Kangaroo Island grabbed some revenge from last year, with a thrilling three-point win over the Southern Football League at Penneshaw on Sunday, June 3.
Conditions were perfect at Hog Bay oval, and early on it was the locals who were dominating play.
Southern kicked the first goal though, with a nice check-side from the boundary. KI’s effort finally paid off, with Hodge kicking their first goal and then the evergreen Willson kicked the quick follower leaving KI up by eight points at the first break.
Both sides tackling hard, putting the pressure on, and making play scrappy. Southern attacked hard but the KI defence, led by Green and Bullard held strong. The scribe’s curse!
A turnover from Green led to Southern kicking the first of the quarter. Fortunately for KI Willson’s composure led to the instant reply. A quick shower made slippery conditions and both sides had their chances, but no major was to be had.
The sun came out and KI made use of the dry ball, driving the ball forward, where Stewart kicked the first of the half.
Southern lifted their game and started to look the better side and if not for Johnston and Green the game was starting to go against KI. Southerns pressure created a turn over and they had their first of the half.
It wasn’t long before Southern created another opportunity, using the ball well and finding one of their flankers in space, he duly made the most of it.
KI needed some composure, but Southern kept putting the pressure on and once again a turn over was created and Southern were in front for the second time of the day.
A leader was needed for KI, and who better then their captain, Graham. Managing to find a metre of space he duly kicked the long goal to put KI back in front.
Southern responded and were rewarded with the lead at the last change, but the question was asked how much petrol tickets had they used?
After playing a game on Saturday you wondered if Southern could run out the game and so it told.
KI looked the fresher team to start the last, and before you knew it KI had two goals on the board.
Johnston and Graham combined well, and the dangerous Trethewey was starting to get his hands on the footy. Southern kicked the next, but it seemed KI had all the answers, and they kicked the instant reply.
Two goals up with only five minutes to go and you sensed history was in the making.
Southern weren’t going to lie down and kept peppering the goals and their extra fitness seemed to be making all the difference.
KI pushed all their numbers back and managed to secure a 3-point win, for the representative sides first win since defeating the Far West at Mortlock in 2014!
Both sides can be quite proud of their players and I’m sure there were some tired boys on the car/boat ride home.
With huge pride we congratulate all involved with today’s association games. To our senior association coach Simon Kelly, support team and players, umpires, and officials our deepest thank you for your time and effort for the day.
To our girls and the last-minute extras to make a team - we are so proud of you and your positive attitudes against a very good SFL girls team.
To our youth squad what an amazing group of talented young players that we will face our very exciting future of footy with.
Finally, the amazing DUFC team and behind the scenes club and league volunteers – Thank you so much for hosting and making a great day of it!
Without forgetting the little ones too - thanks Sean Walker and the SANFL crew for all the fun activities for the kids.
We also thank the Southern Football League and especially Craig Warman and Andrew Heinrich for instigating the first steps to help us bring such a high level of footy back to our own soil.
We hope we can continue this association long into the future. – Jared McArdle