Roos leap into third

Contest: Mannum's Zakk Bullard gets his hands to the football while Mypolonga's Lachlan Butler applies pressure in their league match on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.
Contest: Mannum's Zakk Bullard gets his hands to the football while Mypolonga's Lachlan Butler applies pressure in their league match on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.

With the top six River Murray A grade teams opposed this week, Mannum scored a crucial win over Mypolonga at Mannum on Saturday.

The victory sees Mannum leapfrog Ramblers, who lost a close game to Imperials, into third position on the premiership table with the important double chance attached.

For Mypolonga, the last minor round game against Meningie assumes huge importance, as the winner will play finals, while the loser can only look forward to next year.

In trying conditions, with an icy wind blowing across the ground, both sides found the going tough.

But, Mannum’s pressure was too much for a Mypolonga team which showed glimpses but could not put it together for long enough to threaten the Roos.

Mypolonga kicked to the gate end of the ground in the first term, with the breeze pushing into the right pocket at that end.

However, the Tigers could make little impression on a Mannum defence, ably led by coach Mick O’Malley, brilliantly supported by Blake Tabe and Matt Williams.

At the break, Mypolonga led by two points, 2.3 to 2.1, with goals to James Moss and Connor Smelt, while the Roos scored through Korey Loechel and Gene Robinson.

The second quarter saw Mannum establish a match-winning lead as they kicked 6-6 to just two points.                                                                                                                                                   

Mannum’s Robinson and Loechel were dangerous up forward, with Robinson kicking three goals, the last two from free kicks given up by opponents desperate to keep him in check, as well as setting up another to Callum Cook.

Mypolonga’s forward entries were few and far between, as the Roos’ defence remained rock solid.

Mannum’s Zakk Bullard, Danny Walker and Everette Giles were dominant In the midfield, setting up many attacks.

At half-time the Roos led by 38 points, and Mypolonga needed a big lift to get back in the game.

The third quarter started with neither side able to make much impression, until Mypolonga went coast-to-coast after a Mannum point to goal through Tiger James Moss. 

This was immediately countered when Robinson and Loechel combined well for Aiden Holland to mark and goal.

Scoring was difficult and it took eight minutes until Mypolonga broke through again, through Josh Hein. 

Two goals to Moss, one a huge kick from beyond 50 metres cut the margin, but Loechel’s clever goal close to the siren gave the Roos a 27-point lead at the last change.

The last quarter saw Mypo pose no threat to Mannum’s lead. 

Again scoring was not easy and it took nine minutes for Loechel to post the first goal of the quarter, and another nine for Mypo to get one from Smelt. 

Mannum’s Jack Woollard kicked the last two goals of the match to see Mannum run out comfortable winners.