Bulldogs claim minor round premiership

A GRADE: South Augusta Co-Captain Caleb Ritter lays a tackle on West Augusta's Nick Collins. Photo: Marianne Curley.
A GRADE: South Augusta Co-Captain Caleb Ritter lays a tackle on West Augusta's Nick Collins. Photo: Marianne Curley.

South Augusta beat West Augusta to claim minor round premiers for the second year in a row, simultaneously delivering the knockout punch to the Hawks' finals campaign.

Westies managed to keep up with the reigning premiers for majority of the match, down by just a point at half time.

Playing like their season was on the line, it was the sharpest the purple outfit have looked for the past couple of weeks.

Richie Hobbs lead with intensity, but it wasn't enough to topple the Bulldogs who pulled away with a nine-point lead going into the final stanza.

In true Bulldogs form it was a fourth quarter blitz, booting four straight goals to Westies one.

The 34-point victory sees the Bulldogs head into finals with an air of confidence as they hunt a fourth consecutive SGL premiership shield.

Aziel Stuart, who has undoubtedly been a point of difference for the Bulldogs since his return, was in exhilarating form.

Stuart and Ronald Fuschtei ended the day with three goals each.

Best for the winners was Jarryd Warren, Stuart, Caleb Ritter, Craig Shirley and Kriston Thompson.

Although much improved from last season, West Augusta finished fifth and will once again miss out on finals.

After a tumultuous season of coaching changes and injury, the Hawks never truly reached their full potential.

Best on ground in their last game of the season was Hobbs, Damien Kroes, Tariek Newchurch, Zak Willis and Ty Harrison.

South Augusta 10.14-74 def. West Augusta 4.16-40

After finishing fifth for the past two seasons, Central Augusta can breath a sigh of relief securing a spot in the 2019 finals fixture.

But their ascension to finals hasn't been a smooth one, going down by 15-points to Solomontown in their last minor round game of the year.

The teams have faced each other four times this season, taking home two wins a piece.

They now play off in the first elimination final.

Down by 30-points at half time, the Bloods were in danger of a wipe out.

To their credit they rallied in the third with a tight defence, conceding only one-point for the quarter.

Goals from the boots of Alex Hosking and Blake Cooper put the Bloods just one minor score behind Sollies going into the fourth.

But it was all Sollies way in the final term, pulling away with three goals to Jackson Nance's one.

Best on the day were Nance, Jack Muirhead, Mark Fuller, Lucas Hill and Caleb Williams.

The Bloods head into the finals as major underdogs, but at their best they have proven to be a serious threat for the shield.

Consistency is key for the young side who look to veterans Muirhead, Mark Fuller and Ryan Struck for leadership.

Solomontown 12.6-78 def. Central Augusta 9.9-63