League Match Report: Panthers play out second draw in a row!
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League Match Report
South Adelaide vs Adelaide
Round 4 - Flinders University Stadium - 20/04/19
Goals: Noble 3, Karpany 2, Liddle, Fitt, Whittlesea, Davis, Irra
Best: Rose, Crabb, Noble, Liddle, Haren, Cross
South Adelaide and Adelaide played out a thrilling draw at Flinders University Stadium on Easter Saturday.
The match was the classic tale of two halves, as the Crows dominated the first two quarters before South stormed home and came agonisingly close to claiming an unlikely victory.
After finding themselves down by as much as 49 points late in the second quarter, South clawed their way back in the third term and Tom Whittlesea's kick to win the game came just seconds after the final siren to leave the scores locked at 10.13 (73) to 11.7 (73).
The result left South supporters with a bizarre but not entirely unfamiliar feeling, as many recalled memories of the 1997 season in which the Panthers played consecutive draws against West Adelaide and Glenelg.
The Panthers will be left regretting a poor first quarter that gave Adelaide a six goal head start, but should be pleased with the fightback that came so close to claiming the points.
Co-captain Matt Rose inspired his troops with a gutsy performance in defence, racking up 20 touches and seven tackles while setting up plenty of play out of the Panthers backlines and shutting down a rampant Myles Poholke in the second half.
Fellow defender and former skipper also put in an impressive performance down back, limiting AFL-list man mountain Josh Jenkins to just 11 touches and two behinds.
Up forward, Mark Noble did the majority of the damage for the hosts, booting three goals from his 15 touches, while Malcolm Karpany chipped in with a pair of his own.
In the first half it was Adelaide doing all of the damage on the scoreboard.
The Crows controlled the stoppages and outworked South on the spread in a scintillating first term, kicking 6.2 to just three behinds. More impressively, Adelaide's dominance came against a strong breeze.
The only highlight in the quarter for South came in the form of a Liam Fitt hanger, as he clunked a spectacular mark, but again could not convert the set shot.
The Panthers finally got on the scoreboard in the second term with Fitt dribbling one home.
However, Adelaide continued to maintain control of the contest, with Poholke running hot with 22 touches and four goals in the first half.
By the time James Matthews kicked his first the Crows lead was 49 and all hope looked lost for a Panthers comeback.
However, Jarrad Wright's men emerged from the rooms a different side in the third term.
The old firm of Nick Liddle (29 touches, nine tackles, six clearances and a goal) and Joel Cross (29 possessions, seven inside 50s and eight clearances) started to turn the tide at the coal face, while Ben Haren pushed up onto a wing a provided some much needed drive forward with his 22 touches.
Early goals to Noble and Tom Whittlesea gave the home side some spark, but not many would have predicted the run to come.
Karpany marked a high ball and converted a neat left-footed snap from the pocket, before Noble floated through his second and Liddle banged home a long-range set shot.
All of a sudden, the margin was back to 10 and the Panthers were right back in the contest.
Karpany slotted his second on the run soon after to set up a grandstand finish with only a solitary behind separating the sides.
If not for some wayward kicking (6.6 for the term), South could have well and truly found themselves in the lead.
The hosts did remarkably well to turn the tide and hold the rampantly scoring Crows scoreless in the third but turned for home kicking into the breeze themselves.
The teams traded goals in the final frame, with the highlight coming from a brilliantly weighted Karpany handball to a running Emmanuel Irra to snap his first.
Noble's was taken high as the game entered time on and his third levelled the scores.
It set up a pulsating finish with the crowd erupted for several critical defensive marks from the Panthers.
The comeback was poised to be completed as a defensive clearance landed in the hands of Whittlesea well within scoring range.
However, the siren sounded as he gathered his steps and as his shot crossed the line for a behind the reality of a second draw in a row set in across the ground.
Despite the remarkable result, South maintain their hold on second on the ladder, effectively trailing the undefeated Norwood by a single game.
The Panthers are next in action from 2:10pm this Sunday, April 28 with their Anzac Round clash with Sturt at Peter Motley Oval.
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