MRS Property League Round 1 Match Report: Panthers hold off Eagles
MRS Property Reserves Match Report
South Adelaide vs Eagles
Round 1 - Adelaide Oval - 27/6/20
Goals: Fitt, Mccreery 2, Cailotto, Heaslip, Mcgree, Overall, Schwarz, Whittlesea, Wilkinson
Best: Cross, Highmore, Broadbent, Heaslip, Milsom, Summerton
Injuries: Rose (Shoulder), Karpany (Back - Test)
A sunny Saturday sees South Adelaide kick off 2020 with a thrilling one goal win against Woodville-West Torrens at Adelaide Oval.
Playing for points for the first time in 309 days; the Panthers, who were down two rotations for majority of the match, managed to hold off the fast finishing Eagles to come out on top with a 11.8 (74) to 10.8 (68) victory.
Faces both new and old were impressive for the Panthers, with debutants Matthew Broadbent (26 disposals and seven tackles) and Tom Highmore (24 disposals and 13 marks) playing brilliantly during their first appearance in the blue and white. While Joel Cross was at his usual best with 34 touches and 12 clearances.
However, the Panthers had plenty of work to do early as a failed attempt at switching the play gifted the Eagles the first goal of the match.
South Adelaide were able to respond thanks to some great forward pressure which allowed Alex Cailotto (18 hit outs) to boot the Panthers first goal of the day however, the Eagles would go onto control the remainder of the opening quarter as the Panthers struggled to cope with the Eagles pressure.
Thanks to several costly fumbles and free kicks, South Adelaide would go into the first break facing a 1.3 (9) to 3.4 (22) deficit.
With plenty of work to do in the second quarter, Cross stepped up to the plate with a strong intercept mark before setting up Sam Overall (11 disposals) who kicked truly to cut the deficit to single digits.
Continuing the Panthers momentum was the young ruck Cam McGree (20 hit outs) who plucked the ball out of the ruck contest before finishing nicely to bring South within just a goal of taking the lead.
Meanwhile, debutant Zac Dumesny was also busy around the ground.
However, the game would become a stalemate midway through the second quarter as both the sides midfields refused to give an inch.
After six minutes of play this stalemate would eventually be broken as the Panthers managed to take the ball from end to end before the running Ben Heaslip (20 disposals) kicked truly to hand South their first lead of the day.
Throughout the quarter the Panthers defence managed to hold firm as the side were able to collect 18 rebound 50s during the opening half.
Broadbent was able to show his pace down back with a chase down tackle while Canberra recruit Highmore's highlight came when he took a gutsy intercept mark while travelling back with the flight of the ball.
Highmore's actions were also effective at setting up the Panthers, as he combined with Tyson Brown (six tackles) and Joe Haines (23 disposals) to set up Nic Schwarz whose thumping kick sailed through to increase the Panthers lead just before halftime.
The Panthers managed to hold the Eagles scoreless for the entirety of the second quarter and had a handy 5.6 (36) to 3.4 (22) lead at the main break.
The third quarter saw both the teams once again come to a stalemate as both sides applied immense pressure around the stoppages.
The final term was a clear contrast from the other three quarters, as the flood gates opened, and the two teams combined for 12 goals.
Playing with two less rotations, South Adelaide's tired legs began to show as they conceded two goals within just the first five minutes of the final term to which they were able to regroup and respond with goals through Tom Whittlesea and Fitt but the Eagles refused to give in.
Things did not look good for the Panthers as the side conceded three straight goals and trailed for the first time in two quarters.
However, a beautiful clearance allowed Fitt to boot his second and tie the game, while on debut, Beau McCreary managed to follow up and boot two goals in just a minute.
It took the Eagles three minutes to respond with a goal of their own to cut the lead to just six points however, an extremely valuable centre clearance and some great composure down back saw the Panthers hold on during the final three minutes to win their first game of 2020, and their first game in 309 days.
Round Two sees South Adelaide travel to Adelaide Oval again, this time to face the reigning premiers Glenelg on Saturday July 5 from 11:50 am.
More information regarding ticketing for this week's clash will be released shortly.
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