League Match Report - Round 12 - South Adelaide vs Central District
League Match Report
South Adelaide vs Central District
Round 12 - My Money House Oval - 23/06/18
Goals: Kreuger 3, Brooksby, Cross, Fields 2, Liddle, Davis
Best: Liddle, Fields, Haines, Kreuger, Brown, Brooksby
South Adelaide fell to a five-point defeat at the hands of Central District at My Money House Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The two sides played out a pulsating affair, which saw the lead for either side grow no larger than 20 points.
That largest margin came following a wayward set shot from versatile Bulldog Fraser Fort 15 minutes into the final term.
A pair of majors to Joel Cross entering time on cut the lead back to six points and set up a tense final moments.
South won the ball out of the middle and with the ball in the hands of booming left-footer Tom Fields looked ready to even the scores.
However, Fields raking attempt from 55m out was off line and Centrals rushed a behind, cutting the lead to five.
South did well to lock the ball in their forward 50, but were unable to clear it cleanly from several heavily congested forward stoppages.
Nick Liddle came close to bursting away from a ball up and salvaging the points, but was dispossessed as the siren sounded and his side was condemned to a 11.9 (75) to 12.8 (80) defeat.
Liddle was immense for the visitors despite some heavy attention throughout the day, gathering a team-high 26 possessions (17 contested), 10 clearances and a goal.
Fields (18 touches and two goals) was also important playing as a high forward, while Joseph Haines (24 disposals) continued his strong form in South's backline.
Tyson Brown put in another solid performance as a rebounding defender with 20 touches, while Keegan Brooksby played with his usual intensity at the stoppages, getting hands to 36 hit outs and drifting forward for two goals.
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Former Port Adelaide Power forward John Butcher opened the scoring for the day, kicking the first of his game-breaking bag of six, but it was the Panthers that started the better of the sides.
Brooksby, Fields and Abe Davis all coolly converted set shots throughout the term and gave their side a seven-point buffer at the first change.
However, Roy Laird's men ramped up their pressure after the break, hassling the Panthers ball carriers into skill errors by hand and foot and conversely controlling the flow of the game with accurate short kicking with the ball in hand.
The results were not immediate, but the Bulldogs slowly chipped away at South's lead and Butcher's third for the afternoon in the closing stages of the second would give his side a lead they would not relinquish from that point onwards.
However, the Panthers remained very much in the game.
Despite two more goals to Butcher in the third, South steadily whittled the lead back themselves and a goal to Nathan Kreuger, who impressed in his return from concussion with three goals and several contested marks up forward, in the closing stages of the third leveled the scores at the final change.
Justin Hoskin struck first and immediately for the hosts, goalling within a minute of the restart, but his effort was cancelled out by Kreuger's third minutes later.
However, Central would seal the deal with three unanswered goals midway through the last, including Butcher's sixth.
South's comeback in the dying stages was admirable, but would ultimately leave Jarrad Wright wondering what could have been as his side let an opportunity to secure their place inside the top three slide.
The Panthers have the bye next weekend over the split round and are next back in action on Saturday, July 7 at home against West Adelaide.
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