2017 Round 3 Centrals vs Adelaide

First Step Forward
By Robert Laidlaw

It wasn't pretty, and the opposition wasn't quite up to scratch, but Central District got its first SANFL win of the season, with a 54-point victory over Adelaide at Elizabeth in round three, with plenty of good signs.

The renown Roy Laird coaching traits were there, with fantastic pressure applied throughout the game – crunching tackles, determined chasing of opponents, numbers at the stoppages and committed one-on-one efforts.

And after Adelaide scored the game's first goal, the Bulldogs always looked winners, with their team-work the most pleasing aspect – their accuracy in converting opportunities the only real negative.

Justin Hoskin gave an early indication he was going to have a day out when he nailed Central's first goal, which was quickly followed up by a 50m bomb from Josh Glenn, which gave the Dogs the lead at the eight minute mark.

After Josh Waldhuter signalled his return to league ranks with a steadying goal 16 minutes in, to answer the Crows second, Nick Holman looked like a man with a $100 note in a flea market, as he could not buy a goal, with three consecutive points.

The 3-5 to 2-4 quarter time lead was not a good reflection of Central's dominance, especially around the ball, where Travis Schiller was back to his exciting best.

While Hoskin had been clever in much of what he did and touched in the first term, his efforts early in the second quarter, when he received the ball deep in the forward pocket and snapped truly, resulted in the goal of the game.

Adelaide did kick a major a couple of minutes later, but then the victory was set up after consecutive goals to Kyle Jenner, Jordan Furnell – who was also relishing a role on ball – and Hoskin, for a 7-5 to 3-4 lead at the 12 minute mark.

Three straight Bulldog points was answered by Adelaide with a pair of behinds, to end the first half, with Central in command, leading by 26 points.

A pair of Glenn beauties early in the third term,  and a goalsquare scramble major from Hoskin, saw the home side stretch its advantage to 27 points, before Adelaide managed a pair of goals against the run of play to reduce the Dogs lead to 26 points at lemons.

Through the final term Central dominated with the only 13 scoring shots of the period, but blotted its copybook a little with a return of 3-10.

Travis Schiller iced his game with an early goal in the final stanza, John Butcher, who had failed to kick a major from four attempts, made sure of his first when he marked, ran and bounced 40m into the goalsquare, and converted.

The final seven scoring shots saw six points, punctuated by Sam Hanna's major, as Central won 13-19 to 6-7.

Whereas picking best players in the first two games was a tough assignment, against Adelaide there were plenty of contenders, with a number of players unlucky to not make the list.

Hoskin was a big spark all day, while, with 38 touches, Travis Schiller seemed to be in everything. Glenn was prominent for major parts of the match, while the back six, led by Tom Collier's assertiveness and David Hayden's creativity was restrictive and cohesive.

Next Saturday will be a truer test, when the Bulldogs travel to the Bay to face a confident Tigers.
* * * * *

Central District 3-5 7-8 10-9 13-19 (97)
Adelaide  2-4 3-6 6-7 6-7 (43)

Best: Hoskin, T. Schiller, Glenn, J. Schiller, Walduter, Jenner, Haydon, Collier.
Goals: Hoskin 4, Glenn 3, Walhuter, Jenner, Furnell, T. Schiller, Butcher, Hanna.

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