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Demons Outplay Determined Magpies

Updated: May 21

The first rain of the 2021 footy season threatened to fall during the second half of the Willunga v Goolwa-Port Elliot clash. Fortunately, the showers skirted around Willunga oval.

Beath kicked the home team’s first goal after skilful play by Miegel. The Magpies’ Godwin-Knott and Priest combined to equalise for the visitors before Beath snapped his second. Hoffman then burst into the game and kicked back-to-back goals to reward the hard running and good decision-making of Hutchens, Miegel and Nye. When Hunt was awarded a holding free and goaled at the 20-minute mark, it looked like Willunga would blow the visitors away. But they dug deep: Dunn ran the ball and kicked to the ever-dangerous Daniel Fry whose long kick split the middle. Young Steven Clark showed skill and dash on his wing and won many possessions. Griffiths worked hard all around the ground but despite his efforts Bass kicked a goal late in the quarter after a penetrating kick by Renney.

Bass was instrumental in Willunga kicking the opening goal of the second quarter when he tapped the ball free of goal-square congestion. Beath swooped and snapped truly. For the next 5-minutes, both teams played some of the most attacking football of the day – but both teams failed to capitalise on their run-and-carry, until Beath used his body well, dodged an opponent and kicked a goal around his body. He kicked another a minute later. Fenton and Hunt were winning many hard-ball-gets in the centre and sending them out wide to the runners. The lone Magpie ruckman competed strongly but was up against a trio of tall Demons. His efforts helped feed the hard-working Magpies Prior, Lane and Hausser. Willunga’s young guns Nye and Coldwell made the most of their speed and skills. Hunt forced his way through heavy traffic to create an opportunity for Draper who goaled. Altus ran hard all day and created options for players coming out of defence. The Willunga defenders took several strong overhead marks to stifle the Magpie attacks. At the 25-minute mark, however, they overdid the short ball while attempting to run down the clock and turned the ball over. Fortunately for them, Irwin’s shot for goal just fell short.

Willunga began the second half with a 10-goal lead and extended it to 13 by game’s end. The lead would have been greater if they’d kicked straighter and if the Magpies hadn’t flooded their backlines. The Willunga forwards were their own worst enemy in front of goal and scored a series of behinds in the third quarter, just as they did the previous week. Godwin-Knott and Griffiths played strong football but it was Willunga who broke the goal drought at the 10-minute mark when the dynamic duo, Beath and Bass, combined to kick the first goal of the second half. Jesse Bates won a free kick for the Magpies and kicked accurately then Haskett forced a ball forward where Warmington gathered and goaled. The hard-running Iwao got it straight back for the Magpies after combining with Cummings who refused to give up under strong pressure across half-forward. Prior almost kicked another but his kick faded. Willunga then applied the pressure and kicked 2 goals in 2-minutes through Draper and Beath. Daniel Fry retaliated for the visitors with a mark and goal after a handball error by Willunga.

Willunga squandered many goal-kicking opportunities in the last quarter and booted 2 goal 6 behinds to Goolwa-Port Elliot’s solitary behind. Magpies’ Priest, Cummings and Dunn kept their opponents under pressure and Clark continued to show dash, despite being on the receiving end of a heavy bump. The Scooter brothers marked strongly across halfback for the Demons and Haskett often set up across half-back then dashed through the centre square and rebounded long into the Demons’ congested forward lines. Willunga remain undefeated after 6 rounds but will play three other top sides in the next month which will give then a better indication of their strengths and weaknesses at the halfway point of the season.


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