Western Districts v Wisanger
Perfect conditions greeted the players at Gosse, with both teams searching for their first win of the season. Wisanger started strongly with Schutz getting his hand to the ball first in ruck, and D Tyley, Clifford, Johnsson and Berry collecting possessions at will. Kicking long and direct the Panthers had the Saints defense under pressure. Turner on the end of some good delivery, kicked two goals in the first, as did Willson with two thumping long goals. Johnsson also added a major. Saints looked sluggish and registered their only goal of the term with a kick after the siren by Graham. WD 1-1 W 5-3
Saints coach Weatherspoon gave a stern address at quarter time demanding his players lift their intensity. That they did, winning the ball in the stoppages and not allowing the Panthers runners easy ball. Graham kicked his second from a mark, then G Koopman kicked two opportunistic goals. The Saint’s ruckman Buck was working hard, with Nolan, Platten and Larcombe getting amongst it. When Weatherspoon and L Boyle added a running goal each, the Saints had hit the front by a goal at halftime. The Panthers unable to register a major during the second term.
L Boyle soccered an early goal in the third. The Panthers needed to respond. Trowbridge goaled, and Stead started to cut off some Saints forward thrusts. Both teams were finding it hard to produce clear passages of play, with great pressure from the opposing team. Short was hard at work in the packs for the Saints, as were Berry and Bott for the Panthers. After a full game in the reserves, Florance marked, and goaled for the Saints, as did Graham. Tall timbered Schutz kicked a goal from the goal square just before the three quarter time break, to keep the panthers well within striking distance. WD 9-4 W 7-7
With both teams desperate for a win, the huddles were animated during the last break. Both teams attacked the ball, and tackled fiercely. D Tyley who had caused the Saints some trouble on the wing all day, crumbed one over the back, and kicked an easy goal to bring the Panthers back to within a kick. Weatherspoon neatly passed the ball to old man Florance who then played on and goaled to give the Saints a little breathing space. With no further goals in the final term, the Saints got up by seven points. WD 10-6 W 8-11. A good game of football played in good spirits.
Dudley United v Kingscote
Dudley United scored a resounding win over Kingscote on the Hounds’ home deck, paving the way for a heavyweight battle next week against the premiers Parndana, with both sides going into the final game of round one undefeated.
The Hounds began well with an off the deck goal from Luke Ramsey, but a surge towards the southern end saw Eagles forwards Grant Brown and Jack Roads take full advantage to pepper the goals early on. Miskicking from both sides led to many turnovers and the match became a bit of a scramble, and the Dogs managed to at least regain some control, but could not convert it to the scoreboard.
The Eagles meanwhile booted two majors in two minutes at the end of the half to leave the Hounds in serious trouble, 3-2 to 9-6. Kingscote came back again after the break, but constant pressure and missed opportunities stalled the Dogs’ momentum, an even quarter the result as again Dudley kept them at arm’s length. Trailing by nearly 7 goals Kingscote needed to score quickly, but the Eagles goaled first. A great snap over the shoulder by Zac Edwards triggered another dogged revival, but it was too little, too late. Geoff Rosser and Rhett Willson starred for Dudley, with Scott Walden leading a mean defence, while for the Hounds their midfield of Zac and Jake Edwards and Jake Lee were exceptional.