Demons Down Inaccurate Roosters
Strath won the toss and kicked with a gusty south-westerly breeze. They dominated the Demons for the first ten minutes but couldn’t convert in front of goal. Butler and Keding had opportunities. Fox had an easy shot when he intercepted a Willunga defensive kick – but he missed. It was Willunga, against the flow of the game, that scored the first goal of the game when Sherry was awarded a free kick and snapped around the body. Strath got it straight back through Butler but the Demons responded. Bass worked hard in the centre and moved the ball into Willunga’s forward lines. Slick handballs from Shirvington and Lawton found Sherry in space: he kicked his second. His third shot in ten minutes struck the post. Renney didn’t miss when he converted from a tight angle. Strath got their second to take them within 3 points at quarter time.
Willunga got off to a flyer in the second quarter when Beath kicked an inspiring goal from the boundary line at 45 metres. Two minutes later Beath and Juckers combined to get the ball into the hands of Shirvington who kicked his first for the day. From the resulting centre square bounce, Willunga ran the ball forward. Strath gained control and were about to clear the danger zone when Renney applied a smother that turned the ball over. The Demons kicked to the top of the square where Shirvington took a pack mark and kicked his second goal in two minutes. On the occasions that Strath went forward, Mills nullified Simmounds and made scoring difficult for the visitors. A ruck tap by Simmounds, however, roved by Elliot set up Stafford. He converted. Willunga got it back a minute later when Shirvington and Hutchens found Altus in space – he goaled on the run. Willunga dominated the next five minutes but kicked 4 behinds and failed to put the game out of Strath’s reach. When Strath got their chance, it was O’Grady who stepped up. He took two strong marks in two minutes and split the middle both times. He also handballed another opportunity to Stafford but his kick around the body missed everything.
Willunga started the premiership quarter with a 6-point lead and increased it to 19. Fox should have levelled the scores within the first minute after he took the ball off-hands, dodged a defender and ran into an open goal – and missed. The Roosters dominated the next few minutes but couldn’t kick accurately. Willunga made them pay. Lawton marked, gave to Juckers who passed to Altus who goaled. Renney kicked another to give the home team a comfortable advantage. But the Roosters would not lie down. Machin saved a goal with a mark on the Willunga goal line then Noske boomed home a long major. The game went into a stalemate for about ten minutes. It was Willunga who broke the impasse – Altus handballed to Sherry who split the big uprights from the middle of a big pack of players.
Willunga had the advantage of the slight wind in the last quarter. Sherry increased Willunga’s lead. Godfrey got it straight back but Willunga’s Renney roved a ball off-hands and kicked a long goal to regain the momentum for his team. Simmounds and Godfrey combined to allow Godfrey to goal, then Elliot gave Wright a gold-plated opportunity to kick a major from a couple of metres out but the Willunga defenders applied enough pressure to scramble it over the goal line. Bass continued his good form and kicked a high ball forward. Beath stood under it and marked then gave to Sherry who booted his sixth. Renney kicked his fourth and missed, on his non-preferred foot, a fifth. Godfrey got one back for Strathalbyn after slick play from the Roosters who ran the ball from full back to full forward with two long kicks, two strong marks and two slick handballs to running players. The final margin was 23 points in Willunga’s favour even though the visitors had 3 more scoring shots. The win was important for Willunga because it put them 2 games clear of Strathalbyn at the end of round seven.