All-conquering Cats

In the penultimate round of the 2017 NEFL season, Blyth Snowtown had a strong home victory over finals contender North Clare.

RSMU's Zack Hier in ruck during the A Grade match with South Clare at Clare. Photo: Carly Grant

RSMU's Zack Hier in ruck during the A Grade match with South Clare at Clare. Photo: Carly Grant

Already over five goals up at half-time they won the contest by a significant 56-point margin with the final scores, the Cats 17.9 (111) defeating North Clare 8.7 (55).

With the game on the line in the final term the Cats slammed home seven goals and a behind while Peter Cook’s troops remained scoreless.

Nathan Zweck, in defence, was simply outstanding for Blyth Snowtown.

His performance was closely followed by William Pratt and the teams’ on field leader Gareth Ottens.

Both Hartwig lads Matthew and Michael were significant contributors, as was Reuben Ottens around the ball.

Ryan Darling kicked five goals out of the goal square, while the Hartwig siblings collected three goals each and Lachlan Summers helped himself to a couple.  

The hard working Cohen Pettitt was certainly North Clare’s stand out player, while defender Richard Moulds and forward Adam Pearce were solid contributors.

Ruckman Nick Pearce, defender Samual Panoho and Ryan Laidlaw were all serviceable.

Pettitt kicked three goals for the tri-colours, while Laidlaw finished with a pair.

Senior coach Nick Ashby will preside over his last game as Cats mentor this Saturday.

Blyth Snowtown coach Nick Ashby said:

“I was really pleased for the group.

“They certainly bounced back from the disappointment of the previous week.

“The lads were really hard around the contest and really intimidated the opposition.

“North, being a finals team as you would expect, had a crack in the third quarter and got to within a couple of goals but we regrouped and had a strong victory. 

“Ryan Darling had played for three rounds now, kicking five goals up forward and gained a new nickname.

“Nathan Zweck again pushed his claims for “Team of the Year” honours across half back while Will Pratt was great and ruck and Gareth (Ottens) had a big role to play, as per usual.”

Southern Saints v BBH

In the battle at Robertstown Oval, the Southern Saints after a modest first half, charged away with the game after the long interval.

They turned an eight point half-time lead into an emphatic 59-point victory, kicking seven goals to one in the third quarter and slotting through a further five in the last.

The final score was an accurate Southern Saints 16.7 (103) defeating BBH 6.8 (44)

Southern Saints star Dean Cutting led the way in the Saints triumph, while Jack Wilkins and skipper Kurubyn “Kaywack” Floyd gave drive in the engine room.

Todd Mosey was a good target in attack and Jed Michalk played his role up forward.

Along with Cutting match-high haul of five goals, developing talent Karl Milde was a good presence with three goals.

Veteran Corey Ah Chee, Kip Dunstan, and from the midfield, Jack Wilkins kicked two goals.

For the BBH Rams, the trip down the World’s End Highway was one to forget.

Joseph McInnis, Daniel Mills and Angus Wiech were their leading lights.

Chris James, the ultra-consistent Steven Mann and Jack Boxer had their moments as well.

The Rams only had two goals kickers, playing coach Boh Wall and Geoffrey “Digger” Thompson who both kicked three goals.

This Saturday is also Roger James final game as the senior coach of the Saints.

Southern Saints coach Roger James said:

“Our first half was mediocre.

“I gave the boys are serve at half-time and they certainly responded.

“The performance in the third quarter really set up the victory.

“Naturally you’re happy with a 10-goal win, but I also understand that they (BBH) had a few of their decent players missing from this contest.

“‘Cutto’ (Cutting) was really good playing both a role through the midfield and across the half-forward line.”

South Clare v RSMU

The Hawks string of huge wins continued last week when they defeated South Clare by a large 85-point margin.

Out of the blocks quickly they kicked five goals in the first quarter and followed that up with another five in the second.

After half-time the Demons displayed a little fight, with both teams kicked a pair of majors in the third quarter, but to stamp their authority on the game RSMU finished off with an 8.2 last quarter.  

The final result was RSMU 20.12 (132) defeating South Clare 7.5 (47).

Playing coach Zack Hier was best on ground playing as a ruckman, while Craig Mullins kicked eight goals to ensure he is comfortably on top of the goal kicking ladder, nine majors in front of his team-mate Damian Hynes with one round to go.

The “Rolls Royce” James Vandeleur was outstanding across half back while Josh Vater continued his strong season.

Other strong performances came from Aaron Kempe in defence, the versatile and hard-working Benjamin Plueckhahn and Tom Connell. Centre half forward Damian Hynes helped himself to a five-goal bag in this game as well.

South Clare ‘s captain Brodie Murphy and intercept marking defender Matthew Allen were certainly their best.

Matthew Bennie, Chad Gilbert and Alex Falconer work conscientiously and had some impact.

Michael Liebelt was held to just two goals, while Benjamin Rossi also kicked a pair in a largely ineffective forward line.

One of the Hawks characters in defence Patrick Browne played his 200th senior game for the Hawks and this clash.

He is the type of footballer you want to play alongside of - in football parlance - as he's played in seven senior grand finals in his time at the Hawks.

RSMU Hawks coach Zack Hier said:

“We played pretty good footy for three quarters and made it hard for them to score.

“If I’m being critical, we let them back into the game a little in the third but I felt we had control the game.

“I played in the ruck and Justin Schahinger was used giving us a target across the forward line. 

“James (Vandeleur) was up and about and really had a strong game, while ‘Mullo’ (Mullins) kicked eight, to ensure the Hynes’ doesn’t catch him.” 

BSR v Min-Man

On a great day of celebration at Spalding Oval, the BSR Tigers ensured victory with a potent first half against the lowly and young Min-Man Eagles.

They had 20 scoring shots to four in the first half and should have been further in front then there already strong 51-point lead, if they kicked straight.

The game pieces out of bed in the second half and the Tigers collected a comfortable 69-point triumph, with the final scoreboard reading BSR 13.16 (94) to Min-Man 3.7 (25).

Lachlan Wilsdon was outstanding as a key forward, while the mercurial Phil Raymond continued his already outstanding season.

Josh Slade with four goals, Jeremy Sargent, Andrew Cousins and returning to fitness and form 2016 Mail Medallist, Sam Heinjus all played significant roles in the victory.

Raymond, Lachie Wilsden and Sargent were multiple goal kickers as well.

Better players for the well beaten Eagle outfit were senior personal, Brad Ross and Ryan McDermid.

Kym Allen, Sam Heinrich and Isaac Shearer, while Steve Rusca kicked two of the Min-Man Eagles’ three goals.

BSR Tigers coach Liam Whitwell said:

“If we would have kicked straight it would have been a really good day.

“Still we had a lot of past players at the game and to have a strong win was fantastic.

“‘Trunk’ Weckert presented the game jumpers to the players before the special match.

“There were some positive signs and our structures were pretty solid.

“Lachie (Wilsden) marked plenty of the balls coming in up forward and Josh Slade played his best game for the year.

“Currently we have 12 players that are 21 or under currently and this group is still developing that real killer instinct that's required.”

Peter Argent