The Prop Risdon Lions have lost top spot after being outlasted by the reigning premiers South Augusta Bulldogs in a hard-fought contest, with a couple of reports of heated altercations, at Memorial Oval in trying conditions. Despite losing the game they would have gained much confidence that they can compete with the best about in the SGL.
South needed to make sure that they kept the Lions' recent fast starts at bay and should have led into quarter time, but bad kicking left them only a point down. From here though the Dogs roared into action with a four goal to one quarter to have a commanding 22-point margin in a low scoring game. Coach Promnitz gathered his forces at the long break and whittled the lead back to a goal by holding South without a goal for the quarter and a barnstorming finish was on the cards.
The first three quarters had only produced 11 goals in total but in a free flowing last another 10 were kicked with five each to see South outlast Lions and hold that six-point margin at the final siren. This victory has lifted South above Lions on the table for the first time this year and they will clash once more before the minor round ends.
For the victors, Urbancic kicked four and Thompson three whilst for the Lions Horsnell kicked half the team's goals with five and multiples to Wallace and Eckert. Ritter's form for South has continued as he was named best for the Dogs ahead of Glass. For the Lions, youngster Oliphant played a beauty and assisted Eckert beautifully across the middle plus Hill had his best game for the club along with Wallace and Slattery.
Cats confirm third spot
The Solomontown Cats travelled to Augusta to return with the points over West Augusta Hawks. The Cats confirmed they were still the most likely of the other sides to try to seize a grand final spot from the top two later in the year.
The game was relatively close early with Westies leading by four points at half-time but a dominant seven goal to none in the third put the game to bed. The Hawks were shut out in two of the four quarters, unable to register a goal in a good defensive performance albeit on a slippery intermittent day in Port Augusta with the Cats running out 38 points winners.
Corey Davey was again superb with a best afield performance racking up possessions at will and goaling every quarter to end up with a season high five goals for him in a very polished display. Foster was the only other Cat to get multiple scores with two whilst for the Hawks, Hayden Warren bagged three and Dalla Santa two.
Jonno Hayes again put in his usual tough work rate to be in the best for the Cats along with Tom Head, Baker and Bearman for his best game for a while. For the Hawks, Declan Duffy, imported from the Northern Areas, played his best game for the club and was ably assisted by big man Tyron T-bone Warren, veterans Curley and Hobbs along with busy onballer Allen.
Port remains winless
The Port Bulldogs were back at their home ground with high hopes of a victory over the travelling Central Bloods to get their flailing season off zero wins. Central had only won two games and last time the two met they had come from behind Port for an 18-point victory in Augusta.
Despite the slippery conditions Port started okay and led by 16 points and 10 points at the first two breaks before trailing by three at the final break. In a low scoring affair where only 15 goals were scored for the game, the Bloods held on well in the final term to run out eight-point victors.
As per the round four game, Phillips led the scoring for both sides with four and Coe with two whilst the eight goals for Centrals were split to two each from Muirhead, Hill, Miller and Besant-Wilton.
Remphrey again was outstanding for Port as a key back with onballers Hutchinson, Vivar, Coe and big man Edmonds all in the better players for the Dogs. Miller and Muirhead added quality games to their two goals to be best for the winners whilst Harvey was busy, and veterans Struck and Fuller still proved their worth. This one has put a line through the Dogs season but the faintest of heartbeats remain in the Bloods finals prospects.
Round 10 finishes two complete rotations
This round will mean all sides have played each other twice each as we head toward the second break for the year as the country championships roll up next weekend. For the second week in a row Pirie will have two games on whilst the South v Central clash takes place in Augusta.
Cats and Dogs at it again!
For 110 years these two sides have clashed and this one sees the gap on the ladder substantial with five wins,10 per cent and three rungs separating the third-placed Solomontown over the bottom-placed Dogs.
Solomontown have been quite consistent under new coach Head and despite a steady run of injuries the only real poor turn outs from the Cats corresponds to bouts of poor kicking letting them down. Sollies' win over West last week stamped them as the main side likely to push the top two whilst for Port it had been a very different story.
Port are yet to register a win this year despite leading deep into many games and in fact three of their last four games were lost by under 10 points. Injuries and unavailability have hit them hard, but this is always seemingly compounded when a side can't find that break through win.
If Port are going to push for the win here, they will want it all to go right. They must have big games from on ballers Coe, Vivar, Hutchinson and big men Athanasos, Cooke and Edmonds all must play big games. Phillips will need a big game to add to his 25 goals for the year and Jared, Murphy and youngster Remphrey will want to keep Cats' scoring to a minimum.
Sollies' strength comes from their engine room with Corey Davey and Jonno Hayes as good a midfield combination as there are in the league and they will need assistance from Caputo, Francis, Nitschke and Baker. Mudge and the Head brothers will be hard to counter and if Knibbs can get free up front he will score. His athleticism and agility are impressive for his size. Bernhardt has been quieter this year but the Munzberg brothers have both been good.
Sollies will have too many guns to stop and the Cats will be favourite to overhaul the Dogs by five goals even though Port will be in it early.
Lions to host Hawks
After losing top spot, the Prop Risdon Lions will be keen to atone for their second loss of the year and bounce back against Westies at home. The Hawks also are coming off a defeat at the hands of Sollies and they will be keen to gather a win over a side above them on the ladder as all four of their wins are against the fifth and sixth placed sides Central and Port.
The last time these two met in Augusta the Lions prevailed by 20 points and they will like the home ground advantage to stretch this margin this time. Dyer and Horsnell have been good for the Lions up front with other smaller run on players hitting the scoreboard to assist racking up a winning score. Eckert, Fuller, Oliphant, Slattery and Patterson will all be busy and defenders Browne Steele and Hill will be difficult to score against.
For the Hawks, their onballers in Allen, Collins, Ryan, Stuart, Curley and Laube will all need huge games to be in it whilst up front Hayden Warren will need help from Dalla Santa and Harrison to put the score on the board. Tyrone Warren is always a handful in the ruck and recruit Duffy has class and will flash in and out.
Westies will have good patches and will want to watch Lions' first quarter but unfortunately for them it still won't be enough. Lions should win by 35 points with a good team effort and hold the pressure on at the top.
South to beat Central
South Augusta have fought hard to reel in Lions at the top of the table and won't be keen to let that spot slip against fifth-placed Central in Augusta on Saturday. Put simply, Central don't have the depth or class to push South for the full game and will be left behind by the classy dogs. South by 50 points.