Sollies have all but clinched second position with a big win over West.
Mason Munzberg had arguably his best league game in his short career, while Ryan Hoare booted five goals in the 65-point victory.
West got the jump on their opponents to prove they shouldn’t be taken lightly. They kicked the first three goals of the game to take an early 16-point lead, but that’s where things turned for Sollies.
Cats got it back to four points before quarter time, then made it six goals on the trot when Jake Nitschke put them 22 points up midway through the second quarter.
West hit back with a couple of goals, but they were matched by Hoare and Lindsay Bearman just before half time.
The third quarter belonged to Hoare, collecting a three-goal haul within 13 minutes to help Sollies to a near-unassailable 38-point lead at the final change.
The big highlight for West came when 14-year-old debutant Mitchell Searle kicked his first goal in league football.
West lifted when Corie Singleton goaled in the opening minute of the quarter, but unfortunately so did Sollies.
The Cats ended the game with the last four goals to run out 121-56 winners.
Kye Davies had a great game to be named West’s best, while Hawks’ defenders stood up well again in tough conditions, as Singleton, Jay Dalla Santa and Joe Packard all played well.
Sollies should seal second spot on the ladder to earn the vital double chance, while West finish their season with games against Central and Lions.
Port v Central Augusta
With Central’s season now over, they came into the game against Port with little intensity, allowing the Bulldogs to claim a crucial percentage booster heading into the finals.
Josh Parker was the standout for Port and seemed unstoppable at times, while Brett Woodards’ seven-goal haul was a key factor in the 97-point drubbing.
The first quarter started evenly with both sides going goal-for goal. Alex Hosking’s dribbling goal from the pocket was a rare highlight for Central, but Port’s new forward structure was getting on top of the smaller Central defence.
After leading by 15 points at quarter-time, Port put the foot down in the second term, kicking goals left, right and centre.
Mark Fuller was brilliant in the second quarter, not just in the ruck but around the ground. His work was influential for Central, but unfortunately he didn’t receive much help, as Port ran riot to hold a 58-point lead at half time.
The Bloods came to life, kicking the first two goals of the third, but Port were able to respond to keep the margin at 59 points.
The Bulldogs dominated the last quarter but didn’t capitalise, kicking nine points and five goals. However, it didn’t matter, as they had sewn up the win well before then.
Liam Nelson was excellent and continued to put his head over the ball, while Brendon Colson made the most of his limited chances to kick four goals. But you couldn’t go past Fuller, who was outstanding in defeat.
Port are the dark horses heading into the finals and have had a fantastic season. They will definitely be a team to watch in August.