The South Eastern Times : April 15th 2014
22 WESTERN BORDER FOOTBALL Saints fall short in battle against Roos DAVE TURNER THE Millicent versus West Gambier 2014 Western Border football season opener at McLaughlin Park was a hard fought affair throughout with the Roos setting up their 18 point victory with an eight goal to one second quarter. Inaccuracy in front of goals cost the Saints dearly in the opening term as they booted 1.9 to 3.0. In hindsight they could have set up a match winning lead as all of the misses were from set shots within the 50 metre line. On the other hand West were on target throughout as can be seen from the final scoreline which saw the visitors gain the points – 16.8 to 12.14. The Roos played their best football in the second term when they built up an insurmountable lead, booting 8.3 to just one major by the home side. This saw them lead by 48 points at the long break, but to the Saints’ credit they showed plenty of fight in the second half to outscore their opponents 10.5 to 5.5. However, West always looked in control as they had all the answers when threatened. How the game unfolded MILLICENT began the match with new recruits – Adrian Abdulla and Andrew Dixon-Short from Loxton North and Raymond Love from Jervois – and with Hamish Gordon back from Glenelg. Andrew Dickenson also made his A grade debut, while West named three debutants – Garrett Ha, Adam Gibbs and Ben Stratman. Millicent had most of the play in the opening 10 minutes as it won the ball out of the centre, but poor kicking cost it dearly. Set shots that should have been goals saw it with five points on the board before the opening major was scored by West through the agency of Darren McElroy after he marked 40 metres out. Mason Redman opened brilliantly for the home side as he marked everything that came his way, and he used his pace to set up scoring chances. After a couple of misses he gained his side’s first goal half way through the term. While the home side were wast- ing opportunities the Roos made the most of their chances as they used the ball much better than their opponents to add two more goals for the term to hold a three point lead at the first break. Second quarter WEST stamped its authority on the match in the second term as it consistently won the ball out of the centre with Brad Wilson, Tom Holmes and Rowan Fox leading the way. Wilson brought up the Roos opening goal for the quarter within the first three minutes and a second resulted shortly after as Holmes scored from 55 metres out. THE GENERAL: Stalwart Millicent defender, Steve Duldig. The goal blitz continued with Nick Allen, Chris Wehl and Nathan Lewis getting into the act before the Saints could reply through the agency of Hamish Gordon following a good passage of play which carried the ball from the back pocket to the forward area. Josh Schapel, Alan Kennedy and Holmes added further majors for the Roos as they ended a dominant term as they led 11.3 to 2.9 at the long break. Third quarter THE home side faced an uphill battle as it entered the arena for the second half, and things didn’t improve in the first few minutes as Wilson increased West’s lead with another major. The home side lifted thereafter as Raymond Love goaled from 60 metres after a handball from Hamish Nitschke, followed by majors from Adam Allen and Andrew Dixon-Short. Millicent seemed to have the momentum, but “mysterious” decisions by the umpires saw two of its players – Abdulla and Chris Denton – yellow carded within a few minutes of each other. This took the wind out of its sails, but it steadied to continue to cut back West’s lead. Garret Ha managed to score West’s 13th goal from an impossible angle to inspire his side. However, the Saints soon answered with a snap from the boundary by Hamish Nitschke and Love scored his second for the term with another 60 metre goal. Nitschke scored another late in the term, while West’s Steven Wenman booted his side’s 14th. It was a six goal to three quarter by the home side, but it was still 26 points in arrears. Fourth quarter MISTAKES by the home side in the opening few minutes resulted in the Roos marching forward for Holmes to get his third goal for the match. This steadied the visitors as the Saints were finishing the better. Millicent’s Cameron Haggett 22 - The South Eastern Times, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 was finally beginning to get on top at the centre bounces. Hamish Gordon gave his side hope as he scored twice to cut the lead back to within three straight kicks, but Josh Schapel hit back for the Roos. Redman and Abdulla ended the day with another goal each, but it wasn’t enough to cut back the Roos’ big lead they had gained in the second term. The wash up WEST’S onballers were the key to their victory. Rowan Fox, and later in the game, Chris Wehl, won the rucking division to give Brad Wilson and Tom Holmes first use of the ball. The side’s accuracy in front of goal, particularly from over 50 metres, was a feature. An eight goal to one second term set up a match-winning lead and the home side couldn’t peg the lead back. The Saints can take some positives from the game, particularly for their second half when they outscored their opponents 10 goals to five. Their recruits also showed plenty of promise and can only improve as they get to know teammates. They were once again led by Steve Duldig and Nat Robbins in the backlines, while Hamish Gordon impressed with his hard work around the ground. Coaches’ comments WEST’S David Stratman said his side started to use their skills in the second quarter, playing the type of football he wanted. “We jumped them early and stuck to our task throughout. Chris Wehl, in his first game with the club, showed he will give us plenty of drive over the coming weeks. It was a fantastic win.” Saints’ coach Andrew Robinson said his players let themselves down in the first half, but showed plenty of heart in the second. “West gained the momentum in the second term and this was hard to stop. Our youngsters were good.” LOOKING DOWNFIELD: Nathanial Robbins looks for a Millicent teammate. www.thesoutheasterntimes.com.au SAINTLY STAR: Hamish Gordon was Millicent’s best player in the 18-point loss to West Gambier at the weekend.
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