Demons Down Dogs
The clash between top-three rivals Willunga and Mt Compass was decided in the last ten minutes of the game when an undisciplined act by a Compass defender gifted Willunga a goal and the momentum.
The Dogs had won the round 1 game on their home turf and Willunga were determined to reverse the result and lock in a top three position. They made a dream start kicking the first 3 goals. Renney kicked two – one a lovely reverse punt from deep in the pocket and the other after a mark at 35 metres. Standfield, who played his best quarter of the season, marked a well weighted pass from Martin and goaled. He led hard and marked strongly but two behinds ensued before the hard-working Nelson, won a contested ball, ran to space and kicked accurately. The Doggies hit back. Mott broke free from the centre and kicked long to the forward lines. Grove drifted in from the side of the pack, marked strongly and kicked their opening goal. They went into attack from the resulting bounce but McDonald intercepted, gave to Burdett who delivered to Colwell who found Standfield at 45 metres. He kicked truly. Corbett then won a hard ball for the Doggies in the centre-square and drove the ball long to where Grove again marked and goaled. Hoffman immediately got it back for Willunga. He was on the receiving end of a chain of handballs, steadied and snapped a classy goal around his body. The Dogs responded. Mott was again instrumental in finding the ball and targets: Compass kicked two quick goals to bring the deficit back to 14 points.
In contrast to the first quarter which had been a shoot-out, the second quarter was a tight, defensive affair which Compass won 2 goals to nil. Ziggy Vitkunas came into the game and was high in his team’s best players for the remainder of the game until injured late. He won a free and goaled at the 3-minute mark. Skrypek also lifted his efforts but his two shots at goal in a minute, missed. Simons kicked the Doggies’ second at the 10-minute mark and that was the last major for the quarter as the defences of both teams worked tirelessly to shut-down their opponents. Corbett was good for Compass and Mills, standing the dangerous Pinyon, was highly disciplined for Willunga.
Willunga went into the premiership quarter 1-point down but won it 4 goals to 2. It was Hoffman’s hard running and strong attack on the ball that helped shift the momentum Willunga’s way. He marked strongly in defense and kicked the ball long towards Bass who was held, freed and goaled. At the 10-minute mark Nelson stood under a pass from Colwell, marked under strong pressure and kicked truly. Compass fought back with 2 goals of their own. The first was to Pinyon after a mark in the pocket and the second, probably the goal of the day, a classy left foot snap by Ziggy Vitkunas. Willunga dug deep. Hoffman goaled from 25-metres then just before ¾ time, a strong spoil by Hunt forced the ball to Alexopolous who gave to Miegel who put the home team up by 2 goals.
Ziggy Vitkunas seemed destined to win the game off his own boot in the final quarter. He was everywhere in the first 5-minutes, winning contested balls and kicking them to dangerous places. His team couldn’t capitalize on his efforts however, and on a fast rebound, it was Willunga’s Altus who hit the scoreboard with a 6-pointer. Pinyon should have equalized for the visitors but he missed from close range which allowed the Demons’ defence to control the ball and methodically move it to a dangerous position. Standfield led and marked well but his kick at goal missed the target. The most inspiring piece of play for the quarter was when young Darcy Scott danced through several defenders and had a chance to kick a rare major. He missed. The game was in the balance and Compass in attack when their defender, Creek, gave away a free kick 100-metres off the play. He was shown the red card and marched off the field. Hoffman took the kick and passed to Standfield who goaled. Then, in a very undisciplined act, Creek allegedly abused the umpire from the boundary line and was given a second red card. Game over.