Round 21 2006

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GLENELG Football Club can almost smell the finals, and despite losing to Central District by 50 points on the weekend and having the bye this week, still has its destiny within its control.

With three wooden spoons and no finals action in the 21st century, the Tigers' last minor round match against South Adelaide at Adelaide Oval is shaping as a finals-type contest, with the winner snatching a finals berth.

Against the Bulldogs, Glenelg may have been outclassed by the home side, but showed enough to indicate it will be a worthy team for September action, making several courageous fightbacks against the run of play.

Although Central District matched up well against Glenelg, and restricted its open fast-paced style of game, the Tigers kept finding something extra to remain within striking distance until late in the game. Posting five majors with its first five shots on goal helped Glenelg stay in touch with an inaccurate Central in the first term, and over the middle quarters whenever the home side seemed to inch away, the Tigers fought back.

Trailing by 24 points at the final break, Glenelg conceded the first goal of the last term, but after finding the answer shortly after, just one more quick major was all that was needed to get back into the contest.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Central stepped up a gear and pulled away.

Playmaker Brett Backwell was well contained by un-heralded Andrew Hayes on the wing, although the Tiger dynamo bobbed up for three crucial goals.

Matt Duldig was given virtually no latitude from experienced returnee Quinton Graham, and Bryce Gibbs seemed to be carrying a slight injury.

Justin McConnell shone for the Bays, as he continually pushed his side forward, and was the catalyst in several Tiger fightbacks against the run of play. Jeff Smith seemed to be a threat whenever he had the ball near goals, while Luke Panozzo was the best of the rest.

The game was the first time Glenelg had played under lights at Elizabeth, and it was facing a well-rested Central District side, which was coming off the bye.

Plus the Tigers had not tasted success at the Bulldogs' home since 1992.

This week Glenelg has the perfect opportunity to regroup and focus on its date with destiny at Adelaide Oval on September 9 against South Adelaide.

Win that game and all the blood, sweat and tears of 2006 will have all been worth it, as a finals berth will be earned.

SCORES: Central District 5.4 7.8 12.10 18.12 (120) defeated Glenelg 4.0 6.1 9.4 11.4 (70).

BEST: Central – O'Sullivan, Thomas, C.Gowans, Switala; Glenelg – McConnell, Smith, Panozzo, Yeomans.

GOALS: Central – O'Sullivan 4, McKenzie 3, C.Gowans, Schell, L. Westhoff, Slade 2, J. Westhoff, McCabe, J. Gowans; Glenelg – Backwell, Smith 3, Ruwoldt, Duldig, McConnnell, Yeomans, Austin.

See also: 2006


1. Robert Laidlaw article

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