Demons Outplay Pacy Roos
The Willunga turf was in excellent condition, despite recent heavy rains, when the home team took on the Victor Harbor Kangaroos. The Roos were first out of the blocks with goals to Wade and Grenfell from quick ball movement. Willunga steadied. Burdett took control across halfback and directed the ball long into the Demons’ attacking zone. Nelson won a free kick and converted then Draper made it two goals apiece when he snapped a sharp chance at the 10-minute mark. The ruck battle between Bass and Guilhaus was intriguing with Bass winning the day when he went forward and kicked goals. Weetra, Dowling and Lewis were in everything for the Roos, and were particularly dangerous when the ball was on the ground. A slick Willunga handball from Miegel moved the ball to the fast-moving Hutchens who hammered home a long goal but Victor quickly got it back when Grenfell and Hewett combined to create a Dowling goal. Five minutes of back and forth footy followed before the Demon’s Hoffman, won a free and a 25-metre penalty and goaled from the goal line. He kicked another from the same spot a minute later to give Willunga a handy 6 goal to 3 lead.
The second quarter saw Willunga slightly increase their lead with a 5 goal to 4 score line. Again it was the Roos who kicked the first: Weetra wove some magic and snapped truly at the one-minute mark before Pacillo and Hoffman moved the ball to Hunt who goaled. Then Nye ran onto a ball in space, steadied and kicked long to the square where Bass read the ball off-hands and snapped one from close range. Hoffman helped set up Willunga’s next two goals – one to Bass and another to Warmington who was finding a lot of the ball and using it well. Victor’s Weetra and Mutch enabled Grenfell to get his hands on the ball: his kick split the middle. Willunga countered when Brown’s left foot kick in heavy traffic sailed through but the visitors refused to lie down. Kleinig and Schubert used pace and skill to pass the ball to Grenfell who goaled under pressure. A minute later, Wade roved a ball off hands, dodged tackles, ran free and goaled. Victor went into halftime 4 goals down, an impressive effort for the second-to-bottom team versus second-to-top.
Willunga’s third term was dominant – they outscored the Roos 6 goals to nil. Miegel and Bass both goaled for the home team in the first five minutes before the Roos lifted their defensive pressure. But Willunga found a way to break the shackles. Hoffman kicked his third then Mr Irrepressible, Ollie Pacillo, hit the scoreboard with a six-pointer. Bartram, Dowling and Schubert did their best to lift the Roos but Willunga had all the answers. Coldwell, Burdett and Warmington were clean with their ball handling and precise with their use of the ball going forward. Hoffman and Miegel were beneficiaries of their skills: Hoffman nailed his fourth and Miegel his second to give the home team an 11-goal lead going into the last quarter.
Willunga beat Victor by 18 goals in the opening game of the season and it looked like they might repeat the shellacking but such is Victor’s improvement since early in Round 1, that they dug deep, refocused their skills and instead of surrendering, won the last quarter. Schubert kicked the team’s first and his third after a series of slick handballs by Weetra and Wade. Renney got it back for the Demons before a Grenfell tackle forced a turnover: Schubert ran free and kicked long and straight. Schubert and Hewett combined out of the centre which allowed Grenfell to goal. Willunga steadied but were unable to find the middle of the big uprights. They registered four behinds in a row: another two shots at goal were punched backed into play from the goal line. Hutchens’ elusive skills and pace finally broke the drought: he twisted and turned then twisted and turned again and drove the ball long to a dangerous spot where Bass used his athleticism to kick his third goal. Hansen and Hewett continued to run and create for the Roos. A series of handballs saw Mutch get his hands on the leather: he capitalised on his teammates’ hard running and skills. The final siren saw Willunga holding an 8-goal lead.