The South Eastern Times : May 27th 2014
18 WESTERN BORDER FOOTBALL Saints no match for top side West Gambier takes down Millicent at home DAVE TURNER SATURDAY’S Western Border Football League match between top and bottom sides – West Gambier and Millicent – at Malseed Park as expected proved to be a one sided affair. After six rounds West showed why it sits at the top of the ladder with an unbeaten record while the struggling Saints put up little fight as their inexperienced youngsters battled against the odds. The Roos have marking power all over the ground and their ball skills should see them at the top of the ladder when the minor round comes to a conclusion. It wouldn’t surprise to see them remain unbeaten in 2014 as at this stage they can claim to be favourites for the flag, having defeated other contenders – North and South in the first round. When the Saints and Roos met in the opening round of the season at McLaughlin Park, the latter were successful in a tight match by 19 points, but it was a different story this time round when they won by 97. West opened the game with the inclusion of talented under 17 player Mason Hunter making his senior debut. How the game unfolded IT was end-to-end football for the opening 10 minutes of the match as both sides missed chances to get on the scoreboard. West’s Nick Allen came up with the first major when he marked strongly 30 metres out and kicked accurately and Tom Holmes followed shortly after with their second. The Saints finally split the big sticks after 20 minutes when youngster Mitchell Gordon managed to weave his way through traffic to snap a six pointer. This was their only goal for the quarter. The home side had most of the play for the term as had more runners and better skills, particularly in the backlines where they took some telling overhead marks to halt the opposition. West ended the term 3.5 to 1.1 and they could have led by much more had they made the most of their chances. Second quarter MILLICENT began the better in the second as their rucking department - Cameron Haggett and Craig Thomson - began to get on top to give their on-ballers first use of the ball. Gordon weaved his magic once again in the opening few minutes to snap his second for the match, but Bradley Wilson had an immediate answer when he scored from a 50 metre set shot. Millicent forward, Ray Love then hit a purple patch as he booted the next two goals, with one being the goal of the day when he ran along the boundary 40 metres out and saw the ball float through the big sticks. His burst saw his side within a kick of the lead, but this was short lived. West then hit their straps with six unanswered goals in 10 minutes to take back the initiative. The only saving grace for the Saints was a goal after the siren by under 17 player Jonah Grimes. This was the best term by the visitors who at the half way mark of the quarter looked like they would match it with the Roos. West led 10.9 to 5.2 at the main break. Third quarter THE West roller coaster continued in the third with Bradley Wilson opening their scoring blitz within the first few minutes and Holmes showed some magic as he snapped his second for the game and the ever dangerous Allen brought up their third. DON’T ARGUE: West’s Nick Allen gives Millicent’s Craig Gysbers his version of the old Hutton’s Footy catch-cry, “Don’t Argue.” The visitors were unable to handle the continuous attack on their backlines. Nat Robbins, Steve Duldig and Brad Tilley halted many onslaughts, but when they managed to move the ball upfield it was soon returned as their forward line couldn’t take clear marks. On the other hand West’s overhead marking was a feature. The West on-ball brigade – Holmes, Wilson, Daron McElroy, King and Steven Wenman – were consistent winners of the ball, being the engine room of the majority of their attacks. The Roos ended the quarter in full control as they led 15.12 to 5.4. Fourth quarter DESPITE being down on the scoreboard by 68 points, to their credit the Saints kept on fighting as they held the opposition goal-less for the first half of the quarter. Then Allen booted two majors to take his tally to five for the match. James Waugh followed with his first for the game and Chris Wehl, after missing a set shot, answered shortly after with his first. As the match entered time-on Grimes scored the Saints’ first major since the end of the second quarter when he kicked accurately from 30 metres out and on a slight angle. This was their only score in the second half of the game. 18 - The South Eastern Times, Tuesday, May 27, 2014 The wash-up WEST showed why they are sitting undefeated on the top of the ladder. They were only challenged midway through the second term when Millicent got to within a kick of grabbing the lead, but they bounced back with six quick goals to take control again. The Roos’ hard working onball brigade led the way. It was hard to find a passenger in their side as they shared the ball around with great accuracy, with high marking being another feature of their game. West meet East Gambier in the next round and should carry on their winning way, while Millicent host CastertonSanford and are not without chances to gain their first victory for the year. Millicent coach, Andrew Robinson said his players applied the pressure for the first half, but fell away in the second. “We played man-on-man in the opening quarter, but West just had too many good players on every line.” “We slackened off in the second and just couldn’t stay with them.” “The way the game unfolded was as expected when a top side meets one on the bottom. West are the best side in the competition at present,” Robinson added. West face a potential danger game at McDonald Park next Saturday against the fourth placed, East, while Millicent will be presented with its best opportunity yet to record a win when it hosts Casterton/ Sandford at McLaughlin Park. YAHOO: West Gambier’s Elliot King leaps in joy at his team’s current run of success. www.thesoutheasterntimes.com.au A LOT OF LOVE: Millicent’s Ray Love kicked two goals in the Saints’ heavy loss to West Gambier at the weekend. SAINT DEFENDER: Millicent’s Adam Allen runs out of the backline. ROO ON THE RUN: Cameron Haggett of Millicent in the wake of West’s Elliot King.
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