League Match Report - Round 13 - South Adelaide vs West Adelaide
League Match Report
South Adelaide vs West Adelaide
Round 12 - Hickinbotham Oval - 07/07/18
Goals: Liddle, Biemans, Haren, Heaslip, Fairlie, Brown
Best: Cross, Rankine, Brooksby
South Adelaide suffered a second consecutive loss as West Adelaide took the points at Hickinbotham Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers were outworked in a dour affair that saw neither side hit any great heights on the offensive side of the ball.
Both sides played an uncompromising physical style of football, combining for 185 tackles and forcing the men in green to call for 50 free kicks.
South will be left disappointed at letting another chance to solidify their spot in the top five slide and leaving the door open for West and the other sides outside of finals contention to make a late charge up the ladder.
Credit to the Bloods, their midfield outplayed South's on ball brigade, winning the clearance battle 45 - 36 and moving the ball forward with greater precision and numbers throughout the contest.
The usual suspects of Joel Cross and Keegan Brooksby flew the flag all afternoon.
Cross amassed a team-high 28 touches (17 contested) and nine clearances, while Brooksby tried his best to give his midfield first use with 39 hit-outs and was his usual mobile self around the ground gathering 17 possessions.
However, other than Matt Rankine (17 touches and seven clearances) there weren't too many other standout performances from the Panthers.
South had troubles containing the likes of Josh Schiller, Tom Keough and Kaine Stevens in the middle of the ground, as the Westies trio combined for 78 possessions and 21 clearances between them.
Meanwhile, high-flying Mason Middleton proved to be hard to stop with his contested marking forward of centre and accuracy in front of goals in contrast to the Panthers forward line.
Despite some poor finishing in front of goals, South kept themselves within a kick at the first break.
However, the Bloods began to open up a lead in the second term.
Middleton goalled within a minute of the restart and Stevens added another minutes later.
By the time Middleton split a string of South Adelaide behinds for his second of the term the lead had pushed to 21 and would remain as such at the major change.
That man Middleton again hit the scoreboard within a minute of the restart, but the Panthers did fight back in the third quarter.
Anthony Biemans converted a tough set shot from the north-eastern pocket before Nick Liddle and Ben Haren kicked South's only consecutive majors of the afternoon at the end of the term to cut the difference to seven points at the final break.
However, goals to Christopher Burgess and skipper Keough put the Panthers behind the eight ball in the opening minutes of the last quarter and they weren't able to truly challenge the Bloods again.
The end result a disappointing 21-point loss and a missed opportunity for Jarrad Wright's men to increase their buffer inside the top five and even challenge for the top three and the second chance come September.
South will regroup this week before an important trip to Glenelg on Saturday, July 14, as they celebrate Joel Cross' 150th game in the famous blue and white jumper.
Meanwhile, the Panthers will also be celebrating Indigenous Round with special guernseys designed by past player Rigby Barnes and his brother Rohan Carmody.
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