FOOTBALL: River Murray round six match reports

Tailem Bend v Jervois

Tailem Bend suffered a costly loss to Jervois and faces the daunting task of having to beat Imperials to stay in top five contention.

The Eagles had a golden opportunity to consolidate their position on the ladder, but were not able to get over a determined Jervois outfit.

The Bluds were impressive, no doubt about that. But, how impressive is the question, given the standard of the opposition was very ordinary.

Jervois’ silky skills, confidence and courage were in stark contrast to the Eagles team who were totally bereft in any of the aforementioned.

Tailem had no cohesion finding its way out of the backline, no breaking of the lines, no midfielders prepared to take chances – it was a sorry sight.

Jervois were controlling the square and the midfield mostly through the steady ruck work of Tony Gibson. His workrate and willingness to be involved in the play ensured the Bluds had first use of the ball, something the Eagle players could not or were reluctant to do.

Peter Zantonello and Dylan Barry were playing smart footy, using their pace and brilliance to continually poke holes in the Eagles’ defence.

They were running rampant and were instrumental in the Bluds’ resounding win. If they had an opponent no one from the Eagles’ camp was owning up.

When the siren sounded to end the first half the score was 8.12 to 5.4 goals in the visitors’ favour.

The body language of the home side as they trudged to the rooms told all and sundry present they had squandered opportunities and had not done enough to keep the quality Jervois side at bay.

After half-time the Bluds’ had all their components functioning and firing in correct sequence. The visitors’ forwards were now tormenting the home side’s defence and the young Eagle side was destroyed in close and exposed horribly at the contested ball.

Contrastingly, the Eagles’ had few in sync to support the likes of Scott Welsh, Dylan Hogarth and Mackenzie Hansen.

Fluent movement into the forward line enabled the Bluds’ to provide spear head Justin Hardy with some crisp ball early and he did not disappoint.

He finished the day with four goals and his clear dominance in the air had the Eagles’ second guessing on most occasions.

The foot and hand skills of the home side were deplorable, continually coughing up the ball to the opposition when seemingly in control.

One can be forgiven for making mistakes under pressure, but missing targets when not under pressure, is inexcusable.

Where the footy basics of tackling hard, running in numbers and manning up were required it was the Bluds’ who held their nerve and they continually carved up the hapless Eagles with their precision passing of the footy, whether it be by hand or foot.

After an exciting build up to the start of their season, and plenty of expectations from their supporters, one would hope the form of a lot of Tailem’s players was an aberration.

However, one thing is certain, if the Eagles are going to be a force this year their forward structure and delivery in to this area will need to function a lot better than it did Saturday.

Best player for Jervois was Gibson, he dominated when it counted and was always dangerous, Hardy at full forward was a focal point and did not let the team down.

Zarantonello and Barry both played super games. For Tailem, Welsh and Hogarth never stopped trying and Mackenzie Hansen had his moments.

Ramblers v Mypolonga

On a perfect day to mark Ramblers legend Patrick O’Neil’s 200th league game, the game started with Mypolonga kicking toward the town end with the slightest of breezes.

Fittingly the ball was bounced and it was Patrick winning the first clearance of the game. 

But it was Mypo who opened the scoring in which Ramblers responded with their first major not long after.

From there it was Mypolonga capitalizing on their opportunities.

Tigers win: Mypolonga captain James Moss takes control of the ball during his side's win over Ramblers at LeMessurier Oval on Saturday.

Tigers win: Mypolonga captain James Moss takes control of the ball during his side's win over Ramblers at LeMessurier Oval on Saturday.

Mypo’s socond goal was almost like a training drill, coming out of the half backline, cutting across to opposite wing and straight to Moss to mark and slot through from 50m.

Another nice running goal from Dodd-Watson and Mypo had extended their lead again.

At the other end, Ramblers were failing to make the most of their forward forays, hitting the post twice and missing a few others.

For Mypo Diment and Gogel were looking the goods while Ramblers had Weyland and O’Neil finding plenty of ball, with big Duke Altmann a big presence as always.

By the close of the first, Mypo had a nice lead with the scoreline 1-5 to 5-1.

The second quarter was an arm wrestle and was almost a kick to kick between Cowland and Darcy O’Neil of Ramblers, sending it to Pengilly and Morris of Mypolonga. Back and forth it went and at half time Ramblers were down 2.6 to Mypo’s 7.1.

It was much the same in the 3rd qtr, Ramblers backline was doing well, Alex Pfieffer repelled everything, Elliott quietened Moss’s early influence, with Callaghan all over Martin and again the kick to kick between the back halves remained with Pengilly, Morris and co doing the job for the tigers.

The Reds did have more of the ball and would’ve gone in the three-quarter time break wishing opportunities were taken with the scores at 4.9 to 9.3.

The last quarter was all Ramblers, Altmann was having a big day and had a huge last quarter, the Reds came home like a steam train but, failed easy opportunies in the end cost the Roosters, kicking 3.6 for the term for the final score to be 7-15 to Mypo’s 10-6.

Best for Mypo were Pengilly, Gogel and Diment, while for the Reds it was Altmann, Weyland and Callaghan.

Mannum v Meningie

In perfect conditions the match up between Mannum and Meningie lived up to it’s hype. In a well-umpired game, from the first bounce the pace and skill quality of the two sides showed and it was five minutes into quarter before the first score was posted on the board - a point to George Angus of Meningie.

Meningie continued to attack strongly with resulted in the first major by Brodie Martin.

The first inside 50 for Mannum was defended well by Meningie and was moved quickly back to score their second unanswered goal. Meningie’s strength around the ground kept the Mannum’s defenders working hard.

Mannum’s Jake Bowen started to get on top of the centre bounce and a quick ball movement out of the centre resulted in Mannum’s major by Gene Robinson quickly followed by another from a 50 metre penalty.

Mannum continued to attack the ball to which meant the score board ticked over towards the end of the quarter. Meningie started to settle and attack the ball moving it quickly into their forward line to post a late goal.

James Smith, Mannum, quickly replied to put the Roos up by five points at the first break. Both sides continued to attack while defending the ball strongly.

Quick ball movement by Callum Cook to Corey Leochel saw Mannum post the first goal for the quarter.

Meningie lifted their work rate which resulted in a much needed goal by Ben Halliday, Meningie, celebrating is 100th game. Mannum quickly replied with goals from Ben Wibland and Jack Woollard.

Strong defence lead by Michael O’Malley saw Mannum stand strong against constant attack by Meningie’s forward. Martin, in spite of being well held, marked strongly resulting in a couple of needed goals to keep Meningie in touch.

Mannum had a slight advantage at the main break, 13.3 to 8.2.

The third quarter started fast and furious with neither side giving an inch which resulted in a number of points kicked under pressure.

Spectators were treated to some highly skilled defence and attack from both teams which resulted in only one goal being scored by either side setting up a great last quarter.

A bit of push and shove at the end of the quarters gave the spectators a bit more for the money. Mannum led, 14.10 to 9.7.

Meningie coach Brian Fenton settled his boys at the last break and they came out firing at the start of the last quarter.

Meningie were not going to lay down with Michael Greenwood leading the Meningie defenders to continually repel any attack by Mannum to be rewarded with goals by Thomas Phelps and Corey McDonald got Meningie back into the game.

O’Malley, leading by example, applied extra pressure in the backlines turned the ball resulting in Smith posting another major after quick ball movement.

A goal assist by Martin to Josh Niven saw Meningie answer quickly.

Late goals by Robinson, Mannum, and Martin, Meningie, saw both teams run out the game strongly. The final score was Mannum 17.11 defeating Meningie 13.10.