A GRADE: Reece Johnston has kicked Parndana to victory, his 10 goals helping the Roosters to a 22-point victory on Saturday.
Overcast, but otherwise perfect for football, the day looked set for a high quality hit out at Parndana Oval between the reigning Premiers and the Roosters. Certainly early, it was the case. High quality goal kicking was the highlight of the first term, continuing on from the opening Reserves game, with Kingscote kicking four without a miss and Parndana two straight as well. Both sides were generating run from their half back line, which was opening the game up and allowing good scoring opportunities at both ends, but Kingscote had just a little bit better possession and the result was a two-goal lead at the quarter time break.
The second quarter is where the game was broken open. Parndana was simply surging the ball forward and this allowed Johnson to get on the end of some good work by the Parndana midfielders. Stanton had his best game of the year, but certainly wasn't alone with the evergreen Kuchel and Ben Gaskin doing mountains of work in the middle. Parndana kicked 8.3 to Kingscote's 2.3 for the quarter, outscoring the Hounds by six goals and opening up a handy 24 point lead at the main break.
The third belonged to Kingscote. Green was rebounding from the half and fullback lines and this was generating run for the likes of Lovering. Grimes continued to have a good day, on his way to six goals. However, it was inaccurate kicking that cost them a potential lead at the final break. Dominating play, they had seven scoring shots to two, but only kicked 3.4 to Parndana's 2.0. They had clawed the lead back to 14, but may have felt like they could have been in front.
Kingscote began well in the final term. An early goal saw them draw to within eight points but that was as close as they were to get. Johnston and Nathan Trethewey, with three of his own, shut out and hope of a late comeback for the Hounds, with the Roosters running out 22-point winners and taking an early advantage on top of the table.
RESERVES: Tom Wurst's seven goals proved the difference as Parndana skipped away from Kingscote at home to win by 43 points.
It was a highly skilled opening quarter in the Reserves. Overcast but dry conditions saw a great display of running and skills. Trethewey and Mills were contested ball beasts in the middle and this was giving the Parndana outside midfielders first use. Wurst had his kicking boots and with his help, Parndana slotted through four opening quarter goals without missing. It was harder work for Kingscote, but whenever they had clean use of the ball forward Walden was threatening and he converted both majors the visitors scored. Six straight goals for the opening term, four of which went to the home side, saw a lead of 12 points at the break.
The second quarter also belonged to the Roosters. Kelly, returning from Senior duties, began to have an impact and Cooper was doing his best work on the outside. Cockshell was in the game for the Hounds, as well as Johnston and Buick, but it wasn't enough to stem the bleeding. As the major break rolled around, Parndana had opened up a five goal buffer.
Kingscote came out hard after the major break, but the experience of Mills and Trethewey, playing only his second game of Reserves in his career, proved to be formidable. Easily the most influential players on the field, the weight of experience and skill was just giving the Parndana engine room first look on the outside and clean possession was cutting the game open. Kingscote struggled to find an avenue to goal as easily as the home side with Walden's five the only reliable contributor. With the margin pushed again further out, to 36 points at the final break, it seemed the Roosters were walking away with it.
Credit to Kingscote, they fought it out until the end. It prevented what could have turned into a demoralising 10-goal loss, but Parndana certainly were stronger on the day. Winning every quarter, the Roosters took the game by 43 points and have now created a log jam early in the season at the top of the ladder, with Western Districts as well as Wisanger equal on wins with the Roosters, but the Panthers do have a game in hand. Looks to be closely contested at the top of the table for the Reserves competition for season 2019. - Centre Half Bench