The Aldinga Football Club and the Southern Football League hosted the Kangaroo Island Football League on Sunday, June 2 for the annual inter-league association contest.
In the senior competition, KIFL fielded an open-age team, while the SFL team consisted of players under the age of 21, all of whom had played the previous day.
The match started in slippery conditions, which benefited the bigger bodies of the Island team.
Scott Hutchins was giving his midfielders first use of the ball and the big target of Shaun Laffin in the goal square was proving a handful for the SFL defence.
If he wasn't marking the ball, he was bringing it to ground where the small forwards, such as Dylan Lockett and Anthony Anderson benefited. A 5 goal to one quarter was the result.
With conditions fining up, the SFL's running game began to come to the fore, their slick ball movement and breeze at their back enabled them to get back into the contest.
If it wasn't for the resolute defence, lead by Dudley United's Kayne Wheaton and Ryan Boers, the 2-goal lead that KIFL took into half time may well have been reduced even further.
Captain Josh Graham was doing his best to inspire his team with hard running and with Reece Johnston continuing to find plenty of the ball through the middle and across half forward.
But the SFL continued to push, reducing the margin to seven points at the final change.
SFL kicked the first goal of the final quarter to draw within a point, but when Laffin kicked his fifth to bring the lead back out to seven points.
SFL quickly responded with a goal of their own, then a point to level the scores.
With only a couple of minutes left, Johnston kicked his second to put KIFL ahead, but SFL didn't lie down, continuing to push forward, and with only seconds remaining in the match, kicked a goal to tie the scores at 11.6 points.
A tie, following on from a 3 point margin in the corresponding match last year, shows that the concept is a positive one for both associations.
Well done to the players who made themselves available, Heath Gurney for coaching the team and thank you to the trainers, Gordon Black, Toni Kempster and Simon Windsor, the large group of supporters who cheered the team on and SeaLink for their support of Kangaroo Island sport.
Reece Johnston won Best on Ground, Ryan Boers 2nd, Josh Graham 3rd, Kayne Wheaton 4th, Scott Hutchins 5th and Shaun Laffin 6th. - Alex Laver, manager KIFL Senior Team
KIFL 16 and Under report
Kangaroo Island's future footy stars travelled to Aldinga amid a looming southerly change and cool conditions.
On paper the squad looked to have the makings of a great team however the lads struggled to gel quickly and their counterparts from Southern Football League were on top straight away.
Jai Turner found the ball but the KI lads couldn't find the big sticks in the first quarter with the defence under immense pressure.
Keeping the Southern boys to two goals two at the end of the first was a reasonable result and coach Jeff "Fox" Ness asked the lads to build on the work rate and voice.
With the breeze at their backs the group lifted to create some scoring opportunities, Bailey Gaskin starting to have an impact and Isaac Trethewey slotting the first goal.
More chances went begging as all players struggled in the damp conditions to control the footy. Thomas Snowball and Tahne Kereti worked hard in defence to keep the home team to just two more goals before half-time.
The Southern League team turned it on during the third taking advantage of the scoring end, led by Bunworth they were more intense at the footy. Mahaki Edwards continued to toil away in the ruck and the KI boys found the goals through Luke Shurven.
Battling hard in the trying conditions the Roo boys looked to be gaining some momentum and it seemed the game wasn't out of reach.
A couple of good passages of play were fruitless and the KI boys weren't rewarded on the scoreboard in an arm wrestle til the end.
The home team were slick and didn't hesitate however the Island boys battled hard and were a couple of goals better than the scoreboard showed.
Bailey Gaskin was awarded best with Jai Turner close second getting lots of the ball. Mahaki worked hard all game, Isaac Trethewey, Xavier Grant and Thomas Snowball completed the best players list.
Snowball with a knee injury late in the game which was unfortunate, fingers crossed for Thomas he recovers quickly.
SFL were too strong on the day but the KI lads played in good spirits and enjoyed the time together as a group. Well done to all involved. SFL 9.6 def KI 2.4 - Simon Wheaton, KIFL 16&U manager