Mount Burr v Port MacDonnell
It may have been victory by the narrowest possible margin but Mount Burr’s thrilling one-point win over reigning premiers Port MacDonnell at “The Bay” has undoubtedly set the Mozzies up for a rare chance of adding to their imposing haul of A Grade flags.
The enthralling seaside contest on Saturday lived up to its Mid South Eastern round 13 match-of-the-day status and went a long way to ensuring these two teams will meet again in the cut-throat first semi-final on Saturday, September 3.
On current form and premiership ladder rankings, the other two positions in the major round will be filled by Kalangadoo and Hatherleigh who have been the competition pacesetters in 2022.
Footy supporters and players were again able to concentrate fully on the home-and-away season after the SANFL announced mid-week that it had abandoned plans to create a 16-club competition in 2023.
The visitors chiefly owed their win to an impressive opening term when they slammed on five goals.
The Mozzies only averaged one goal in each of the remaining three terms but it was enough to secure their eighth win this season.
One of the mainstays of the Mount Burr triumph was ruckman Josh Murphy who arguably played his best game in green-and-gold jumper since transferring from Millicent at the beginning of 2021.
The best for the Demons was interleague defender Brandon Newton.
After the bye for the SA Country Football Championships at Whyalla, third-placed Mount Burr takes on the ladder leader at Kalangadoo while Port MacDonnell is at home to bottom-placed Nangwarry.
The Mozzies then have a bye and then meet Nangwarry (home), Robe (away) and Tantanoola (home).
Hatherleigh v Tantanoola
Hatherleigh was seldom troubled at Tantanoola as it banked some valuable percentage thanks to its 131-point win.
In perfect conditions, the Eagles made the most of the grassy oval surface and little wind to go to a quarter-time lead of 35 points.
This was subsequently increased at the two subsequent change-of-ends as teen Paddy Chay was the best of the 10 Hatherleigh goal scorers with a personal senior company best of seven majors.
It has been a remarkable season for Chay after recovering from a back injury.
There was also a lot to like about the games played by the seven Tiger A Graders who are still eligible for senior colts.
Quite a few of them play two games each Saturday and their dedication and persistence is to be commended.
Hatherleigh now has the benefit of a three-week lay-off while Tantanoola’s next game on Saturday, July 23 is at Glencoe.
The Eagles can afford to lose all four remaining games and still play finals.
Glencoe v Robe
The Robe Roosters are losing touch with the top four while the mid-season revival of the Glencoe Murphies is continuing are the two key facts to emerge from the seaside contest.
It is no coincidence that Glencoe is a much better team since its inspirational captain Zacc Cocks has recovered from injury.
The former coach and Mail Medallist is receiving good support in the pivot from the likes of coach Tom Edwards, Dylan Childs, Dylan Pfitzner and Patrick Mitchell.
It is likely the 2022 Glencoe club champion will come from the ranks of this quintet.
Looking ahead to round 14 on Saturday, July 23, Robe heads to Kongorong while Glencoe hosts Tantanoola as part of its annual premiership reunion day.
The Roosters face a tough run into the finals as they then meet Port MacDonnell (home), Kalangadoo (away), Mount Burr (home) and Nangwarry (away).
Kongorong v Nangwarry
It was tipped to be a close encounter between Nangwarry and Kongorong but it was blown out of the water by the Hawks with a 84-point win.
In a plus for Kongorong, the side welcomed back Fraser Brewster, TJ Hunter and Matt Cordy, while a debut for James Allen created some excitement.
For the opposition, Nangwarry missed Trent Badman and Ty Dinnison.
Both sides played a ‘keeping-off’ style of football for the first five minutes until the Hawks put the first major on the board through a brilliant passage of play.
The Saints still found possession, but turnovers proved costly in front of goal due to the pressure applied from the Hawks defence of Corben O’Dea, Hunter and Brewster to build a 33-point lead by the first change.
The Hawks had the height and the crumbing ability to make the scoreboard tick over, but Nangwarry led by coach Luke Thomson stepped up to the task.
There was something different in the third term from the Saints as they came out with a renewed attitude – with Ben Just finding the ability to get the clearance.
The Hawks were still in front at the last change by 38 points and that was attributed to big man Scott Fleming who had the ball talking to him, while excitement machine Jarrod Ryan took a spectacular hanger which resulted in one of his five goals.
The Saints had no answer for Kongorong in the final term with O’Dea, Brewster, Michael Waters, Cordy, Lightbody and Hunter pushing the Hawks to a big 84-point win.