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Demons Down Roosters



A depleted Willunga went into their home game against Strathalbyn seeking to play a four-quarter game and give themselves a hope of victory. They did and won their third game of the season.

The ever-dangerous Simounds got the visitors off to a good start when he out-marked Mills and slotted the opening goal from the square. Both teams then went into defensive mode and forced the ball to the western side of the oval where the wind made it difficult to attack. Instinctive handballs by Miegel and Hoeck moved the ball to Haskett: he turned onto his right foot and slotted the Demons’ first of the game at the ten-minute mark. Opposing ruckmen, Welk and Shirvington, battled for centre-square dominance. As the day wore on, it was the Willunga big man whose elite fitness allowed him to get the upper hand around the ground. Fox kicked Strath’s second of the opening quarter at the 15-minute mark but Hams quickly got it back for Willunga after receiving a sharp handball from Beath. The Strath mid-fielders looked particularly dangerous when they found space. Fox, Elliot, Tucker and Keding ran hard and created a late opportunity for Simounds to kick his second. The tricky wind affected his kick after the siren - it floated wide.

Strath read Shirvington’s tap at the opening bounce of the second quarter. Scott streamed forward and delivered to Hutchinson whose kick drifted wide. Two minutes later Shirvington was awarded a free deep in the left-hand pocket and, despite kicking into the wind, split the middle to give Willunga the lead. A strong Shirvington mark on the wing resulted in the ball being kicked long to half-forward. Altus took it off-hands, steadied and goaled on the run. Shirvington was also instrumental in setting up Willunga’s third goal. He passed to Dumesne who delivered to Sherry who kicked a long goal. Altus was in-and-under all day for the Demons, tackled hard and stopped the free run of the fleet-footed Rooster runners. Late in the quarter they broke free and delivered to Simounds who failed to convert. Hutchinson made the most of his opportunity, however, at the 24-minute mark to give the visitors a 6-point lead at half time. Strath’s inaccurate first-half kicking helped Willunga stay in touch.

The Roosters won the premiership quarter 3 goals to 2 to edge out to a two-goal lead at three-quarter time. Willunga kicked their two majors in the opening three minutes of the quarter through Sherry and Hoeck. With scores even, Strath dug deep and held the Demons goalless for the rest of the quarter while adding three of their own. Co-captain Elliot intercepted two successive Willunga kick-ins. He missed his first opportunity but nailed the second from 35 metres. Pegler was solid in defence for Strath and rebounded the ball with booming kicks to the centre line. Big Ben Simounds put Strath back in front when he contested a throw-up in the goal square. But instead of tapping the ball, he threw his boot at it and chipped it high over a mass of players. He second goal for the quarter was more conventional and appeared to give Strath a match-winning lead. Points to Willunga’s Schmidt, Hutchens and Sherry suggested the home team had kicked themselves out of the game.

Willunga won the final quarter. They doubled Strath’s scoring shots but it was their turn to miss opportunities to goal. Colwell and Beath combined to force the ball forward where Schmidt was freed and goaled. A minute later Fox was freed in the goal square in an incident where no-one except the umpire knew who should receive the kick. Strath’s lead of 11-points again looked enough to win the game. Dumesne ran hard from halfback for the Demons. Beath roved a ball off-hands and missed then, minutes later, he gave a slick handball to a running Schmidt whose kick also drifted wide. Haylock, NIsbett and Hodgson defended valiantly for Strath. The ball was camped in the Willunga forward lines where the Roosters kept the ball locked down or out-of-bounds. It was at yet-another ball-up that Beath roved a ball in traffic and kicked the match-winning goal at the 21-mimute mark. For the next six minutes neither side could get a clear kick or a chance on goal and when the final siren sounded Willunga held a 2-point victory.

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