2017 Round 6 Centrals vs South

By Robert Laidlaw

It was a “dog day afternoon” again for Central District in its SANFL clash against South Adelaide on Saturday, but not in the good sense, as the Bulldogs went down by 27 points after a forgettable first quarter at Elizabeth.

With a one-win, five-loss start to the season, Central is in uncharted waters. In fact, the last time the Bulldogs had that type of start was in 1971 – the first year the club played finals footy.

From league inception in 1964, Central was 0-6 in '64, then 1-5 in '65, '67, and 1969-71, with just a one-win, one-draw and four loss season in 2015 the closest the club has been to the mark before this year.

The good news about 2015, was the way the Bulldogs recovered to play finals footy and claim two big September scalps in Norwood and Port.

But on its form so far in 2017, there has to be a huge turnaround, with just one quarter of footy again proving disastrous, as Central won the final three terms, 9-9 to 8-7, after trailing 0-3 to 6-2 at the first break.

Through the first quarter, South swamped the Dogs out of the middle, with far superior skills, and its forward entry was crisp and clean, and while Central managed to get its share of clearances, it broke sown at half forward, and also butchered a couple of shots on goal.

The second term saw the Bulldogs restructure and become more accountable, with a magnificent check-side goal of the game from John Butcher enticing a sigh of relief from the Central faithful.

And after South posted a major, Josh Glenn created some magic when he passed to Kyle Jenner, backed up for the handball and booted another contender for goal of the game. With both sides only adding a pair of behinds to half time, the Dogs trailed 2-6 to 7-5.

Any shot at getting back into the game was extinguished in the first seven minutes of the second half, when South added 2-2 to stretch its advantage out to 43 points.

An arm-wrestle developed for the rest of the quarter, as Central booted three goals to South's two, for the Panthers to lead 11-7 to 5-8 at lemons.

The final stanza looked to be all South, with the visitors nailing three goals to just two points just before time on, with the Doggies making a belated charge with the last four goals of the game, including two to Butcher.

It wasn't a pretty game, and was another possible victory that has escaped, with Central beaten by another team it could have defeated, if not for lapses, and worse, it was its third defeat at home.

This Saturday the Bulldogs will be up against it, playing an AFL chock-loaded Port Adelaide, which has a full squad to chose from, with even Magpie captain Steven Summerton forced to the reserves last Saturday.

The good news is several players capable of making a difference played well in the reserves 17-point win over South, which included Jack Hannath, Tom Collier and Sam Hanna.
* * * * *

South Adelaide 6-2 7-5 11-7 14-9 (93) 14-9
Central District 0-3 2-6 5-8 9-12 (66) 5-10

Best: Holman, Hoskin, Jansen, T. Schiller, J. Schiller, Hewett.
Goals: Butcher 3, Presbury 2, Glenn, D. Fort, Holman, J. Schiller.

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League ladder

  1. Norwood
  2. Eagles
  3. Sturt
  4. South Adelaide
  5. North Adelaide
  6. Glenelg
  7. West Adelaide
  8. Central District
  9. Port Adelaide
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