Undefeated South Augusta proved too strong for second-placed Solomontown at Port Augusta on Saturday with a solid 40-point win as their unblemished season continues.
As has been the case of late, Sollies were able to put good pressure on the Dogs early in both the first and second quarter, and were within touch at 13 points behind at three quarter time. Third quarter was moving time for South though as they upped their work rate to ease away with five goals to one and had blown the game out to a match winning 38 points. A couple of goals each were traded in the last but the real sting in the match was gone as teams looked ahead and the game was ended with South 40 points the victors.
For South, Brown again terrorized the forward 50 with five to take his season tally to 87. Aziel Stuart wasn’t slowed by the extra burden of being the Madigan Medal winner and turned it on whilst best for South was Gary Warren with one of his best games for the year. Downey was good as always gave many of the fleet of red and white runners including Jarryd Warren and Fuschtei plenty of the ball from stoppages.
Sollies scoring was lead by skipper Bearman with three majors but sadly for the Cats no one else could manage multiple scores. Bishop Medallist Mason Munzberg was very good and continues to improve whilst Davey, Hayes and Redman continued to try to push the Cats forward. That’s six in a row now for South over Sollies with three of them finals – so the Cats have it all to do for seventh time lucky as they will be desperate to get back and have another go in two weeks. Before then though they face a fired-up Lions outfit to get there who will be chipper coming off such a great win.
The Cats square off against crosstown rivals Prop Risdon Lions in what promises to be a fierce feline clash to see who gets a shot in the grand final. Lions haven’t beaten the Cats now for over two years and seven games including this very clash in last year’s preliminary final, so they have a fair mountain to climb to go an extra week. Lions have been consistent though, backing up their 2015 premiership with now three preliminaries in a row and will be brimming with optimism and confidence following their breath taking come from behind win in the semis. Sollies are coming off the loss to South and earned this double chance right after a very consistent disciplined year.
It’s probably fair to say both sides would like to score more heavily, and I think who ever can get their forward structure up and going will go a long way to victory. Sollies will rely on skipper Bearman ably assisted by Nitschke and Hoare to add to any midfield goals. Lions on the other hand will be looking toward talisman Horsnell who was runner up in the SGL goalkicking and two weeks since bagging 10 to be assisted by strongman Marsland and junior Jacobs who set them alight last week. Fuller always drifts forward and Slattery is rotated through as well.
Both on ball divisions are strong with Sollies led by in and under Hayes, plus Davey and Redman who never put in bad games. Lions main trio of Fuller, skipper Edwards and newly moved onballer Eckert means there will be no place for the faint hearted at the first bounce.
Both defences are solid with Lions Harmer, Browne, Chivell and possibly Ley if he is back to be countered by the Solly backs in Mudge, Kaleb and Tom Head and Caputo. Sollies will be taller with Bernhardt, both Munzbergs and Foster whilst it will be up to Dyer and possible Ben Harmer to try and match them. This game will be a beauty, close and tough with no standout winner obvious. We will tip Sollies by a breath with not much confidence and only because of the recent successes and finishing two spots higher.