League Match Report - Round 6 - South Adelaide vs Central District
League Match Report
South Adelaide vs Central District
Round 6 - Hickinbotham Oval - 05/05/18
Goals: Overall, Rankine, Fields, Kreuger 2, Biemans, Davis, Fitt
Best: Liddle, Heaslip, Davis, Biemans, Rankine, Noble
Injuries: Overall (foot)
A resilient South Adelaide outfit fought hard to record a comeback nine-point win over Central District on Saturday afternoon.
Missing co-captain Joel Cross and facing a 22-point deficit at the first change the signs did not look good as the Panthers lost their fifth consecutive first quarter.
However, the hosts held tough, clawed back the lead and rode a strong finish to a 11.18 (84) to 11.9 (75) win that squeezes them back inside the top five.
The Bulldogs started the better side, dominating the clearances and inside 50s early and claimed the first four goals of the game.
The Panthers finally answered back through youngster Liam Fitt in time on, but were staring down the barrel after their fifth slow start of the season.
However, the hosts kicked into gear in the second and began to work their way on top at the stoppages.
Nick Liddle, Ben Heaslip and Mark Noble started to lift on the ball in the absence of Cross and helped their side even up the ledger in forward entries.
Four-time Knuckey Cup winner Liddle was outstanding after being handed greater responsibility in the midfield, gathering a game-high 26 touches (18 contested) and 12 clearances.
While Heaslip (23 touches) and Noble (26) found their fair share of the footy in Jarrad Wright's new-look engine room.
Slowly but surely South pegged back the gap, as Sam Overall marked strongly and finished well before Tom Fields made the most of a Bulldogs kick out error.
Once Abe Davis bombed one from beyond the paint, South found themselves with a one point lead.
The highlight of the quarter came from 18-year-old debutant Nathan Kreuger, as the Victor Harbor Football Club product punched home his first goal in League football and enjoyed a celebration to match.
The Panthers defensive work rate was also evident as they held Centrals to just a single behind for the quarter, with young gun Jackson Hately hitting the post after the siren.
To the Bulldogs credit, they fought back hard in the third term, as both sides broke even with 3.2 a piece.
Matt Rankine looked dangerous for the Panthers, kicking 2.1 for the term including one of the goals of the season with an outrageous effort pegged up against the boundary in the north-eastern pocket.
Livewire Bulldogs forward Isaya McKenzie made things interesting in the final term, bringing his side within a kick on two occasions.
However, Anthony Biemans, who was impressive with 14 touches and 10 tackles after returning from a heavy cut to the forehead in the opening term, provider a steadier early.
Then a late goal to Fields and a sealer from Kreuger put the result beyond doubt, despite some inaccurate finishing from the home side.
There were worrying signs for South supporters though as high-flying key forward Overall was stretchered from the ground with an apparent foot injury.
Former Power forward John Butcher brought the final margin to within 10 thanks to a pair of snaps in time one, but it would not be enough to steal a hard fought win during a tough week for South Adelaide.
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