League Match Report: Panthers take full points home from Elizabeth
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South Adelaide @ Central District
Round 16 - X Convenience Oval - 03/08/19
Goals: Fitt, Overall, Davis, Whittlesea 2, Cross, Milsom, Heaslip
Best: Cross, Liddle, Brown, Karpany, Haines, Davis
Injuries: Noble (Hamstring)
South Adelaide stay in the hunt with a strong five-goal win over Central Districts at X Convenience Oval on Saturday.
An outstanding first-half display by the Panthers helped set up the victory; with the visitors booting eight first-half goals while holding the Bulldogs to just one.
However, an inaccurate third term by the Panthers nearly cost them the match as their lead was halved heading into the final quarter.
Luckily, South Adelaide was able to regroup and come out with a 11.13 (79) to 7.7 (49) win to join the winners list for the first time since round 11.
It was Central District who opened the scoring with a goal at the seventh-minute mark of the first quarter.
Having struggled over the previous month, South Adelaide struck back in a spectacular fashion with eight unanswered goals.
It began with Ben Heaslip (19 disposals, three marks, and five tackles) when he kicked truly at the tenth-minute mark.
Just two minutes later, Sam Overall (12 disposals and three marks) handed the Panthers the lead with his first goal of the game.
The Panthers then cleared the ball out of the centre and handed it straight to Liam Fitt (12 disposals, four marks, and four tackles) whose deadly accuracy gave the Panthers their third goal in as many minutes.
The Panthers went on to continue their dominance in the midfield; finishing with 42 clearances to Central's 30 which helped them gather 48 inside 50s to the Bulldogs 29.
Abe Davis then joined the growing list of goalkickers with his first of the day; he went on to continue his run of strong performances; gathering 24 disposals, six marks and five inside 50s.
Also continuing their run of impressive performances was Joel Cross; who would go on to collect 31 disposals, nine marks, six tackles, and four clearances before the game would end.
Cross also joined the goalkickers late in the first quarter; sending the Panthers into the first break with a 5.1 (31) to 1.2 (8) lead following what was arguably their best and most accurate opening quarter this season.
Coming out after the first break, Davis booted his second goal in the second minute of the second quarter to continue the Panthers momentum.
Nick Liddle followed up just four minutes later with his first goal of the match.
Liddle was busy all game; finishing with 27 disposals, four marks, four tackles, and five clearances.
19-year-old Eamon Wilkinson, who spent 2018 injured with an ACL, capped off his remarkable comeback story with 12 disposals, three marks, and three inside 50s on debut.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Irra celebrated his fiftieth game for South Adelaide with 16 disposals, seven marks, and four tackles.
The game broke down into more of a struggle in the second quarter; with both teams combining to finish with 150 tackles.
Overall's second goal late in the second quarter; sent the Panthers into halftime with an 8.3 (51) to 1.4 (10) lead.
Central District opened the scoring in the second half with their first goal since the seventh-minute mark of the first quarter.
What followed was reminiscent of the infamous third quarter fade out; as the home side booted another four unanswered goals to cut Souths lead to just 15 points.
With Roy Laird's men seemingly ready to mount an outstanding comeback, Fitt was able to steady the side with his second goal of the game at the twenty-fourth-minute mark to send the Panthers into the final break with a 9.8 (62) to 6.5 (41) lead.
Thomas Whittlesea (15 disposals, three marks, and three tackles) would join the goalkickers with his first of the match, just two minutes into the final quarter.
First gamer Eamon Wilkinson and third gamer Reece Milsom celebrate their first win. Image: Nick Hook Photography
Centrals were able to reply with a goal of their own; however, Whittlesea's second goal all but sealed the 11.13 (79) to 7.7 (49) win.
The win was built on the back of strong and key performances coming from all around the ground.
Joseph Haines finished with 21 disposals, ten marks, five tackles and seven rebound 50s.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Karpany collected 22 disposals, seven tackles and ten clearances.
With South Adelaide's final chances still alive; they now face North Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium on Sunday, August 18 from 2:10pm.
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