Willunga Outlast Inaccurate Compass
The Willunga oval was in perfect condition and the weather the sunniest for weeks when Willunga played Mount Compass in a tightly contested match.
The first half was low scoring. Willunga opened their account when Haskett, having a stand-out season, took a strong mark at the 5-minute mark and kicked truly. The ball moved quickly up and down the ground for the next ten minutes until Grove took a mark at 30-metres and kicked the Doggies’ first. Haniford and Hunter were strong in defence for the visitors and the Scott brothers took several strong defensive marks for the home side. It was a Darcy Scott intercept and precision kick that allowed Haskett to run to space, mark unopposed and kick his second to give the Demons a seven-point lead at quarter time.
Willunga started the second quarter strongly. Darcy Scott flew high and marked in a pack then moved the ball to the ever-dangerous Miegel who marked and kicked a goal. From the centre bounce, Hutchens broke free and drove the ball to Hoffman who split the middle with his long kick. Compass got a goal against the flow from a free kick then Willunga reasserted themselves and steadied but failed to convert. Haskett missed two set shots after slick movement from Miegel and Hoffman then Compass got the ball to the strong-marking Pinyon but his kick hit the post. Turner was strong in defence for Compass but his efforts were unable to stifle the poise of Colwell. He won the ball, balanced and pin-pointed Hoek who kicked a long goal to give Willunga a 3-goal lead.
Mt Compass narrowly outscored Willunga in the premiership corner. Ziggy Vitkunas was inspiring for the visitors. He ran, tackled, took strong marks and kicked long and accurately. He started the quarter by marking a Weetman kick in a big pack and converting then two minutes later laid a strong tackle, was awarded a holding-the-ball decision and goaled from 50 metres. The Compass supporters roared their approval but Willunga lifted their efforts, steadied and got the ball into their forward lines where Nelson, after missing his first opportunity, nailed his second shot. Darcy Scott kicked another after a precise cross from Miegel found him in space: he marked and kicked accurately. Compass dug deep. Haniford and Hunter defended vigorously and forced the ball forward to Endersby who scrambled a goal after dropping a chest mark. Then Davis was awarded a free and converted. From the resulting bounce, Davis ran free, side-stepped a Willunga defender, handballed to Vitkunas who kicked his third for the quarter and brought the Dogs within a goal of Willunga. Miegel, Hoek and Hutchens then showed speed and quick hands to move the ball to Hoffman who goaled for the home side. With seconds remaining in the quarter, Hutchens was held, freed and goaled as the three-quarter time siren sounded.
Willunga went into the last quarter leading by 14 points. If Mt Compass had kicked straight, they may have claimed victory but they only scored 2 goals from 9 shots. Haskett kicked his third for Willunga in the opening minutes but the usually reliable goal-kickers for the Dogs couldn’t split the middle. Hann, Chadwick and Turner worked hard and created opportunities for the Compass forwards but the goals remained elusive. Eventually it was the defender Tomas Vitkunas who broke the drought and gave the Compass supporters’ hope. The cool-under-pressure Colwell steadied the ship for Willunga when his well-weighted cross allowed Juckers to mark and run and pass to Haskett who juggled a one-handed overhead mark – and goaled from 35 metres. Compass would not lie down, however, and Turner kicked an impossible goal from the pocket. Then with a minute remaining in the game and with the ball bouncing towards Willunga’s forward pocket, an enormous clash of bodies occurred by players running at full speed in opposite directions. Hoffman recovered first and was escorted from the ground while Haniford needed medical support. Hopefully neither player is injured. The final siren sounded within a minute of play resuming.