Flinders run away with game

BEST: Best on ground for Great Flinders was Jordan Telfer, and best for Port Lincoln Reece Francis. Photograph: Emma Pedler, ABC Open
BEST: Best on ground for Great Flinders was Jordan Telfer, and best for Port Lincoln Reece Francis. Photograph: Emma Pedler, ABC Open
CLASH: Wes Bilney and Great Flinders' Zac Richardson clashed in front of Great Flinders' Zac Calderwood.

CLASH: Wes Bilney and Great Flinders' Zac Richardson clashed in front of Great Flinders' Zac Calderwood.

A?Grade inter-league

football

GREAT Flinders took command of the game in the first quarter and the reality was that Port Lincoln never looked likely to chase down or make an indent on the 35-point lead established by Great Flinders at the end of the first quarter.

Counting the forward entries Great Flinders went into their forward zone 15 times to Port Lincoln's five.

Lincoln's back half were under constant pressure with Sam Ness kicking the first goal of the game, the first of his five for the day, and was worthy of being named in the best players.

George Peddler got involved to clear the ball from the following centre bounce. Flinders kicked a point and from the pursuant kick out Liam O'Dea pounced and the two flags waving for their second goal.

The early signs indicated a tough day at the office for Lincoln and if not for the presence of Reece Francis, aided by Dale Montgomerie and Wes Bilney behind the ball late in the quarter, Great Flinders would have kicked more than their next three goals.

Brad Hazelgrove kicked the first of his three goals for the day and back to back goals by Luke Moroney, plus four points from 15 entries into their forward 50 was inspiring footy and the Great Flinders supporters were in the game.

While there was hope in the Lincoln faithful, including old Bluey, that Lincoln could get back in the game Lincoln found the task harder minute by minute.

Lincoln couldn't find enough of the ball and their lack of ball use in the first quarter was a big factor, and they had to turn it all around with a two-goal wind advantage.

Flinders stepped up again against the wind to kick their sixth goal through Dylan Dunn and stretch the lead to 41 points with Port Lincoln's scoreboard as bare as old Mother Hubbard's cupboard.

Port Lincoln finally started to get their hands on the ball and the tempo of the game was now at the next level, and it was all about rebound football. Finally Lincoln had their first major when Andrew Frick goaled after 35 minutes of play and backed that goal up with his second after good work by Wes Bilney.

Ruckman John Sinclair, resting up forward, kicked Lincoln's third unanswered goal and with the aid of three points they had halved the early deficit of 41 points to 21, and the hopes of the faithful Lincoln supporters lifted but it was all to no avail.

Great Flinders, as if stung again, showed their authority with a monster goal by Brad Hazelgrove, and Ness, who was a target all game, kicked his second on the siren to help his side go to the long break with what proved to be an unassailable 33-point lead.

Great Flinders' lead increased to 48 points by the end of the third quarter with Brad Hazelgrove kicking his third and Nigel James and Bryce Breed joining the goal-kicking list with one each against the one loan goal by Lincoln's Kingsley Bilney.

To Lincoln's credit they dug deep to match Great Flinders in the last quarter with five goals to Flinders' four.

Lincoln's midfield, led by Reece Francis and ruckman John Sinclair, started to get the ball forward of centre and goals from Chad Owen, two by Dale Montgomerie and one each to Jaycob Gooder and Bradyn Traeger was a good finish. But again even though the game was done and dusted Great Flinders responded to all the challenges with Ness kicking three goals and Dylan Dunn marking strongly on the lead to kick his second for the day.

Great Flinders, led by best on ground Jordan Telfer, George Pedler, Sam Ness, Brad Hazelgrove and ruckman James Minhard had that winning factor.

The reality of the fourth quarter was there for all to see - the sting had gone out of the game with the Flinders big men feeling the pinch and the pace of Lincoln had taken its toll after three quarters of running and chasing.

On this day Great Flinders were the victors, as was Tumby Bay who hosted this day of inter-league sport.

Look for special comments in From the Bench with Bluey in Thursday's Port Lincoln Times.

n By Bluey Dunn