MRS Property Match Report Round 19: vs West Adelaide
MRS Property Match Report
South Adelaide vs West Adelaide
Round 19 - Flinders University Stadium - 04/09/21
Goals: Fitt 4, Roberts, Sampson 2, Horne-Francis, Nobes, Overall, Wilkinson
Best: Sampson, Skinner, Fitt, Gibbs, Horne-Francis, Haines
Another Drought Broken: South Adelaide earns back-to-back finals berths for the first time in 30 years after defeating West Adelaide by 43-points at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday.
The Panthers, who were playing for their spot in the finals, put together one of their best displays in weeks as they strongly overcame the Bloods, 12.17 (89) to 7.4 (46).
Standouts for the Panthers included Hayden Sampson, who finished with 31 disposals and goals, and Liam Fitt, who added 4 goals to his season tally. Meanwhile, controlling the skies was Sam Skinner, who finished with 22 touches and 13 marks.
Round 19 was an early elimination final for the Panthers, who had to win to secure their first back-to-back finals appearances since the 1991-92 seasons.
Coming into the match won the back of 8 changes, including the late withdrawal of Matthew Broadbent, the Panthers looked determined to make history.
But things began shaky, with a free-kick costing the Panthers the first major of the match and handing the visitors an early lead.
However, just minutes later, Matty Roberts was able to get his kick away despite the close contact—which soared through for the Panthers opening goal of the game.
Then, a good ruck tap by Bailey Griffiths allowed Jason Horne-Francis to break the stoppage open before passing to Sampson, who subsequently snapped his first goal of the day.
Continuing with this late momentum, Eamon Wilkinson set the ball up inside the Panthers forward 50—which spilled out of the contest and was quickly pounced on and snapped by Sampson for his second goal in as many minutes.
Holding a 3.6 (24) to 1.0 (6) lead at the first break, the second term was the Panthers turn to defend against the strong breeze.
Yet, after many minutes, it was the Panthers who registered the first goal of the term after Liam Fitt was able to quickly get a boot to the ball from close range.
Keeping the Bloods to just one goal for the second term, Alex Cailotto finished off the quarter by setting up Daniel Nobes, who plucked it out of the air and kicked truly to give the Panthers a 5.10 (40) to 2.2 (14) lead at halftime.
Around the ground, Bryce Gibbs continued to be at his best. In total, Gibbs finished with 32 touches, 7 clearances and 6 marks.
Meanwhile in defence, Matt Rose lead by example, while Joe Haines finished with 28 touches and 5 marks.
Westies kicked things off during the third term with their third goal for the game, but Fitt was able to quickly reply with his second of the day.
Then, straight out of the corresponding centre bounce, Horne-Francis broke away and kicked truly while on the run—registering the Panthers' second goal within a minute.
Continuing with the momentum, Wilkinson struck truly from close range, making the goal umpire test out their quick reflexes. Wilkinson then showed his courage by taking a gutsy hit at half-forward which prevented a Bloods rebound in the process.
With the Bloods struggling to find ways through the Panthers forward pressure, Sampson was able to spoil a Bloods kick out—allowing Fitt to collect and snap for his third major of the match.
Continuing to do what he had done for the past decade was Joel Cross, who played his final game on Flinders University Stadium in style.
The Panthers, who by now lead by 8 goals, continued to build on their lead after Roberts was able to take a strong contested grab, go back, and drill it—which marked South's fifth goal of the quarter.
However, it was a behind that stole the show, after Haines collected the footy and let loose from way beyond the arc—but his kick narrowly sailed through inches to the right.
Taking a 10.16 (76) to 3.2 (20) lead into the final change, the Panther faithful were able to breathe a sigh of relief since the Double Blues, who would have stolen the Panthers finals spot, were also way into the lead in their match.
After a slight gate delay to start the final term, the Panthers kicked things off by going end-to-end which was finished off by Fitt's fourth goal of the game.
Then, Sam Overall was able to read the ball beautifully and out mark his two opponents—which allowed him to go back and drill his first of the day.
Nobes then looked to kick his second of the match but was cruelly disallowed but by this stage, the game was won.
Credit to Gotch's boys since the Bloods, who had the wind at their backs in the final term, kicked the final 4 goals of the game to cut the winning margin down, 12.17 (89) to 7.4 (46).
Yet the big celebration went the way of the Panthers, who earned back-to-back finals appearances for the first time in this millennium.
South Adelaide will clash with North Adelaide in the Elimination Final at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, 12 September, from 12:15 pm.
|Tags:SANFLSenior FootballSenior Match ReviewsPanthers Football|