CENTRAL V WEST
Central got off to a quick start in its first game at Memorial Oval this season, leading at the end of a quarter for the first time this season. However, the 16-point margin in Central’s favour didn’t last as West ran over the top of the home team to win by 36 points in the end.
Despite a goalless second quarter, even at three-quarter time, Central didn’t look out of the contest, with West unable to fully convert on its chances up to that point as the margin was less than two goals at the final change. However, a scoreless fourth quarter from Central allowed West to get forward, wanting to finish the game off with a greater margin with 10 scoring shots in the final term on the way to the victory.
Harper Bromson made his A Grade debut for West, and it was Brock Ellis leading the way up forward for West with four goals, backed up by Lachlan Harvey and Daniel Milne who each kicked two goals. Central vice-captain Samuel Wilson was the go-to target up forward for his side, kicking all five of Central’s goals for the match.
West coach, Nathan Pearce, said “Central had a really good first half”, leading to him and his team needing to restructure their gameplan at quarter-time to great effect.
“[Central was] just harder at the footy than us and we addressed that at quarter-time, just being a bit harder, try and run our angles a bit more, and we were getting a bit sucked into playing a bit wider than normal. So, we addressed that at quarter-time and came out and lead by a few points at halftime, which was good, but all credit to Central for that first half for sure,” he said.
“We had plenty of opportunities [on the scoreboard] and it probably just shows that our fitness is probably a bit better than theirs at the moment to run the game out like that. I mean, Central have the ability to clutter up that forward line and we were having shots from wider out. It’s just about trying to get quicker entries so they can’t set their defence.
“But, you know, I’m happy. I mean, 9.17, you come away with four points, 35-point win, you’ve got to be happy with that. But there’s plenty of stuff for us to work on. I mean, our skills on the day were the same as the North game, we couldn’t hit the side of a barn, to be honest with you, in that first half, we’ll clean that up and something we need to address for the South game coming up in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Central coach, Sheldon Hall, told the Barrier Truth said it was a great start to the game for his side, commenting that the way they played was reflective of what they’ve been doing at training.
That’s how we’ve been wanting to play, like when we win clearances in the middle, we want to kick it long forward and give our forwards one-on-one opportunities rather than allow West to set up behind the ball. It was probably the best quarter of footy we’ve played all season and it just sort of come together,” he said.
“West are a well-coached side and after quarter-time they made some adjustments and set up beyond the ball a little bit better and differently with a few different personnel and they were superb. After quarter-time, they kicked into gear, and we were only able to kick one goal after that so defensively they were really good.
“It was great to be back at home. Memorial Oval is sort of a two-edged sword. It’s good in a way that there’s lots of space, but bad in a way because you’ve got to do double the running. It was good to play in front of our home fans, a bit more comfortable in our own changerooms. It was great to be there.”
Goals: Samuel Wilson (Central) 5, Brock Ellis (West) 4, Lachlan Harvey (West), Daniel Milne (West) 2
NORTH V SOUTH
South were intent from the outset to get off to a good start, continually going forward and getting on the scoreboard. A goal-a-quarter effort from North wasn’t enough to keep up with a South side who won by 87 points at the final siren.
The margin was less than five goals at the main break, however, inaccuracy plagued North slightly before a 11-goal second half from South put the result beyond doubt.
Returning to the lineup for the first time in 2023, South’s Cody Schorn kicked a bag of six goals, with additional contributions on the scoresheet from Todd Davidson with four goals, and Simon O’Brien who kicked two majors. North had four individual goalkickers for the game.
South coach, Craig Thomas, praised his team’s performance, saying “we played well in patches, we controlled the centre clearances pretty much all day and then played to our structures really well. At times we lacked concentration and didn’t just finish off all our good work that we’ve done. But at the end of the day, it was an overall good win, good team effort.”
“I’m really happy with the way we’re starting the first quarter and the way we’re coming out of halftime. That’s stuff we’ve worked on over the preseason. In the past, we’ve always been a little bit slow starters and we really want to address that so we’ve changed our warmups and we changed different stuff in the rooms, so I think that’s working.
On the returning Cody Schorn, the coach said he got through the match well, despite a shaky start, saying he slotted back in well and “once he started to find his feet, he looked like the old Cody Schorn for us”, adding “it’s just really great to have him back and he’s a massive part of our team going forward.”
Goals: Cody Schorn (South) 6, Todd Davidson (South) 4, Simon O’Brien (South) 2