second place in the MSEFL list behind Glencoe’s Brodie Foster with 48.
Robe Football Club vice president Roger Sweetman said his team controlled the match from the first bounce until the final siren.
“Their attack on the ball and pressure was fierce all over the ground which has become a trade mark of the team this season,” Sweetman said.
“They used the ball well and presented Zac Deane at full forward with lace out passes that did not give the beleaguered defence of the Saints any opportunity to intercept or spoil.
“Deane ended up with 11 goals by three quarter time after which coach Kelly rotated his players in order that some were rested and others given the opportunity to become involved in the match.
“It was only a degree of inaccuracy in front of goal during the second half of the match, 17 goals 13 points that prevented Robe from registering a score greater than the 39 goals that was the final tally.
“The pleasing aspect to the Roosters effort was they did not reduce their intensity as the game progressed and retained a team focus without crowding the forward line.”
Sweetman said the coaching staff of Robe have welded together a committed group of local players, with a sprinkling of colts players into a well-drilled team that plays for each other.
Next Saturday, Robe is on the road for the second consecutive week as it is heading to “Mick” and Jean Walker Oval to play Mount Burr in a replay of the 2018 grand final.
Nangwarry will host two consecutive home games and the next opponent is Glencoe.
The Phil Muhovics Memorial Trophy will be contested for the seventh time.
Although the Murphies have always had the coveted trophy in their possession the Saints regard the contest as one of the high points of each season.
Phil Muhovics was a noted footy identity in this region and he died of bone cancer in 2010 at the age of 53.
He played at five clubs across the region and was a senior coach at four of them including Nangwarry and Glencoe and an underage coach at the fifth.
MOUNT BURR 16.11 (107) d TANTANOOLA 9.11 (63)
THE meeting of the cross-town rivals at “Mick” and Jean Walker Oval resulted in a hard-fought 42-point victory for the Mozzies over the Tigers.
The win enabled Mount Burr to leap-frog Kalangadoo and move into fourth place at the mid-point of the minor round.
It is the first time in 2019 the Mozzies have been in the top four.
The Magpies have the same number of premiership points at the green-and-golds, but are around 5pcage points in arrears.
If Mount Burr continues with this barnstorming run it will not be able to host the 2019 MSEFL grand final on September 21.
Although Tantanoola has only won a solitary game this season, Mount Burr did not come into the match with a complacent approach.
Its intent was obvious by half-time time when it had secured a 24-point lead.
As usual, such senior players as ex-skipper Nathan Muhovics led the way for the victors and inspired such teenage team mates as Taylor Allan.
It was an unhappy home-coming for Tigers coach Josh Peters who has played both cricket and football for Mount Burr.
On the other hand, it was a sweet victory for new Mount Burr skipper Jack Gregory who was leading his team against his home club for the first time.
Gregory achieved two goals and his season’s output has so far been 30.
It was a defeat, with honour, for Tantanoola as the undermanned team made Mount Burr work hard for every possession.
Among the stand-outs was Robbie Versace who booted five goals in a game when no other player booted more than two.
Tantanoola plays at Kalangadoo on Saturday while Mount Burr hosts Robe with key defender Tyler Stanley set to be side-lined with a corked thigh.
Mozzie coach Tom Renzi was also sidelined with injury for much of the game against the Tigers.
The Tigers will welcome back utility player Jack Pearce after he missed the latest game due to a one-match ban.
Pearce accepted the penalty after he was yellow-carded and reported for striking Nangwarry’s Craig Hicks in the last minute of the round eight match at Tigerland.
Port MACDONNELL 14.19 (103) d KONGORONG 9.8 (62)
THE Demons inched closer to a top four berth with a decisive 41-point win at home over nearest neighbours and arch rivals Kongorong.
In doing so, the seasiders retained the prestigious Ian Smith Shield while the Hawks are destined for an unwanted record at the halfway mark of the minor round.
In all likelihood, Kongorong will not make the finals and their premiership drought will last at least 32 seasons.
The previous record was held by Hatherleigh which had 31 win-less seasons between 1971 and 2002.
The visitors had the benefit of a three week lay-off and started slowly.
The Hawks went into the first change with a deficit of 24 points and did not make any significant in-roads in the remaining three terms.
The Demons seldom looked like losing the match, but their opponents were not going to let them have a percentage booster either.
It was the first match in 2019 for injured Port MacDonnell skipper Zack Williams.
The Demons now have a fortnight off and next hosts top-team Hatherleigh on June 29.
Kongorong begins its second half of the season by travelling to Hatherleigh on Saturday.