At the conclusion of Round Three in the AFL Broken Hill Men’s A Grade season, three teams are locked on eight points on the ladder, with reigning premiers South getting back on the winner’s list and North winning its second game in a row.
It was dour viewing for Central fans in the Grand Final rematch against South on the weekend, going down by 127 points at Alma Oval. South dominated the game from the outset, keeping Central scoreless until the third quarter and piling on 19 unanswered goals before Central kicked its ﬁrst goal of the contest.
South managed to get ﬁrst use in the middle through 150-gamer Dylan Browne in the ruck, which allowed for the midﬁelders to get possession and move it forward, while setting up well down back to not allow Central to make it into its attacking end. Central kicked a couple of goals late in the game and never gave up even in defence as South proved its credentials of going back-to-back.
South coach, Craig Thomas, said the win “is good for the boy’s conﬁdence” as the ability to play on their terms meant everyone played their role to intended eﬀect, including 150-gamer Dylan Browne’s eﬀort in the ruck by himself to give the midﬁelders ﬁrst use.
“We controlled the centre clearances from the ﬁrst bounce, pretty much. And then the ball lived inside our 50 and we were able to have a lot of shots at goals, and our back half set up really well behind the ball. Overall, it was just a really good team eﬀort,” he told us.
“We love playing at the Alma, it’s our home ground obviously, and just the support we got behind us is second to none. When that hill roars every time we get a goal… we love playing at the Alma.”
Central coach, Sheldon Hall, admitted it was a tough game and result, but saw opportunity for it to be a learning curve for the side.
“In the second half it was just about, how do we want to play the second half? Do we just want to roll over and get belted and then roll that bad form into next week or do we want to grit this second half out and then have a good half, have a good ﬁnish, and then roll that into Tuesday’s training and Thursday’s training into next week?,” he explained.
“So no, the boys did well in the last quarter, albeit, we had no bench. And when I say we gritted it out, we were able to pinch a couple of goals at the end there to get us on the scoreboard. Like I said, just a tough day at the oﬃce, but the last quarter was pleasing, a bit more even.”
“West obviously didn’t get the result they wanted, and they’ve got a few injuries racking up as well – and so do we – so it might be a bit more of an even contest to what it was in Round One. Hopefully we can be a bit more competitive rather than just in patches. We don’t like losing at home so we’ll see if we can put up a bit of a better ﬁght and hopefully get our ﬁrst win on the board”, he said of next weekend’s home opener at Memorial Oval, which is also the club’s Ladies Day.
Goals: Heath Caldwell (South) 6, Harley Cannard (South) 3
At Jubilee Oval, North got on the front foot early by kicking the first three goals of the match before West kicked its first major. North’s Alex Heuzenroeder kicked three first-quarter goals to set up his, and his team’s, day.
West was dead straight in front of goal in the first half, however most of the scoring shots went to North, allowing the visitors to maintain a commanding buffer at each quarter break to eventually run out 41-point winners.
“The first thing I put on the whiteboard was just to get off to a fast start, dictate terms early. We spoke about the key points of the game and how to control them, and on Saturday, I reckon we executed that pretty well,” North coach, Mark Pitt, told the Truth.
“With West, we had to really stop their run. And we had to stop their run and more importantly after that, we had to play our game, which was to win that groundball get, win that inside contest to the outside, and play our possession game, and pretty much execute by hitting our targets. And I think overall, we’d done that considerably well.
“There’s a lot of confidence around the playing group now, which is exciting, they’re up and about. We’ve just got to continue to keep closing that gap [to this week’s opponents, South] and the side that we’ve got now becoming more stable, we’ll give them a good crack on Saturday, but we’re just still going through our process and continuing to learn and become better as a team.”
West coach, Nathan Pearce, referenced the slow start, believing his side to be “slow and lethargic” while the pacier guys in the team “couldn’t get up to speed and run the ground like they normally do”.
“If you look at the game – and we made a lot of skill errors –, we’re in the right spots and if we hit.
those options, it could be a different story. But we didn’t, simple as that,” he said.
“You can put that down to a couple of things. You can put that down to the North pressure, which was good on the day. You can put it down to not being able to recover [from the South game] and whatever else. But the simple fact is, is we got beat by a team that was switched on right from the start on Saturday and we need to make sure we fix that this week going against Central.”
Goals: Alex Heuzenroeder (North) 4, Anthony Henderson (North) 3