Willunga Overrun Pacy Roos
Willunga played Victor Harbor at home on a wet, windy day. Despite the difficult conditions, both sides played fast, open football especially during the first half before the weather deteriorated even further. A strong wind carried the ball towards the top wing but didn’t appear to favour either end.
The A- and B-grade players of each club plus several netballers, lined up before the first bounce for a welcome to country and smoking ceremony as a sign of respect for Indigenous culture. The ceremony was performed by Liam Kilner, an emerging Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna leader.
Willunga’s Sherry looked dangerous early, but it was a Miegel smother that set up Haskett who kicked the opening goal of the game for the home side. Victor Harbor soon countered when Borillo showed evasive skills and got the ball to Basham then on to Elmes who goaled. The Roos followed this up with a second major a minute later when Yeomans ran free from the centre and passed to Elmes who marked and kicked accurately. From the resulting centre bounce Hoffman ran free and hammered the ball long to a pack: Juckers roved and snapped truly. Victor’s Cooper immediately got it back for the Roos when he ran forward and goaled to give the visitors the lead. Five minutes later Bass was freed and goaled for the Demons, but Victor again fought back. Yeomans read a ball off-hands and goaled but just before quarter time Miegel drove the ball into space for Altus whose pass hit up Standfield: he went back and gave Willunga a 3-point lead at the first break.
Willunga dominated much of the second quarter but were mostly inaccurate in front of the big sticks. Sherry marked a well-placed kick by Brennand and got an early major for the Demons. He kicked another at the 5-minute mark after strong play by Juckers. Stichel and Cooper worked hard for Victor and a long Cooper kick found Sam Basham whose powerful drop punt overcame the strong wind and sailed through above post high. Hoffman was unlucky not to get it straight back when, after a mark in defence, he ran the length of the ground to get on the receiving end of a Juckers’ pass. His shot at goal was pushed wide by the wind. Willunga missed several other opportunities until, against the play, Victor’s Borrilllo found space and goaled then Sam Basham was freed and kicked his second. A late goal to Demon Darcy Scott came as the result of a precise kick by Brennand. Scott played a classy game and took overhead marks which others found impossible to hold in the increasingly slippery conditions.
Willunga began the premiership quarter holding a 9-point lead. Treloar, Bartram and McKinnon pressured the Demons’ forwards, but their efforts were undone when Standfield kicked a magic goal off the outside of his boot running across the goals. He missed another a minute later from a much easier position but made amends when he set up Miegel for a goal at the 10-minute mark of the quarter. Heavy rain blew across the ground which stifled scoring for the next ten minutes until McKinnon moved the ball long and quick from defence to Borrillo who did likewise and gave Cooper time and space to kick a much-needed goal for Victor. The goal of the day came soon after when Elmes was able to run onto a long kick that cleared the last line of Willunga’s defence. He picked up the ball cleanly in the slippery conditions, took a bounce with Cook hot in pursuit, ran to 40-metres and kicked a beautiful goal to bring the visitors within 19-points at the final break.
The rain and wind gusts increased during the last quarter which made scoring difficult for both sides. Willunga kicked three goals to Victors zero to extend their lead to 39 points by the final siren. Logan worked hard in-and-under for Willunga and Darcy Scott and Juckers both continued their outstanding displays and topped them off with goals. Willunga’s third goal was snapped by Standfield. Willunga go into the halfway point of the season in third spot on percentage and Victor Harbor in sixth spot on percentage.