South put icing on perfect season
The South Augusta Bulldogs overcame the Solomontown Cats on Saturday to close out an undefeated season and a hat-trick of premierships to reinforce their dominance in SGL football for season 2018.
Solomontown had proved themselves to be the ‘next best’ side all year having only been beaten by one other side than South all year, but when the blowtorch of the grand final was put on, they were still not able to overcome the might of this red-and-white machine.
Such was their dominance throughout the year that there was no side that was able to push South to under a four-goal margin and only four times in their 17 games this year was the margin under 40 points.
Solomontown travelled to Port Augusta full of hope and with an early goal each side via Hamilton and Davey set up the contest.
South then skipped out to a four-goal break before Cats Skipper Bearman goaled to bridge the margin at quarter time to 19.
The second term started with another Bearman goal and one to big man Bernhardt split by one to medallist Stuart and the margin was back to 13 points midway through the second with Sollies scoring three of the last four goals; there was a flicker of hope.
This was quickly quashed though by the Dogs as they closed out the half with three goals and then continued the third with five of the next six goals.
After a couple of early last quarter goals to South the game intensity stepped down a cog and both sides scored three goals each to run the game out.
The halftime margin was 31 that increased to 50 at three quarter time before closing it out at a tick over 10 goals at 61 points.
For the victors, better players were plentiful. Lionel Brown kicked five for his season tally to end on 92 in an outstanding year.
Other multiple scorers included three from Hamilton who could have ended up with six or seven and actually won the medal for the day. Three more to Urbancic and Warren plus a brace from Stuart.
Warren played a beauty getting plenty of the ball along with midfielders in Stuart, Kildea and McKenzie. South’s defence was all class with Ritter providing plenty of rebound and talls Kerin and Shirley winning in their roles.
Ruckman Downey toiled successfully all day and there are few if any that had poor days.
For Sollies it was harder to find winners on the day. Bearman kicked three goals to be the most likely up front for the Cats with Joe Caputo the only other multiple scorer with two.
Their midfielders were competitive with the consistent Davey, Redman and Hayes getting their share of the ball but were overwhelmed in the end with the sheer class and volume of good opposition players.
Quite simply South were too good for Sollies for the second year running and also too good for the entire competition all year.
It’s the first time in their long and distinguished history that South Augusta have strung together three flags in a row and other clubs will need to improve a fair bit next year to bridge the gap to prevent them from any more.
Solomontown were defeated but can still hold their head high for the season. They had considerable player losses from last year and yet were still able to compete solidly all year and earn the right to contest this year’s grand final when many thought they perhaps would not.
Congratulations to James Boles and the team at South Augusta for their season, it was something to remember!
Looking from a Port Pirie perspective for The Recorder, the season ended up quite a successful one with all three local sides making the finals and in general were fairly well matched all year.
South Augusta – Standouts with massive depth and class. Will take a good side to stop them repeating the dose again next year.
Solomontown – Suffered a big player drain but were expertly led to the grand final by a band of seasoned performers and a very good coach in Pollard. Reserves showed the real effect of those player losses going from premiers to missing the four. Another marking key forward would help them considerably.
Lions – Good first year effort from coach Promnitz and the Lions by holding their position and improving depth with the reserves making the GF. Would also love a key forward to straighten them up or a ruck to release Dyer forward.
Port – First finals series for both A and B grades for five years so a plus there. Would have been disappointed by exit. Have a few out of town recruits that can be a year by year and will want to hold on to a few more of their quality kids coming through.
Central – Also have a stack of good kids that will continue to develop and won’t be down for long. Would love to gain a bit more quality in the mid 20s age group.
West – Had a shocker of a year and will look to address this quickly. They will improve next year for sure but will take a few years as starting from a long way back. They need more numbers and more depth.
The SGL itself – Were disappointed to not get in a combined game this year and face interesting times ahead. The new Memorial Oval will come on line next year so that will be interesting to see how it plays out with Port also looking for home games. Hopefully we can see a suitable solution reached with the Port Augusta council regarding use of the Central Oval up there that is amicable for both sides. Plenty of good people put in many hours to make this association work and they must be congratulated as the game doesn’t go ahead without them. The umpires are included in this as their work has been good all year. Good job.
South bag the double as well
Adding to their success in the League, South Augusta were able to complete the double with a strong 23-point victory over a Prop Risdon Lions side that had a go, but trailed all day.
A tight first quarter built a lead that was grown in the second and third quarter before a late surge of four goals from the Lions in the last gave the smallest flicker of hope before the Dogs shut the game down.
Better players for South were Lukich (who won the medal for best for the game), Heron and Frick whilst for the Lions Jase McCarthy, youngster Combe and Brown were the pick of their players.
Both Heron and Dodd bagged three for the Dogs whilst the Lions only multiple scorer was big Cam Pine with two.
Port win by solitary point!
The Port Bulldogs senior colts defeated an invigorated Central Bloods by the slimmest of margins, a single point in a low scoring but high quality affair.
Both sides were strengthened with the return of many players released from their eliminated League sides and the overall competitive standard and ferocity was very high.
The undefeated Bulldogs entered the game as favourites but the opening three goals from Central showed Central were not buying into to that belief.
Half way through the second the Dogs had bridged the three goals margin to draw level to only once again have the ascendency wrestled away from them to trail by 14 points half way through the third.
Port still trailed by nine points at three-quarter time and it took all their resilience and self belief to come from behind and snatch the game in the last by only a point.
Both sides can be extremely proud of their efforts with better players for Port being the ones with senior experience in Murphy (including the last two goals and the medal for best for the game), Puddy and Amey.
For the defeated Bloods Ackland, Finlayson and Thomas were the pick whilst Cooper was good with three goals on a low scoring day.
Port have often been the bridesmaid in this grade and deserved their premiership having not dropped a game all year to be the only successful Pirie side for the year.
Central also win a one-point nailbiter
Incredibly the junior colts was also decided by only a point with a very even contest seeing the Central Augusta Bloods hang on against the fast finishing West Augusta Hawks.
The Bloods superior kicking in the end probably proved the difference in two very evenly matched sides.