Demons Overpower Eagles
In honour and memory of 6-time premiership player and Mail Medallist, Adam Carnevale, Willunga and Encounter Bay players and umpires stood for a minute’s silence before the game commenced. Funds raised throughout the day were donated to Brain Tumour Alliance Australia.
Hutchens got the home side off to a flyer with a goal in the first minute after a handball from Mills, then Juckers ran free along the wing and kicked to the advantage of Bass who was freed and goaled from 30 metres. Spectators wondered whether they were at a soccer or Aussie Rules match after the resulting centre bounce when Bass and Haskett both soccered the ball forward to the goal square and Miegel soccered it through for Willunga’s third goal in 6-minutes. A Lippett smother then created a turnover: the ball was kicked long to Encounter Bay’s Davis who scored the first of his six goals for the day. Pettitt, Tonkin and Tarca worked hard for the Bays but their efforts were in vain because it was the Demons who kicked the next goal. Standfield swooped on a loose ball and delivered to Darcy Scott who marked and goaled. From the centre bounce, Tonkin and Tarca dashed forward and delivered the ball to McInerney who converted but Willunga quickly retaliated. Juckers passed to Miegel who pinpointed Bass on the lead. He split the middle to give Willunga a 3-goal lead.
Willunga won the second quarter by a similar amount although Encounter Bay dominated the first five to ten minutes. Davis looked particularly dangerous up forward and Pettitt and Tonkin were hard and slick through the centre of the ground. Despite the Bays’ dominance, it was Willunga who scored the first of the quarter when Bass converted from the goal square. Colwell and Burdett rebounded from halfback with clean hands and effective disposals. They forced the ball forward where Johnny Cook roved a ball off-hands and kicked a rover’s goal with a long left-foot snap. Five minutes later, Haskett skilfully controlled a bouncing ball on the wing, ran to fifty metres and powered through a long 6-pointer.
The Demons started the premiership quarter with a 34-point lead and although they got a quick goal from Hoffman, couldn’t get the ball forward for the next ten minutes due to the Eagles’ forward pressure. Davis and Neale combined but couldn’t convert and eventually Willoughby’s strength found Davis in space. He marked and kicked accurately then kicked a second two minutes later to give his team the reward they deserved. The rest of the quarter belonged to Willunga. Juckers snapped a long left-footer, then Renney moved the ball quickly to Mills who marked in the goal square and converted. Despite Davis kicking another two goals for the quarter, the Eagles’ wilted under the relentless Willunga pressure. The goal of the day went to Darcy Scott who retrieved a ball just inside the forward pocket boundary line, showed some candy to one defender then another, loped towards the goals, sidestepped a third player and snaffled a goal under a fourth opponent’s attempted smother. His solo effort inspired his teammates: Standfield snapped a major; Tregenza booted one from the goal square; Altus ran to space after three attacking handballs and, in his 150th game, steadied and split the middle; then Johnny Cook running at full tilt, hit a pack front-and-centre, dashed free and curled a 30-metre goal around his body. With seconds left in the quarter, Brown, Lippett and Kreuger ran the ball forward but the siren beat the Bays’ kick on goal.
Encounter Bay reduced the nine goal three quarter time deficit to seven goals in a lacklustre final quarter. Davis kicked his fifth and sixth for the visitors but Tarka missed several opportunities. Billy Cook was sensational for the home team manning up the dangerous Neale. He intercepted and rebounded but the Eagles’ defenders were just as determined to stop Willunga scoring. The Bays won the quarter two goals to nil but victory was well and truly out of their grasp. Willunga coach, Mitch Portlock, was proud of his team’s performance which honoured his former team-mate and friend, Adam Carnevale.