Cats continue winning streak

Close call: Southern Saints' Jack Wilkins manages to get his kick away. Photo: Carly Grant Photography.
Close call: Southern Saints' Jack Wilkins manages to get his kick away. Photo: Carly Grant Photography.

The Blyth Snowtown Cats are now unbeaten after the first full round of the North Eastern football season, collecting an emphatic triumph over the Southern Saints.

The Cats won by a large and significant 113-point margin keeping Eudunda-Robertstown goal-less in the first half.

They continue to dominate this contest in the second half finishing with a 19.15 (129) to 2.4 (16) victory in a lopsided contest.

First year Blyth Snowtown coach Corey Payne called the game scrappy early as he explained the Saints had a few players behind the ball which made the game congested, especially in the first half.

“The game opened up a bit after half-time and we kick seven goals in the third term and a further seven goals in the final quarter,” Payne said.

“It was also our first game for the year at Blyth Oval.

“After half-time Ben Pratt matched up on Blake Launer and controlled his influence on the contest, while Caleb Lloyd was outstanding and again best on ground.

“We lose big man Wayne Slattery, who got concussion, while I'd expect Scott Atkinson will be sidelined for at least four to six weeks with a hamstring injury.”

Along with 2016 NEFL Mail Medal runner-up Lloyd, Matthew Hartwig, Jack McRae, Ricky Wiseman and evergreen veteran Nick McCormack were all impressive for the Cats.

Recruit from Port Districts, Ricky Wiseman kicked four goals, while Lloyd added to his impressive days’ work with three goals, as did Matthew Hartwig.

Veteran of 247 games, Shay Clifford kicked two goals as did David Giles.

For the Saints Toby Schulz  and 16-year-old Lachlan Cluse were their only goal kickers.

Saints half back Zac Green, Craig Hoffman and  the SANFL experienced Blake Launer were the better players for the visitors in this contest.

Both Jack Wilkins and Jayden Higgins were serviceable as well for the well beaten Saints.

For the Saints brains trust, the biggest worry is they have now kicked consecutive scores.


Steve Lubcke’s RSMU Hawks started outstandingly, kicking six goals in the opening term against the Burra Booborowie Hallett Rams.

The game got tighter the longer it went, but the Hawks went on to beat BBH 12.8 (80) to 7.7 (49) in their clash at Riverton Oval.

“We started well, kicking the six goals in the first quarter, but I felt BBH were competitive in the middle of the game,” Lubcke said.

“We kicked two early goals in the last quarter which really ensured this victory.

“Although BBH were competitive in this match the game was pretty scrappy in the second half.

“This is another game that I wouldn't have thought would have made the highlight reel.”

“After being selected, recruit Mitch Sandery did not play, while we lost James Vandeleur before the game as well.

“He had an accident in his shed on Friday night, hitting his head against a toolbox.

“Currently we had eight players that I would class as first choice players on the side lines.

“Considering who we had out – and with a number of them expected to be back after the bye - saying that, our group on Saturday really stood up and collected as strong win.”

Young Hawks talent Cooper Behn and Zack Hier vied for best on ground honours in this clash while Justin Schahinger was a colossus again in ruck.

Tom Schulz and unheralded utility Benjamin Plueckhahn also were significant contributors and Damian Hynes was the leading forward for the hosts, kicking four goals.  

Matt Norman finished with three majors, while Craig Mullins chimed in with a couple.

Both defender Paddy Hill and centre half forward Robbie Bartee were excellent for the BBH Rams while rover Johnny Lynch and Eli Dayman both were productive as well.

The Rams duo of Timothy Torzsok and the consistent Guy Hutchinson also worked hard.

Bartee, who has proved to be one of the best forwards in the competition this year, kicked three goals while James Boston helped himself to a couple of majors.

BSR v South Clare

Another scrappy affair was the clash between last year's premiers the Brinkworth-Spalding-Redhill Tigers and South Clare.

The Demons at Clare Oval actually led 3.2 (20) to two goals a quarter time, but conceded nine while kicking only one in the middle two quarters, before the last term degenerated again.

BSR finish 12.11 (83) to South Clare's 5.4 (34) winning by 49 points.

Tigers playing coach Liam Whitwell was sidelined for the game.

“Our best quarter was actually the third except for our kicking for goal,”  Whitwell said.

“I felt were a bit off in the first and the final quarter and this game was a bit of a wake-up call the group needed

“We didn't stick to our structures in the opening term and it's fair to say it wasn't a game for the highlight reel.

Third generation player Sam Martin in the middle was the Tigers best followed by Luke Hayes cross half-forward and will Hennessy who was the clearly the best big man in this contest.

Wingmen Sam Cousins and Josh Slade  - who was back from Glenelg underage -  both have an influence while Ben Cousins across half back, added run and Carry  to the squad.

Luke Hayes has added to his day with three goals as did Jeremy Sergeant, while the Longbottom brothers, Cameron and Matthew each kicked two goals.

Alex Heinrich the Demons best followed by Chad Gilbert and Brendan Barton.

The trio of teenage Ben Dinning, indigenous talent Reece Hocking, across half back and wingman Pat McInerney also had their moments.

 The Demons had five individual goal kickers in this contest.

MinMan v North Clare

The best game of the round, especially in the first half was the clash between cellar dweller Mintaro-Manoora and the North Clare Roosters.

The scores at Mintaro Oval were tied away at quarter time and only one goal separated the sides at the long interval.

North Clare then stepped up in the second half and finished 19. 12 (126) to 11.3 (69), winning by a significant 57-point margin in the end.

“The game was pretty tight early and Min-Man showed some real fight,” Roosters coach Peter Cook said.  

“The contest went with the clearance is in the first half with Billy Sandow, Dylan Ribbons (two goals) and Steve Rusca all having an impact.

“They were actually three goals up at one point in the second quarter.”

“Jack Panoho returned this game was good cross half back in in the midfield while Jarrod O’Riley also played a big roles in the win.

“Dallas Hill kicked four goals in the third quarter and finish with six for the game while Matt and Tyson Pawleyy also had an impact in that quarter.

“As a team will we kick six straight goals in a row and I felt we could have finished off a little better as we kicked 4. 7 in the last, but it was a good game to watch and we stepped up from our previous week’s efforts.”

Along with best on ground Jake Panoho, New South Wales import Tommy Stevens won plenty of the ball while Ryan Laidlaw and former state under 18 footballer Tommy Huppatz also had their moments.

Along with Dallas Hill’s match winning six-goal haul, Matt and Tyson Pawley both finished with three majors each as did the creative Troy Hatt across half forward. Young talent Daniel Garrard also finished with two.

Tyson Friebel kicked four goals and was high in the best players for the Eagles.

Luke Broadbent and Isaac Shearer also deserve a mention for their individual performances.