Is there a different feel about the way the Waikerie A Grade Football team is going about season 2016?
Perhaps the jolt of last season’s Grand Final trouncing at the hands of a brilliant Loxton North has brought about a more balanced and calculated approach to this season, perhaps more ‘professionalism if you like.
The recent return of Reid Beeching from a finger injury received early in the 2015 Grand Final has been an absolute bonus.
A feature of the victories by Waikerie, Barmera Monash and Loxton North last Saturday was big first term starts.
Waikerie started with a rush against Berri to be 29 points up by quarter time, 6.3 to 1.4, and from there it just got the job done. It was 35 and 21 points in front at the next two changes with the Demons giving supporters some hope with a 5.2 to 3.0 third quarter. The final score was 15.9 (99) Waikerie to 9.8 (62) Berri.
Named best from an even Magpie group were Tristan Geehman, Ryan Shaw, Joel Fladrich, Luke Exton, Craig Miller and Aaron Thompson. Beeching contributed 3 goals.
For Berri Matt Allan, Sam Atkins, Peter Safralidis and Nick Hankin played well.
At Loxton Barmera Monash had a number of its teenage brigade on show including new addition Taso Bantolas who kicked 5 goals. Another junior Steve Burton was best afield, also with 5 goals, and Brodie Kollmann, Luke Thomas, Richard O’Grady, Brett Ancell and Murray Middleton all contributed strongly to a 25.12 (162) to 8.10 (58) victory.
New recruit Ryan Borowski, Henry Bobilack and Cohen Thiele tried hard for the Tigers.
The Roos had blitzed the home side in the opening quarter 5.5 to 0.0.
Loxton North also hit the ground running at Renmark and was 5.0 to 1.0 at the first spell. The Rovers got within 12 points at the midway point but the Panthers then slipped into gear to score 11.8 to 3.5 after half time to win 19.8 (122) to 9.5 (59).
Scott Meneghetti probably played his best game for the season for 5 goals in a Best On Ground display for North aided mainly by Ryan Gray, Jordan Hentschke, Nathan Brown, Justin Proud and Josh Nelson. Lachie Hentschke and Ryan Proud scored 3 goals each.
For the home side Trevor Thorpe, Lachlan Lellmannand Jake Whenan played well.