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Tucker Tales : Hawks Outlast Demons

Willunga were hoping to have their first win of the season against Langhorne Creek at Willunga oval - but fell short. The loss of two players to South’s reserves on Thursday night and an injury to Haskett in the first quarter, worked against them.

Kellock opened the scoring with a behind one minute into the first quarter. Dawson and Dominish worked hard for the Creeks while Hutchens and Bass were in everything for Willunga. It wasn’t until the ten-minute mark that Henry Bruce and Derham combined to set up Uebergang who kicked the opening goal. Two minutes later Dalitz kicked another. Willunga forced the ball forward to give Hams the opportunity to kick Willunga’s first major – but he missed. Then Bass took two strong marks – but also failed to convert from close quarters. Late goals to Sherry (2) and Altus gave Willunga a narrow lead at quarter time.

Both sides had four scoring shots in the second quarter. Langhorne kicked straighter and went into half time with a narrow 2-point lead. Bass gave Willunga a centre-square advantage which allowed Hutchens to get his hands on the ball and run forward. Howell, Paech and Dominish provided plenty of drive for the visitor and eventually it was Dominish with his dash from the backlines who got into a position to goal on the run. A minute later McDougall’s hard work placed the ball in Adam Towk’s reliable hands. His kick put the Hawks in front just before the halftime siren sounded.

Willunga had the slight breeze in the third quarter and won the quarter five goals to three. Willunga’s Seb Hoak kicked the opening goal after a 25-metre penalty was awarded to him but brilliant linking play by the Hawks from the centre square saw them equalise through Caleb Howell. Uebergang always looked threatening up front and he and Mills had a cracker of a battle with honours even over the day. Willunga kept the ball in their forward lines for several minutes and their best chance to goal was marked in the square by an unopposed Langhorne defender who cleared down the middle. After a series of slick handballs they got the ball to an unopposed teammate in their attacking goal square. He dribbled the ball across the line. Willunga had another surge – Hutchens’ and Altus’s hard work through the middle was rewarded when their combined efforts found McDonald on the lead. He was freed and kicked accurately from 50-metres. Two minutes later Willunga again surged the ball forward and despite desperate defence by the Hawks, Amos kicked a long goal from the outside of his boot. Seb Hoak won another 25-metre penalty and passed to Altus who marked and goaled. Then Daniell kicked another when he got his boot to a loose ball in a crowded goal square. A late goal to Langhorne Creek proved the difference by the end of the game. A cross-ground pass by Willunga fell short of the intended player and a cruel bounce saw the ball land perfectly in the hands of the Willunga player’s trailing opponent who did not have to break stride. He passed the ball to a teammate who ran into an open goal. Willunga led by 11 points going into the last quarter.

Langhorne’s had the slight breeze in the last quarter and soon reduced the three-quarter time deficit into a one-point lead. Caleb Howell and Uebergang both scored majors within the opening two minutes. Willunga’s Sherry’s shot hit the post and from the kick-in the visitors through Derham and Kellock ran the ball the length of the ground and scored a major without Willunga getting a touch. Bass goaled for Willunga but the Creek got it straight back through Uebergang. Paech and Dominish added two more and the game appeared over but goals to Willunga after a strong Bass mark and an Altus free kick reduced the margin to 5-points at the 25-minute mark of the last quarter. The Hawks kicked a behind thorough Caleb Howell to make the margin six points at the final siren.

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