Roos survive Magpie scare
Friday, 24th May, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
South held on for a hard-fought 27-point win over a brave Central side on Wednesday night in round five of the under 18s competition.
Despite missing star Tyler McKenzie, lively forward Jordan Rowlands and important defender Clancy Payne, the Roos took full control early in the contest with four unanswered goals. Adam Slattery was on fire throughout the term, kicking one goal and setting another up for Connor Washbrook.
Central managed a late goal through Austyn Page which reduced the margin to 19 points at the first change.
It was a much more even start to the second term with both sides defending well. After going inside forward fifty 13 times in the first term, South only managed six in the second with the game mostly played between the two arcs.
Eventually Harry Butcher broke the deadlock with to kick South’s fifth goal which started a run by both sides as they traded goals. Tarrant Wood added two more to South’s tally while goals to Kade Fennell and Daniel Ryan kept the Pies in it.
Central had lifted their work rate and improved around the stoppages but South remained in control to take a 23-point advantage into the main break.
Much like the second, the third term was an arm wrestle for the opening six or seven minutes until Wood kicked his third goal of the night. Still though, Central would not go away with Fennell kicking two more goals, reducing South’s lead to 19 with a quarter to go.
Central’s tackling was a real highlight in this quarter as they laid 10 effective tackles and it was that pressure that forced South into some uncharacteristic mistakes.
With 15 minutes to play, Kennell booted his fourth goal of the game, and third in a row, to put his side within 14 points of the lead but unfortunately for Magpies fans that was as close as they got.
South needed a steadying goal and got it through Jackson Bray who capped off a great night in which he dominated the ruck. Slattery then put the icing on a stellar individual performance with his second goal as the Roos won by 27 points.
Slattery was by far and away the standout for the Roos with two goals and a hand in many more. His run and carry provided South with great drive forward.
Wood, with three goals, Bray and Butcher were all vital to the win while Thomson Fleming, Adam McInnes and Washbrook also played well.
It was a gallant effort by the Pies, led by the likes of Will Campbell in defence and Nick Devoy who enjoyed another brilliant game on the wing. Fennell provided a great target up forward and Sinele King returned to form after a quiet outing last week.
South dominated the clearances 22-12, including 14-6 in the centre, but that did translate into forward fifty entries or scores thanks to Central’s defensive efforts.
After conceding 13 inside fifties in the first term, the Magpies allowed South just 16 for the rest of the game whilst they went inside 18 times in the same period but it was that dominant first 15 minutes that set up the win for the Roos.
South’s 29 entries was well down on their previous effort against Central when they went into attack 42 times. Tackling-wise, both sides were a little above their average with Central leading the count 32-26.
Round six should see a pair of cracking games as Central take on North before South and West do battle in the late game.
SOUTH: 4.2 7.2 8.4 10.8 (68) def CENTRAL: 1.1 3.3 5.3 6.5 (41)
Goals: South - T. Wood 3, A. Slattery 2, L. Collins, T. Fleming, J. Bray, H. Butcher, C. Washbrook. Central - K. Fennell 4, A. Page, D. Ryan.
Best: South - A. Slattery, T. Wood, H. Butcher, J. Bray, C. Washbrook, T.Fleming. Central - W. Campbell, N. Devoy, S. King, K. Fennell, D. Ryan, C. Oates.