Bulldogs triumph in Anzac Day clash

ANZAC SPIRIT: Bruce Henderson presents the Anzac Day medal to Kriston Thompson who secured the match day honour with his standout performance.
ANZAC SPIRIT: Bruce Henderson presents the Anzac Day medal to Kriston Thompson who secured the match day honour with his standout performance.

Reigning premiers South Augusta pulled away with a win against a much improved West Augusta in the season opener of the Spencer Gulf Football League.

The inaugural mid week Anzac Day clash between the Bulldogs and the Hawks held plenty of significance for players and spectators alike.

Both teams donned a unique guernsey, designed by the clubs themselves, to commemorate the occasion.

South looked dangerous early on with Clayton Milera kicking a goal in the opening seconds of the match, West remained calm answering with a goal off the boot of new recruit Braden Allen.

The first quarter was uncharacteristically close, last year's top and bottom of the ladder separated by just eight points.

Both teams remained scoreless in the first six minutes of the second quarter until West broke the drought with goals from Jay Dalla Santa and Adam Bentley.

Just when it looked like West would enter the second break in the lead, South's Kahran McKenzie put one through the middle, followed by a second goal from Milera before the half time siren.

Things began to turn for West in the third quarter, as South took control kicking two unanswered goals and leaving the Hawks scoreless.

Matt Downey had his work cut out in the ruck against West's combination of Fraser Sinkinson, Jay Dalla Santa and Tyron Warren.

Downey provided plenty of opportunities for the likes of Gary Warren, Darcy Kildea and a seemingly unstoppable Kriston Thompson.

West's new captain Joe Packard did his best to rally the Hawks with a strong on-field presence as they entered the fourth quarter 21-points down.

But South's James Weir kicked his second goal for the day before Thompson followed suit, putting the lead further out of reach for West.

A scrappy game for most of the day, play continued to deteriorate as players on both sides showed signs of fatigue. West took advantage of a quick lapse in concentration from South, Jake McKenna and Richie Hobbs scoring two quick goals.

But it wasn't enough to claw back the lead, Vinnie Urbancic kicked a late goal to cement a 25-point win for South Augusta.

South's Kriston Thompson was honoured with the Anzac Day medal.