WITH a split round in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and no Under 18s, there were still some good performances from South Australia’s draftable talent across the grades. School footy takes the focus this week and next as the season culminates.
Centrals lost by 44 points at home to top side Norwood. However, Aaron Nietschke on debut for the Dogs was in the best with 23 possessions showing a lot of class to also slot one goal. Starting up forward, Jackson Hately was also in the bests with his 22 possessions, nine marks and two goals. Defender Jez McLennan had the nine disposals and four tackles and mature age ruckman Darcy Fort had 13 possessions, including 18 hitouts. For Norwood, Matt Nunn (mature ager invited to South Australian draft combine) had 31 possessions including 14 marks and one goal to be in the best for the winners.
Sturt defeated South by 13 points, with Hugo Munn kicking a crucial goal in the close game. Shane McAdam (mature ager invited to the National Combine) on return from injury had 10 possessions and also kicked a goal. For South, Nathan Kreuger had nine disposals and kicked two goals, while Hayden Sampson was quieter with the seven disposals.
North Adelaide demolished Port by over 100 points, with Oscar Chapman in the best with his 21 possessions, 12 marks and 3.4.
In Sturt’s loss to South, midfielder Tom Lewis was in the best with 18 disposals (14 contested), 12 tackles and also kicked 1.1. Casey Voss had 12 disposals including five tackles and defender Riley Grundy had five disposals and four tackles. For South, Robert Irra was in the best with his 19 disposals and run off half-back.
In Glenelg’s 38 point loss to Westies, Finn Betterman had 14 disposals. Oscar Lovelock was best for the losing Tigers who only managed one goal in appalling conditions, while the Blood’s Elliot Dunkin was best afield.
School and College Footy:
College and School football is now getting to the pointy end of the season with some key games and finals now approaching.
In College games this week, Prince Alfred College (PAC) won the Premier League Championship when they defeated Rostrevor 66-28 to go through undefeated. For PAC, captain Tom Sparrow was best on ground with his explosiveness from the packs and hardness at the football. Will Gould was also outstanding at half-back, with intercept marking and powerful spoiling. Kossie Pickett was dangerous as always up forward and on-baller Harry Schoneberg was also key with his run and drive through the middle. For Rostrevor, Cam Taheny was in the best along with Jacob Kennerley rebounding from the back half and wing.
In other College games, Sacred Heart (SHC) accounted for Westminster easily by 16 goals and St Peters secured a win over Scotch College by 41 points.
With the first year of the new Premier League format completed, it has breathed some new life into the College competition. The familiar schools continue to dominate at the top of the table but opportunities for other Colleges to improve has been exciting.
State Knockout School/College Championships
During the week, Henley High (resting Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine) won the Open competition to go into the preliminary final versus Rostrevor with the winner set to play PAC for the State Championship.
In a match that sees the winner face off against PAC in the final, both teams had key players out – Lukosius for Henley and Jacob Kennerley for Rostrevor.
Henley started off well kicking three goals with the breeze at Woodville Oval. Threatening to take the game away after some early goals, Rostrevor steadied, led by captain Luke Valente, and slowed Henley’s attack and scored into the breeze to be only 2 goals down at quarter time. For Henley, Izak Rankine was collecting the ball at will and almost in danger of overdoing it, tried to show off all his magical talent in the first quarter, but the Rostrevor team did well to keep the pressure on him.
The second quarter became the crucial period with both teams kicking two goals, and so by Rostrevor taking advantage of the breeze, meant Henley had the ascendency. And Henley’s poise and precision out of defence was a real highlight – especially the work of Luke Edwards and Zane Williams.
In the third quarter Henley took the game away with four goals to one, including a high flying mark from Jackson Mead. Hard running and quick ball movement opened up the Rossie defence, and a number of skill and discipline errors cost Rostrevor numerous opportunities to attack. At three-quarter time Henley led by 29 points.
In the last quarter Rostrevor needed their own magic and Cam Taheny positioned in his own 50m paddock scored within 30 seconds. Another goal from Taheny came shortly after and Rostrevor were up and about. In these 20 minute quarters there is no time to spare and chasing five goals was always going to be a challenge. Taheny continued to present up forward, but Henley managed to get players back into the space to choke things up and slow down the ball. Rostrevor had a number of missed shots on goal and then slotted a third for the quarter. Keeping Henley goalless in the last quarter was a good effort, but Henley’s poise lead by captain Beau Nunan meant they were the victors by eight points – 9.4 58 to 7.8 50.
The final is to be played at 7:30pm on Tuesday 21 August at Norwood Oval, and will be a re-match of last year’s thrilling final in which PAC came from behind to claim victory. The Henley team is packed full of talent with State representatives, and takes on a PAC team, with a number of changes from last year’s squad but itself has some elite talent. Another classic awaits.