The most competitive round for the year so far with all games under five goals.
In a strongly fought hard defensive display of country footy, Solomontown Cats held the Proprietary Risdon Lions to steal early season bragging rights over their cross-town rivals.
Very little separated the sides all day with the Lions heading into the long break leading by a point but let it slip in the match defining third quarter with the Cats scoring four goals to two from the Lions to end up being the game result.
For the defeated Takka Horsnell kept the Lions in the game with a match high five goals adding to the only other scorer Saunders with two.
If they could have found another route to goal to compliment sharpshooter Horsnell they very well may have snatched victory. Oliphant was lively all day in his best display for the year to date and Dyer continued his good form along with Slattery and Patterson.
For Sollies it was youngsters in Munzberg and Foster who played well complimented by the consistent Jonno Hayes, livewire Redman and Bernhardt again showing his worth in a victory that enabled the Cats’ return to the coveted top two spot! Solomontown 9.8.62 PropRisdon 7.8.50
South out run and out muscle Port in the battle of the dogs
It was Bulldog v Bulldog as the Port team travelled north to face South Augusta at their home ground but were found short against the undefeated reds. South handed out some fearsome hidings to Port last year and the wait to turn the tables will continue as a very even first half opened out into a relatively comfortable 29 point victory as South drew away.
Phillips coming off his eight goals last week led the scoring for Port with three but for Port to compete against the best they need more from Grove and Woodards who only managed one each in a tough day.
Darcy Puddy starred for the travellers after being handed the poison chalice of standing early season sensation Lionel Brown and did a magnificent job replacing his his lack of experience with energy and commitment. He was helped in defence by skipper Byerlee and George whilst onballers Hutchinson and Vivar continued their early season form.
For the league trendsetters Thompson put in his second good one in a row along with the immensely talented Milera and also Bolitho putting in his best game for some time.
Shirley was great holding Port’s key attacking big men down and Brown whilst much quieter still eked out four goals along with three from burley forward Hamilton.
In wasn’t all doom and gloom for Port as they were brave in defeat and will play better games this year. Sadly for them so will South! South Augusta 11.8.74 Port 6.9.45
West storm over Central for break through victory!
Central were left kicking themselves as their inaccuracy in the second half kicking 1.8 left the door ajar for the West Hawks as they slammed on six final quarter goals to snatch victory after trailing by 11 at three-quarter time!
Coach McKenzie will be a relieved man after a tough start as gaffer and Central coach Redden will have headaches leading into his next two games against last year’s grand final combatants. West 9.6.60 Central 5.15.45
Round 5 previews
SGL’s oldest and fiercest rivalry set to resume
All roads lead to the Port Oval come Sunday with second v third, Port Bulldogs and Solomotown Cats set to fight out the latest chapter of their 110 year history!
Last year was no doubt a low light in this history with Sollies averaging more than 100 points in each of their four victories last year over the Dogs that left them with much soul searching over the off-season.
They will enter this game with renewed optimism after a disappointing loss early to Lions was followed up with two good victories over West and Central and a spirited defeat to South showing they are very much an improved unit circa 2018.
Phillips is back up forward and back in form with 14 from his first four games. Youngsters Puddy, Akker and Collins have held their own whilst Vivar, Coe, George and Jared have proved to be good contributors at their new home.
Grove will click sometime soon with a boom game, the green and white faithful will hope it’s this week and couple with Woodards they have the firepower to trouble most sides.
For Sollies those with longer memories will love having two Hayes boys back in their side with a nostalgic nod to yesteryear whilst their youngsters have also shown plenty with Foster improving, Munzberg proving he could be become a real top shelf performer and Scrutton if he is back will cause headaches with his athleticism.
Seasoned performers in Saracino, Bearman, Redman and Mudge will compliment the likes of Francis, Caputo, Mezzino and the Head brothers who all blossomed last year in a golden run of form.
Coach Pollard would love for someone to take charge up front as a major goalkicker has been lacking and covered via a big spread of contributors.
Whilst they sit second on the ladder they are fourth in total points scored with six goals from Jonno Hayes their best contributor but still not in the league’s top 10.
Whether Port can overcome the scars of last year will be the test and whilst brave I still see the Cats winning by six points in a much improved contest.
Lions looking to consolidate top four spot over West
Saturdays clash at Port Oval looks a much tighter contest than it did a week and a half ago with West Augusta Hawks buoyed by their victory over Central coming up against the Risdon Proprietary Lions who were bettered by Centrals in round two.
Lions on ball brigade led by their ruckman Dyer should get first crack at it and will want Fuller, Slattery, Edwards x2 and co to fire them forward.
Horsnell was impressive last week against the Cats and his finishing and ability to get loose and read the ball makes him a hard match up for the inexperienced Hawk outfit. They will need help from Bradley and others to help mount a winning score.
The Lions defence has leaked a few goals this year and their record is only three goals in front of the league’s worst in the Hawks including the 157 points they gave up in a round one belting at the hands of the dual premiers South.
They have good players in Eckert, Browne and the two Harmers and will want a committed effort to win.
For West their defence has been better with Singleton being as good as any backs so far this year complimented by the consistent Packard amongst others.
Big man Hore has been working into the season and on ballers and runners in the silky Collins, Cammarano, Bejah and Milera will want to pump it forward to Rooster Dadleh and VonSenden as well as chiming in themselves.
This will be West’s first journey south to Pirie this year and I’m tipping it won’t be a successful one with Lions taking the chocolates by 24 points.
South Augusta to wallop stumbling Central
The timing of this match couldn’t be worse for Central as they scramble to regain form after their last two poor performances and there is nothing South love more than putting the Bloods to the sword.
The Dogs will have too much run, too much cohesion and too much firepower for Central and should win by 60.
Whyalla pull the pin on combined footy
The SGL’s league game set for June 9 against Whyalla has been abandoned with the Whyalla Football League dropping out of the scheduled game in a disappointing outcome.
Whyalla has been stricken with oval availability with Bennett Oval out and placed the league under massive strain with some league games starting as early at 10.30 in the morning.
Last year’s result in Whyalla of a 179-point thumping to SGL also would not have helped along with this year’s game having them travelling to Pirie.
This now leaves the SGL with no combined footy this year but Whyalla are still hoping to organise some games at junior and senior colts level.