Just seven days after being tipped out of second position on the ladder by 0.17% Karoonda exited the 2013 finals race when it lost to Murrayville in a thrilling first semi final in the MALLEE LEAGUE last Saturday, 8-10 (58) to 8-7 (55).
In a game played on Murrayville`s home ground the home side led by 20, 15 and 18 points at the intervals before just withstanding a last quarter challenge from the Magpies.For This was Murrayville’s second win in a row after a six game ‘drought’ and again it was the recent move of best on ground Clayton Sporn to defence for recent weeks that proved a match winner.
Kevin Wyatt with Scott Kirkbright and three goals from Vessali were also major ingredients in the victory while for Karoonda J Smithson, Rudiger and Corey Knight were best.
In the Riverland with the final four in both the A grade and Independent sectors decided there has certainly been some teams jostling for positions still but you have to also wonder whether others are just going through the motions and freshening some players up for business end proceedings.
The A grade game at Berri was well and truly won by an impressive Renmark by some eleven goals on the scoreboard but the result is in limbo as there are reports of a head count of players on the ground a short time before the final siren perhaps reversing the result in favour of the Demons.
At Loxton the Tigers went in without big men Ryan Nickolls and Ash Montgomery again and lost Chris Papageorgiou with injury but in the wild and wooly weather conditions it came from behind in the last term to defeat Waikerie 8-8 (56) to 7-9 (51).
Brilliant newcomer Adam Proud, promoted from the thirds, produced important late goals for the home side while Leigh Kruger and, in his best game for the season, Jackson Fielke were also high in the best player rankings. For Waikerie the stand outs were Damian Stevens, Reid Beeching and Michael Bratton.
The elements did not make it an ideal day to head for Lake Bonney but Loxton North followers certainly enjoyed themselves more than they did earlier in the season when the Panthers were mauled by the Roos at the venue.
Loxton North finished strongly on this occasion to draw against Barmera Monash 8-12 apiece.
Best players for Barmera Monash were Jack Perry, Jack Selfe and with four goals Marc Elliott and for the Panthers Daniel Proud, Josh Nelson and Blake Hentschke.
The big news from the INDEPENDENT competition was Blanchetown Swan Reach defeating ladder leader Paringa at Paringa to put the teams both on 24 points as the finals loom.
The Redbacks` strong finish to the minor round continued with Dale Payne and Troy Cowland, yet again, along with Andrew Bajski and Jamie Tanner inspiring it to a 14-6 (90) to 9-7 (61) success. Best for the Swans were Andrew Lloyd, Jesse Watson and Dylan Roesler.
Meanwhile the Browns Well Bombers` entry into the knockout first semi final remains anything but ideal after it went down to its hosts Cobdogla 13-15(93) to 8-16 (64).
For the Eagles Paul Ryder, Thomas De Jager with four goals and Kyle Hewitt set the trend while battling it out for Brownswell wereToby Basckai, Jock McNeil and Geordie Franks.
At the same time the other first semi final contestant East Murray was far more impressive when, although off target, it defeated Ramco 13-21 (99) to 7-12 (54).
For the Tigers as they continued in improved form the main contributors included Omar Winen, Zak Schubert and Chris Rudiger and for the Roosters Marcus McGrath, Chris Allen and Daniel Donnelly did best.
Finally Moorook Kingston completed a ‘bookend’ season at Wunkar. Good at the start and back to something like that form in the last two games.
The Warriors with Ben Will, Kenny Wright and with six goals Len Campbell starring defeated Wunkar 13-14 (92) defeated Wunkar 6-4 (40).
Best for the Bulldogs were Luke Worsfold, Lincoln Evans and Shane Schulz.