Cats stun reigning premiers

Seen as underdogs going into the game, the Burra-Booborowie-Hallett Rams collected impressive 31-point victory over hosts Mintaro Manoora.  

Concentration: North Clare's Angus Edmondson looks on from the interchange in the Rooster's B Grade clash with R.S.M.U. Photos: Carly Grant.

Concentration: North Clare's Angus Edmondson looks on from the interchange in the Rooster's B Grade clash with R.S.M.U. Photos: Carly Grant.

Already 25 points up at half-time they would win the game 11.10 (76) to 7.3 (45).

New Rams coach Casey Cooper explained that his group dug in when they needed to.

“We had two young lads debut - Patrick Connell and Ben Hook - and another two lads James Boston and Harrison Quinn who got opportunities as well,” Cooper enthused.

“At centre half forward we had Robbie Bartee, while Tommy Torzsok played at centre half back and Eli Dayman was in our midfield rotations.

“We also had Tommy Drew and he excelled in his first game at the club.

“After a sluggish first quarter we got our short link up game going and we started to hit targets and use the ball well.”

One of the three BBH import, all from different clubs in Alice Springs Robbie Bartee kicked four goals in a best on ground performance while local first gamer Patrick Connell slotted through two.  

Other strong performances came from Drew, former Mail Medallist Marcus Hall, playing coach Cooper, Johnny Lynch and Brett Kirkby.

For the Eagles Bradley Ross was a significant contributor while the midfield trio of Steve Rusca (two goals), new recruit Dylan Ribbons and playing coach Ryan McDermid all had an influence.  

After surrendering the Broughton Cup last year Corey Payne’s Blyth-Snowtown collected a 16-point victory to regain the silverware.

Playing the reigning premiers, the Brinkworth Spalding Redhill Tigers at Snowtown Oval the Cats were a couple of goals up at half-time and ensured the triumph with three unanswered goals, all kicked by Shay Clifford in the third quarter.

They only kicked one goal in the final term, while BSR kicked three, but the Cats won the game 9.6 (60) to 6.8 (44)

“We had two to three goal buffer through the majority of the game,” new Cats coach Corey Payne said.

“I felt we controlled the game for the majority of the contest.

“We lost Cameron Giles early to a groin injury but Lachie Summers came on and played a strong role across half back and was amongst the best players on the ground.

“Will Pratt rucked all day and did a mammoth job, while our skipper Gareth Ottens was consistent across the course of the game as well.

“Our defence was stable and guys like Jack McRae and Nathan Zweck stood up under the pressure as well.”

Another who deserved a mention is rover Caleb Lloyd in his return game with the Cats after a season off, while Ryan Darling kicked two goals and was named best on ground.

Best player for Tigers was Lachie Wilsden, while Sam Cousins and new recruit Jack Haarsma also had an influence. 

Unfortunately for the Tigers sadly they lost 2016 Medallist Sam Heinjus to injury.

Playing coach Liam Whitwell kicked two of BSR’s six.

David Cluse brought his young Southern Saints group up to Clare Oval to take on the Demons.

The game was tough and tight in the first half with the Saints leading by a single straight kick at the long interval and just two points separated the teams at the final break.  

Eudunda Robertstown held on to win 10.8 (68) to 8.5 (53).

“The game was a bit of a stalemate for the first 10 minutes of the last quarter, but a goal to Dane Pfitzner from multiple 25 metre penalties really changed the momentum,” Cluse explained.

“We had been working on our contested ball, tackling and man-on-man approach going into the season and our group stuck at it all day.

“The boys are really fit and we understood at three quarter time that we could run over the top of them.

“It was an excellent first up victory but there's still a lot of work to do.”

The Southern Saints had five debutants in this clash.

They were Ben Perkins from the West Coast,  a pair of Kapunda boys Josh Freeman and Jaden Higgins along with local lads Liam Waldhuter and 16-year-old Lachlan Cluse who earlier played in the Senior Colts.

Diminutive midfielder Jack Wilkins was outstanding all day while Kurubyn Floyd and Samuel Nietschke had a significant presence in the game.

Jordan Kotz played a strong role in his key post while Pfitzner, playing both as a wingman and in ruck, was another key to the Saints success.

Zac Green across half back, back pocket Craig Hoffman and Toby Schultz played their roles for the team.

Pfitzner, Perkins, Todd Mosey and Kane Schulz kicked two each.

South Claire's best was new player Chad Gilbert while Matt Allan took a number of intercept marks across half back.

Patrick McInerney, Mitch Reynolds, skipper Brodie Murphy and Kurtis Ward all were solid for the beaten Demons.

Daniel Kuhndt kicked three goals for South while Josh Pearse snaffled a pair.

Experienced and long-term coach Steve Lubcke started his NEFL campaign with a solid 59-point triumph at Riverton Oval against the Roosters.  

His Hawks were already 33 points up at half-time and after an even third quarter went on to win 13. 15 (93) to North’s 5.4 (34)

“It was a solid performance by us but I didn't think the game actually reached any great heights,” Lubcke said.

“We also needed to factor in the conditions on Saturday and the fact that it was our first hit out, but we did what we had to do.

“The tackling and pressure of the group is very good and I thought that was the best attribute on the day.”

Centre half forward Damian Hynes was among the best with four goals and veteran Craig Mullins who kicked a round high five.

Justin Schahinger dominated the big man battles and was vying for best player honours with new recruit Mitchell Sandery and former club premiership coach Zack Hier.

Other strong performers for the Hawks included Jack Connell, Bradley Koster and former Nuriootpa footballer Billy Nicholls.

North Clare’s new recruit Tommy Stevens, Lachlan Jaeschke and Cohen Pettit were their most productive players.  

Jake Panaho worked hard around the contest while Daniel Garrard and Nick Rowe had their moments.

New Roosters key forwards Dallas Hill and Anthony Simpson had little impact on the game, while Tyson Pawley kicked two.