Roos hold off Bluds’ push

VISION: Mannum's Gene Robinson pushes forward during a recent match. Photo: William Bailey.

VISION: Mannum's Gene Robinson pushes forward during a recent match. Photo: William Bailey.

On a wind-swept Mannum Oval, the home team were too good for Jervois, despite again being without coach Mick O’Malley and other key players.

In a game where both sides had a number of juniors playing, O’Malley would have been pleased with the way his young players stood up.

Jervois had first use of a strong breeze blowing towards the scoreboard pocket but the River Murray Football League’s leading goal kicker Gene Robinson opened scoring with a behind, but quickly followed up with the first major of the day.

It took Jervois 10 minutes before Casey Robins was able to put through their first, followed by another to Peter Zarantonello.

The scores dried up for about 10 minutes as both teams slogged it out, before Dylan Barry’s left foot snap on the run from deep in the pocket gave the Blues their third.

They got another when a Mannum player appeared to take a mark at half back, but it was not paid and Ryan Willits capitalised.

A good passage of running play into the wind saw Mannum close the gap with another to Robinson. Jervois were up by 11 points at the first break.

Mannum were quick on the board in the second quarter when Callum Cook took a solid contested mark from an attempted clearance, and it was Cook again who scrambled the ball forward for Jack Woollard, back from Sturt, to put the Roos in front.

The strength of the wind was demonstrated when a long kick from Jervois’ Justin Hardy looked to be sailing through, but held up and bounced back to be rushed through for a point, levelling the scores.

Robinson broke the deadlock when he snatched the ball in a pack and put another major through off one step. 

After a couple of Mannum misses, including a rare one from Robinson, Jervois got one against the flow of play when they ran the ball down the ground for Owen Love to elude his opponent, and cut the margin to two points.

Lack of discipline cost Jervois as Luke Kluske was shown a yellow card, and a 50 metre penalty gifted Woollard an easy goal.

Mannum took the half time margin to 16 points when Cook, marked from a kick out.

Mannum took a strong grip on the game in the third quarter, holding Jervois to a solitary goal while kicking two against the wind.

Both teams missed chances early, before Cook found Blake Tabe who made up for an earlier miss.

Mannum’s defence, well led by Isaac Boylan, and cool-headed youngster Tom Worthley, were right on top.

Robinson booted his third to put the Roos 29 points up.

Jervois’ only goal came at the 18-minute mark when Zarantonello was freed, and Mannum took a handy 22 point lead into the break, with last use of the strong breeze.

Mannum looked likely to get the perfect start to the last quarter, but Everette Giles shot hit the post.

Giles, Cook, Zac Bullard and Brayden Hermann, in Mannum’s midfield mix, were a major factor in Mannum’s dominance to this stage.

However, Jervois had lifted and Barry found Hardy on his own in the square to reduce the lead to 17 points. Although battling into the wind, Jervois were in with a chance.

A miss by Barry made it 16 points, but a James Smith made it hard with a goal for the Roos.

Barry then took the shine off his very good game to that point when a silly foul after disposal resulted in a goal to Isaac Hampel, giving Mannum a seemingly unattainable lead of 28 points.

However, Jervois winger Tim Hartman, playing a good last quarter, gave them a sniff with a goal.

Barry’s brilliant left foot snap as time on began, followed by another to Love made it only 11 points in favour of Mannum, but with time running out, Cook capped off a fine game with his third goal, a final rushed point giving Mannum an 18-point victory.