MRS Property Match Report Round 12: vs Sturt
MRS Property Match Report
South Adelaide vs Sturt
Round 12 - Unley Oval - 26/06/21
Goals: McCreery, O'Neill, Overall, Tucker, Wilkinson
Best: O'Neill, Haines, Horne, Tucker
Wet, Muddy and Missed chances: South Adelaide fall to an 11-point defeat against Sturt at Unley Oval on a wet and wild Saturday.
The Panthers, who received a less than welcome reception to the local park, battled it out with the Double Blues throughout the match but ultimately their wayward kicking proved one hurdle too many, 5.14 (44) to 8.7 (55).
Coming off a bye, the Panthers made four changes to their Round Eleven side as Eamon Wilkinson made his long-awaited return from injury. He was joined by Darnell Tucker and debutant pair, Bailey Griffiths and Jake McCreery.
It was McCreery who was the first to strike on the behalf of the Panthers, with his mark on the line and subsequent goal handing the Panthers a one-point lead halfway through the opening term.
Evans, playing in his final match, then struck for the home side to put the Panthers on the back foot once again. This was only momentarily, however, as Tucker welcomed his return to league football with a lead-taking goal.
Heading into the first break facing a 2.4 (16) to 3.0 (18), the Panthers finishing in front of goal went from bad to worse, as the side collected just five behinds during the second half.
Then, in front of the benches, a late hit on Joel Cross after the halftime siren quickly erupted into a melee as the umpires struggled to gain control but they were able to force apart the two sides.
The Panthers, who faced a hostile and unsportsmanlike reception from the crowd as they went down the race, were not phased by the crowd as they had the scoreboard on their mind.
Despite leading the match in scoring shots, the halftime scoreline read 2.9 (21) to 6.3 (39). To make matters worse, Sam Skinner would remain in the changerooms and would not take part in the remainder of the match.
A tense atmosphere, cold conditions and an extremely muddy oval; mixed with 32 frees paid within the opening half, equalled a scrappy match, to say the least.
The defence did their best to keep the Double Blues from blowing the game open, with Joe Haines and Matthew Broadbent helping hold the back six together. On the attacking side of things, Wilkinson welcomed his return from injury with a much-needed goal midway through the third term.
Then, O'Neill struck in the dying stages with his first of the match to bring the deficit to 4.10 (34) to 7.5 (47) at the final break.
Sam Overall struck just a minute into the final term to bring the lead within two kicks, yet on the postage stamp oval and with the wet conditions, free-flowing football came had to find and the scoring dried up.
After some close calls, the final siren would sound to signal the hard-fought, 5.14 (44) to 8.7 (55) defeat.
Still sitting third on the ladder, South Adelaide will look to bounce back when they face off against Woodville-West Torrens at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday, 3 July, from 1:35pm.