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Demons Dominate Tigers

The warm autumn sun shone on the sparkling Willunga turf as the home team and the depleted Yankalilla line-up took their positions for the opening bounce.

The Demons’ Hoffman kicked the first of his 7-goals at the one-minute mark then followed it up with a second after slick movement created by Altus and Hutchens. Smith had a chance to kick the visitor’s opening goal at the 6-minute mark but his angled shot drifted wide. Miegel, celebrating his 100th game (after two knee reconstructions), slotted one from the goal square and was swamped by enthusiastic teammates. Gogel almost got it immediately back for Yank but his long bouncing shot, veered right. Willunga’s Renney, attacked a ball on the wing, won it and made no mistake with a long, low goal then Altus roved and kicked truly. Hunt kicked back-to-back goals just before the quarter-time siren to give the home team a 7-goal lead.

Hunt made it a hat-trick of goals when he marked and goaled at the two-minute mark of the second quarter. It was that goal that launched an avalanche of Willunga goals: 13 in a 34-minute quarter. Miegel kicked his second after a string of attacking handballs then Hutchens kicked a running goal after a strong Draper mark and quick give. Colwell marked strongly and drove home a long goal then Nelson intercepted a Yank pass and delivered to Beath who moved the ball to Hoffman who kicked accurately. On the few occasions that Yankalilla got the ball forward of centre, Willunga’s halfback line of Burdett and the Scooter brothers not only stopped the attack but turned defence into attack for Willunga and moved the ball quickly into dangerous positions. Fenton and Hunt regularly won hard balls in the centre square and forced the ball wide to Hutchens, Altus, Beath and Hoffman who placed their attacking kicks to Willunga’s advantage. Bass twice marked and kicked truly then Hutchens went long, long, long and bounced home a well-deserved major. The next time he dashed forward he lifted his eyes and found Hunt who marked and goaled to give Willunga a 20-goal lead at the long break.

The challenge for Yankalilla in the second half was to restore team pride by scoring goals: Willunga’s was to maintain team-first discipline and for individuals not to succumb to the lure of the ‘specie’ or the impossible goal. They didn’t let coach Portlock down and played team footy. If they’d kicked straight, they would have been better rewarded. Beath and Nelson scored early majors before the wheels fell off Hutchens’ goalkicking. He worked hard to create six opportunities but sprayed two kicks to left, two to the right, and two out of bounds on the full. Warmington also suffered an attack of the sprays: it took Beath and Hoffman to show them how to kick 6-pointers. At the 14-minute mark of the third quarter, Yankalilla’s Gogel scored his team’s first and only goal for the day. He crashed through the centre of the oval, kicked a long ‘screwie’ over the top of the Willunga defenders and bounced it home. Ker, Fitzgerald and Thompson battled hard for the visitors but Willunga’s forward pressure was relentless. Hoffman (twice) and Warmington added goals before inaccuracy again plagued the Willunga forwards. It took a Renney pass to Bass at 40 metres that allowed Willunga to add a 28th goal with a kick after the three-quarter time siren.

The last quarter was another free-flowing Willunga team effort that allowed them to add 9 goals before the final siren. Haskett’s influence increased as he ran from centre-halfback and delivered long to Willunga’s advantage. The goal-of-the-day came when he accepted a Mills’ palm down, ran free, kicked long to where the Willunga mosquito fleet swarmed, shared handballs and goaled from the square. Beath and Fenton kicked accurately and Cook dashed forward to score his only goal of the afternoon. Hoffman, Draper and Fenton continued the flood of goals despite Jesse Fitzgerald’s resistance. Hutchens capped off a great game with a bouncing goal and the hard-running Renney kicked Willunga’s 37th major just before the final siren.

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