Great Flinders football
Cougars 9-6 (60) lost to Lock 10-11 (71)
THE water boy was busy as the temperature rose and a large crowd gathered at Cummins for the opening round.
Both sides missed out on the four last year and were looking for improvement with both sides boasting new recruits to bolster their chances.
Lock won the toss and the kicked north making use of the north easterly breeze.
It was Cougars however that were into attack early with Konitzka in the ruck, working the ball forward.
Joel Paech had Cougars on the board in the opening minute but it was Lock into attack next with Ryan Siegert showing dash out of the middle and coach Ty Habner dangerous up forward.
Lock had the better of it but poor kicking was frustrating their supporters and it was not until well into the quarter that Hetzel set up a goal for Siegert from 40 metres.
Just two points separated the sides at quarter time.
Lock started strongly in the second with Morton playing well across the middle and Northcott defending strongly but Cougars goaled first when Moroney marked and converted from 15 metres.
Cougars looked to be getting on top, with Ness and Hazelgrove creating opportunities up forward. Eventually Crawford crumbed the ball off hands and kicked an easy goal to give Cougars some breathing space but it did not last.
Hetzel kicked two quick ones to put Lock back in front then two quick replies from Moroney gave the lead back to Cougars.
Tim Boehm was playing well on the wing and combined well with Brown to work the ball forward where Northcott finished off with a good goal from 45.
The two tired sides went into the long break with only points separating them.
Cougars started the third strongly, with early attacks through Hazelgrove and Jack Green but a couple of easy misses cost them dearly.
Lock worked forward and a goal to Hetzel five minutes in gave Lock back the lead.
Lock were playing better footy, with Zac Tiller, Bury and the Heath brothers all playing well but poor kicking was costing them dearly, missing several easy goals.
Cougars made them pay when Bellinger kicked two quick goals to regain the lead but the rest of the quarter belonged to Lock with goals to Bury, Habner, and Wright giving them a handy 12-point lead at three-quarter time.
Cougars were coming home with the wind and got a good start when Green goaled after a high tackle. Moroney goaled soon after to tie the game up.
Both sides were desperate and Lock took the upper hand when Siegert rushed a goal.
Cougars continued to fight hard with Cragg-Sapsford in the middle creating drive but several missed opportunities cost them dearly and when Hetzel and Habner combined to get the ball into Northcott who goaled, the game was out of Cougars’ reach.
Lock deserved the win having had the better of the game most of the day but Cougars were competitive.
Tumby Bay 9-3 (67) def Ramblers 5-8 (38)
On a near perfect day to watch footy and with a colourful buzz around town Tumby Bay A grade got their season off to a good start with a solid performance against a committed Ramblers side.
Benefiting from the artistic preoccupation of James Pedler, Tumby Bay had a wind-assisted start to the game and were led well by James in front of goal and Hind in the centre.
Having worked hard in the off season, Hind was sporting an impressive physique and new ink, while racking up the possessions.
K. Bilney was playing with eye-catching flair for Ramblers.
Tumby Bay had the lead at quarter time and pushing into the breeze in the second quarter both sides found themselves in a dogged affair.
G. Pedler goaled after receiving a 50-metre free kick to get Ramblers off to a good start.
At the other end Calderwood used his physicality to take possession of the ball and put up a proverbial bomb into the goal square which was well marked by Matt Luers, only to be converted to a point.
Returning after an extended lay off, Luers looks to have the size and skill to be a key player for Tumby should he find some form.
At half time the scores were close but with both sides having spent a lot of energy, the second half was going to come down to the most effective use of the breeze and stamina.
The third quarter saw Tumby take the game away from Ramblers.
Murphy scored first after an impressive mark and goal.
Hind followed up with a set shot while Chris Bawden playing his first game of senior football used his height and youthful agility to turn and snap a good goal.
Battling a 28-point deficit with the wind assistance in the final quarter, Ramblers needed to collectively bite down on their mouth guards and claw back the game.
However when Tom Kelly speared a goal into the wind early the challenge looked too big for the boys in black and white.
After typically solid performances from W. Bilney and G. Pedler, frustration lead to a fracas involving half the players from both sides and culminated with a sin bin for Pedler and yellow cards for a few other protagonists.
In the aftermath young Bawden again proved his potential by marking with maturity and converting into the breeze.
Closing the game out Stephen Rees scored a goal and followed up with an impassioned celebration.
Tumby Bay ran out winners with good performances for the home team notched up by senior players Walker, Hind, Edmonds in defence, James and Kelly. While youngsters Cooper, Hennell, Newton and Bawden were impressive.
Ramblers’ most notable performers were the Bilney brothers, Pedler, Hall and Pilgrim.
Eyre United 5-2 (32) lost to United Yeelanna 26-24 (180)
With Yeelanna looking as strong as ever and Saints a bit of an unknown, the game started at a frantic pace.
The Saints hit the board first with a running goal to new recruit Mitch Hall but the tide quickly changed with the Eagles clicking into action with their trademark handball and spread.
Soon they were pumping the ball repeatedly into their forward 50 with big recruit Daniel Havelberg proving a handful, booting two goals and grabbing some powerful marks to see Yeelanna in control with a five-goal break at quarter time.
Yeelanna were setting up with two players loose behind the ball meaning match-ups were hard to pick with players running free for both teams
This suited the Eagles much better as they spread and ran forward to keep the goals piling on.
The usual midfield players Xavier Watson and Adam Murnane dominated for Yeelanna while the Saints did not help themselves with costly turnovers.
Jimmy Neale lifted for the Saints and earned a holding the ball free kick in front of goal while Lachy Gale and Anthony Webb combined to get the ball long to Tyler White who kicked a second for the quarter for the Saints.
Havelberg booted two more and Yeelanna seven for the quarter.
With changes needed at half time, new coach Chris Vorstenbosch moved some bigger bodies into the centre with Chris Dunn and Scott Fitzgerald having an immediate effect of slowing the rampant Eagles and pegging back a goal early.
This was just a blip on the radar however as the Eagles kept the Saints’ backlines under constant pressure.
Troy Simpson was a solid contributor and denied many chances but could not prevent another seven goals for the quarter with Kade Dufek dangerous around goal, kicking three of his five for the day.
The final quarter started with a centre clearance to Jimmy Neale who had been Saints’ best all day with his endeavour but the attack was soon repelled by an unyielding Eagles backline led by Casey and Ben Carr.
The game became more scrappy as both teams became fatigued in the heat.
Brayden Treager stood out for Eyre United and continued to run from the half back, trying to create options as the Saints tried to work the ball forward.
As skills deteriorated and the legs got heavier the Saints could not keep up their accountability and the Eagles finished strong to be easy winners in a polished and dominant performance.
Saints showed good signs but need to put four quarters together to challenge in the future.