Roos win battle royal
Monday, 26th May, 2014
South are the new competition leaders after registering a 23-point win over the Bulldogs in Saturday’s blockbuster at Alma Oval.
Played in ideal conditions and in front of a healthy crowd, the Roos and Bulldogs gave supporters a top of the table clash which will only wet the appetites for a September classic.
The Roos ran to the airport end in the opening term and after a physical start were first on the board with a goal to Jordan Staker.
South dominated possession for a fair portion of the term while North’s rare forward entries were quickly snuffed out by some gritty defence.
Todd Blacksell gave the Roos a 14-point lead midway through the term but some poor kicking for goal from the Roos kept the margin within the Bulldogs’ reach. However, North wasted their late opportunities going into the first break to trail by 13 points.
The Bulldogs opened the second term with a Codie Howard goal to cut the margin to seven points before North lost Morgan with a hamstring injury.
Three behinds had the Bulldogs within four points and we had a real contest with the ball darting from end to end at a fierce pace.
Goals to Boland and Keenan saw the Roos jump to a 17-point lead, before Kelly got one back for the Bulldogs to get his side within 12 points.
At this stage momentum was going from side to side and neither was able to grab the ascendancy.
Browne kicked the Roos 18 points clear midway through the term before the Bulldogs hit back with goals to Dalby, Johnson and Howard. All of a sudden it was the Bulldogs in front, by one point.
With half time approaching the Roos steadied through Simon O’Brien before a goal of the year contender from Johns which saw him run and carry the footy from the outer wing.
With the crowd riding the wave of expectation, after seven bounces Johns reached the goal square and calmly slotted through the Roos’ seventh.
The Bulldogs replied minutes later with a Mateer goal and the Roos would go to the long break with a four-point lead.
It was a sensational opening with both sides throwing themselves at every contest and the pace of the game keeping the interchange rotations at a high.
Johns, Gepp and Browne were outstanding for the Roos while Beavan, Richards and Howard had the Bulldogs within reach.
The third term had a similar theme as the second with Richards kicking an early goal to give the Bulldogs the lead before leaving the ground with a broken collarbone.
Playing his first game for the season, Cody Schorn was already finding plenty of the footy in the opening half and his efforts were rewarded with two quick goals to give the Roos a 10-point lead.
Boland, who was well held, found some space and extended the margin to 21 points as the Roos peppered the goal face.
The Bulldogs suffered another blow when Fenton left the field with a hamstring injury and, to make things worse, Schorn kicked his third for the term and the Roos would take a handy 27-point lead into the final break.
The Bulldogs, already under the pump, lost Pryor to a injury and first gamer Isaac Cumming was suffering with cramp after an impressive debut.
The task was made even more difficult after Schorn kicked his fourth for the day.
The difference was now 33 points but quick goals to Dalby reduced the margin to 21. But the Roos had the answers when Blacksell finally broke the Dempster shackle to kick his second before North’s best, Quinton Beavan, kicked his first.
Purcell sealed the Bulldogs’ fate with an intercept goal before Beavan kicked a consolation goal for the Bulldogs.
So it was the Roos who claimed the top spot on the ladder with an impressive 23-point win in a highly entertaining and fast-paced contest.
South: C. Schorn 4, T. Boland 2, T. Blacksell 2, C. Keenan,
D. Browne, S. OBrien, J. Johns, J. Staker, M. Purcell
North: S. Dalby 3, C. Howard 2, Q. Beavan 2, J. Kelly,
B. Johnson, S. Mateer,
South: J. Johns, J. Gepp,
J. Staker, D. Browne, C. Schorn, M. Westley, M.Purcell
North: Q. Beavan, C. Howard, B. Johnson, I. Cumming,
M. Dempster, J. Kelly
South: 6.14 (50)
North: 7.4 (46)
North: 4.5 (29)
South: 3.4 (22)