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2017 Round 8 Centrals vs West Adelaide

WIN BREAKS DROUGHT
By Robert Laidlaw

Central District was out-tackled, out-scored in three quarters, played some scrappy footy, but managed its first win since late April, with a cliffhanging seven-point victory over West Adelaide at Richmond.

A lot of the traits of previous games – skill errors; dropping out of games for long periods, even one terrible quarter; forced to play catch-up footy; and kicking to the opposition – were all there, but some character-building fight was added, which ensured the win.

Down by 15 points at half time, the Bulldogs kicked three majors in the first nine minutes of the third term and one on the siren, to no goals from West to lead by eight points at lemons, then held on through an excruciating tense 25 and a half minutes of a goal-less last stanza.

If Central can bottle that successful nine minute period and infect all the players with whatever magic was concocted, the Bulldogs may yet still play finals footy in 2017.

There were four changes for this game, three at the selection table and another one when Trent Goodrem pulled out late, which may have unsettled the team a bit, but the way Central kept fighting determinedly throughout the contest was a blast from the past.

Conceding the first three goals to West in the opening quarter appeared to have the Doggies in the hole, and after John Butcher kicked Central's first, half way through the period, the Bloods had the answer soon after.

But very late goals to Butcher and Jacob Templeton (on the siren), saw Central just six points behind at the first break, 3-2 to 4-2.

West kicked the first two goals of the second quarter before Sam Milne slotted a nice major for the Dogs, which was answered, then Darcy Fort managed a good goal before three consecutive behinds whittled the margin down to nine points, with the home side booting a six-pointer on the siren to lead 8-3 to 5-6 at half time.

Nick Holman, who was at his tough-as-nails best, slotted a major at the four minute mark of the third term, with another pair, from Justin Hoskin and Travis Schiller, giving Central the lead for the first time – Schiller's the goal of the game, when he won a loose ball and converted from 40m.

There were a couple of opportunities for West to grab the lead back but it just could not penetrate a shot through the big white sticks, with Kyle Jenner giving the visitors some breathing room – which was needed – with a goal on the siren at lemons, for a 9-7 to 8-5 advantage at the final change of ends.

Early in the final quarter Jack Hannath took a great aerial mark on an angle and 50m out, with his shot just missing. West had the best of the next 15 minutes, for a return of just three behinds, to close within a kick.

Central also had a few forward forays, but they amounted to nothing, until Butcher's set shot into time-on extended the lead to the final margin of seven point.

The final four minutes was a snapshot of the whole quarter, as both sides battled hard, West looking for a breakthrough opportunity to score, while the Dogs resolve was steadfast, as they could smell victory – a trait found missing in several games this season when they held handy leads.

Holman was the pick of a good bunch, with Chris Jansen and Travis Schiller back to their best – and hopefully a sign of what is to come – while Fraser Fort was the glue that stuck the defence together.

Congratulations to Luke Barmby, who played his 100th game for Central against West, and Justin Hoskin for his 100th game in the SANFL.

This week the Bulldogs have a tough assignment, reigning premier Sturt, which is on a four-game winning streak after losing its opening four matches.

But the Double Blues got on a roll after a scrappy victory over West, which could signal an opportunity for Central to follow suit.

Also this week the club is holding its 10-year premiership reunion lunch before the game, with many of the 2007 heroes in attendance – it's not too late to book.

* * * * *
RESULT
Central District 3-2 5-6 9-7 9-9 (63)
West Adelaide  4-2 8-3 8-5 8-8 (56)

Best: Holman, Jansen, T. Schiller, F. Fort, J. Schiller, Hoskin.
Goals: Butcher 2, Templeton, Milne, D. Fort, Holman, Hoskin, T. Schiller, Jenner.

 
 
Jack Hannath takes a strong grab
 
Chris Jansen breaks away
 
 
FOR A FULL GALLERY OF IMAGES FROM SATURDAY'S GAME CLICK HERE

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We're a winning team at Centrals
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League ladder

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