Eagles off and flying

CONTESTED: Ramblers' Jesse Rule takes the mark despite the spoil attempt by Tumby Bay's Brett Cooper.
CONTESTED: Ramblers' Jesse Rule takes the mark despite the spoil attempt by Tumby Bay's Brett Cooper.

Great flinders football

FROM back page

After those break away goals, the remainder of the game was still a tightly fought contest.

The Roos scored two goals before Cougars finished off the game with a sealer.

It was a great battle, with real physicality, which is to be expected first game when every team is looking to get off to the perfect start.

Best: Cougars: D. Cragg-Sapsford, B. Hazelgrove and J. Green; Lock: D. Kelly, F. Slape, L. Heath.

United Yeelanna 25-23 def Eyre United 3-2

United Yeelanna started their premiership defence with a huge 153-point win over Eyre United at Karkoo.

Eagles dominated from the first bounce and were never seriously challenged all day.

Gun full forward Dan Havelberg started 2019 by kicking 10 goals, he simply outclassed his opponents.

The Eagles dominated the centre square and, with Adam Murnane, Xavier Watson, Casey Carr, Michael Crettenden, Mitch Jolly and Bryce Breed, continually ran and pushed the ball forward to give the star-studded forward line first option.

Eagles' Stephen Crettenden and D. Havelberg got first class delivery with the Saints backlines continually under pressure.

Saints backliner Henry Breen was feeling the heat as he battled the onslaught with veteran Jordy Telfer.

Eagles' missed shots on goal was the only downside from the opening quarter.

Eagles went on a rampage in the second quarter kicking 10 goals with all forwards, including veteran Kade Dufek, getting amongst it.

Eagles kept Saints scoreless in the second quarter with the dominate Matthew Crettenden, Mitch Jolly and Jack Crettenden along with young gun Riley Doolan combining with each other down back.

The pressure on the Saints ball carriers was immense as the Eagles tackling and pressure was first class.

To the Saints credit they never stopped trying to run and carry the ball.

If the Saints can build a team around Tom Forrest and Darnell Richards they certainly have the players for the future and showed glimpses of what they are able to deliver. Unfortunately for the Saints they ran into a rampaging Eagles side keen to start their premiership defence on a winning note.

Eagles had winners across every line and when Ricky Skinner managed to drift forward and kick a goal the Eagles had outplayed and outclassed the Saints at Karkoo.

With Jaxen Norton, Lenard Lawrie and Ben Carr all due to return in the coming weeks the Eagles will be at full strength come the next game.

Best: Eagles: D. Havelberg, M. Jolly, B. Breed, X. Watson, M. Crettenden, A. Murnane, C. Carr; Saints: T. Forrest, J. Telfer, J. Telfer, B. Traeger, L. Gale.

Tumby Bay v Ramblers  66 to 49

A hard fought game of football at Tumby Oval complimented a huge weekend of street art and live music in Tumby Bay.

Traditionally when these two teams match up both sides wrestle for every possession and no easy metres are given or gained and this game proved no different.

Despite the cool and calm conditions free flowing football did not develop in what became a grinding test of commitment over skill.

Tumby introducing the talented young McDonald brothers to A grade, the inclusion of Cooper and the return of cult figure W. Gerrie, were looking for a positive start to the season.

For the majority of the first quarter things looked good for the home side however momentary lapses saw the visitors leading at the first break.

In the second quarter A. Harris stood out for the home side as did the erstwhile J. Walker in defence.

Before half time Ramblers established a lead when G. Pedler goaled after a good passage of play.

However at the other end James led out well, as he had all half, to get one back for the home side.

Scores were close at half time with Tumby trailing 3-4 - 24 to the Ramblers 4 5 29.

Tumby were looking to lift their work rate in the third quarter and T. Kelly opened up well with a good 40 metre straight kick early.

Jessie Rule got one back for Ramblers three minutes later at the other end.

Cooper was working well in defence for the Blues and W. Gerrie missed by only a bee's thickness what would have been a boisterously celebrated goal had it come off.

When G. Pedler gave away a free kick and then a 50-metre penalty to Bugeja Tumby looked to be in a position to assert itself.

G. Pedler looked like redeeming himself minutes later after good work only to kick a minor.

Jack Haarsma relieved the pressure slightly for his side before the three-quarter break.

With the game having become somewhat of a hard slog for both sides, frustration boiled over with a brief push and shove at the Tumby 50m line.

The visitors would have been relieved when J. Haarsma kicked a major from a tight angle.

The three quarter break saw Ramblers still leading the home side 7 9 51 to 5 6 36.

With 10 minutes gone in the fourth quarter Ramblers appeared to be in control.

However through the good efforts of J. Murphy and T. Franklin, Mitch Lawrie was able to drive a low kick through for a goal to keep the home side's spirits up.

Soon after Reeves emerged from a pack with a trade mark flash to kick another and test the resolve of Ramblers as their lead appeared to shrink.

The glimmer of hope for the home side was extinguished when Ramblers again hit a leading forward. This appeared to be the difference in the sides after half time.

Until that point James had matched the Ramblers forwards with strong leads and options.

Later in the game the home side, despite good efforts from the likes of Calderwood and Cave, could not string possessions together.

Ramblers ran out victors in a low scoring affair.