SOUTH Augusta were far too good for West Augusta in the battle for second spot on Sunday, July 23 at Central Oval.
Injuries took their toll on West, as they were run over in the second half by a brilliant South side without many of their key players.
This win has given South a one-game break in second position ahead of third-placed West, as we move closer to finals.
South were without many of their best 21 players, including co-captains Adam Grantham and Caleb Ritter, Josh Ackland, Jake Collins, Mark Horner and Liam Bury.
The Bulldogs needed many to step up in their absenses and this was achieved.
Tom Hamilton and Jason Lukich returned, along with key defenders Simon Brusnahan and Craig Shirley.
The Hawks welcomed back Jarryd Warren, Rhys Dadleh and Tye Treloar-Starkey, who all had an influence on the game.
The first half gave the impression that it would be a great contest that would go down to the wire, with both sides having the game on their terms in periods.
Gun Bulldog forward Brendon Colson was proving too hot to handle for the West backmen, as he went on to kick six goals. His impact on the game was a big factor in his side’s victory.
After half-time, West were down to just one on the bench, with key players Nic Collins and Chris Johnston going down with injuries.
Soon after, Jarryd Warren went down, requiring the fit players to run out the rest of the game without any interchange breaks.
This may have been a factor behind South’s dominant second half performance, kicking nine goals to five to run away with a 36-point win.
South ruckman Matt Downey is one of the few genuine chances to win the Madigan Medal. His stellar form continued, while exciting players Billy-Joe Russell and Kahran McKenzie were excellent around him.
Vince Urbancic and Thomas Hamilton also stood up for the Bulldogs, kicking two goals each.
Westies co-captain Michael Curley did a brilliant job in keeping Darcy Kildea quiet and found a bit of the footy himself.
Corie Singleton was excellent in the backline, while Ray Stapleton and Mitchell Foote’s three goals each were greatly appreciated by the West side. Damien Kroes and Tyron Warren also put in very solid displays for the losers.
In an all Port Pirie clash, PropRisdon Lions defeated Port in a low-scoring affair by 13 points to maintain fourth place on the Spencer Gulf Football League ladder.
With Port and Central Augusta both suffering defeats over the weekend, the top four sides all appear to have one foot in finals with just six rounds to go in the regular season.
Solomontown has been dominant all season long, while West and Lions will be looking to snatch second spot from South to gain a double chance in finals.