League Match Report: Round 4 - South Adelaide vs West Adelaide
League Match Report
South Adelaide vs West Adelaide
Round 4 - City Mazda Stadium - 24/04/18
Goals: Fitt 3, Davis 2, Brooksby, Haines, Biemans, Overall, Noble, Rankine, Raitt
Best: Cross, Brooksby, Davis, Fitt, Rose, Crabb
Injuries: Biemans (back)
West Adelaide have beaten South Adelaide by two points in a thrilling finish at City Mazda Stadium on ANZAC Day eve.
The Panthers worked their way into the lead at the final change after a slow start, but ultimately fell to a 12.10 (82) to 12.12 (84) loss.
The result evens South's ledger at two wins and two losses after four rounds.
The Panthers looked dead and buried in the first half as the lead ballooned to as much as 30 points early in the second term.
Sam Overall opened the scoring for the visitors within two minutes, but the Bloods responded with the next five goals, including a three-goal purple patch from high-flying Mason Middleton.
The Panthers picked up the work rate in the second term, with co-captains Keegan Brooksby (47 hit outs) and Joel Cross (34 touches and nine clearances) proving prolific at the stoppages.
First-gamer Liam Fitt looked at home at senior level, booting two of his three goals in the second term. However, not to be outdone electrifying West Adelaide youngster Izak Rankine kicked three of his own to help his side to a 27-point advantage at halftime.
However, some structural changes from mentor Jarrad Wright saw his side surge out of the blocks after the major break.
Quick goals to Anthony Biemans and Brooksby set the tone early and once Matt Rankine sharked one in the square the Panthers had kicked five unanswered goals and fought their way back into the lead at the final change.
Much can also be attributed to the Panthers miserly defence. Lead by Brad Crabb (20 disposals and eight marks) and Matt Rose (20 and six), the Panthers back six kept the previously free-scoring Bloods goalless in the third quarter.
Abe Davis also continued his strong start to the season with an important 21 touches and two goals.
West got off the chain early in the last, with their Rankine slotting his fourth in the third minute.
Both sides traded goals before Joey Haines capped an impressive game (28 possessions and eight marks) leaked forward to kick his first and cut the lead to two.
Each team huffed and puffed and had their chances to put the game away in the dying stages, but were equally bested by desperate defending at either end.
In the end West Adelaide held the momentum at the pivotal moments and were able to stifle South's last ditch attempts at claiming a comeback victory.
South have the bye next weekend before returning to Hickinbotham Oval to face Central District on Saturday, May 5.