Doggies to dent Glenelg’s finals chances
By Nick Blewett

This is a danger game for Glenelg this week, after they were swept under the rug by Woodville West Torrens, to the tune of 12 goals last week. It puts the Eagles within touching distance of the minor premiership, and it puts self-inflicted heat on Glenelg to finish in front of South Adelaide and secure a double chance, which they will surely need even more so this year than last.

Central District are Glenelg’s opponents this week. The bulldogs were unable to pull off back-to-back upsets for some late reward in the season, thanks largely to an ill-disciplined third quarter against the Roosters. The competitions’ best teams could hardly prevent defeat if they conceded eight goals in a quarter; tellingly this season, despite a compelling win last fortnight, the Dogs are not the competitions’ best, and let all eight through unanswered.

Their 3rd quarter flooding was bookended by a careless biff in the goal square, and some sloppy guarding of the man who had just put them to the sword, Will Coombe. Mitch Harvey found Coombe on his own inside 50 from a boundary kick in, over the top of a dozen dogs’ defenders, and he kicked truly for his 4th goal in 40 minutes of footy, in a quarter where four Roosters became multiple goalkickers.

There were a select few positives for the Bulldogs, with John Butcher standing tall in attack for back to back weeks, and Jackson Kelly bursting past several players in the midfield going inside 50, but they just didn’t get it there enough; 15 times fewer than their opponents in fact.

The Eagles had a dozen goals before Glenelg had two in their match last week, with Jordan Foote playing a ripper game. He had two early goals, then produced my favorite score involvement of the day with a clever tap to Jackson Lee for a goal that immediately preceded his own third major. Glenelg were also untidy in defense, often allowing the Eagles to centre the ball at right angles to a player on his own inside fifty, removing any degree of difficulty in their set shots; the Eagles had stacks of simple shots on goal to produce their commanding win.

Whichever team can get their defence in order will be the winner in the final game of Round 13 this weekend. Both teams have shown efficient attack in their respective wins last fortnight, with the Dogs looking as good as any team bringing the ball forward. Marsh gathered at full tilt and goaled against Norwood, Jordan Obrien was fending off in the goal square, and Marcus Barreau provided penetrating kicks to John Butcher’s wheelhouse.

Only three men goaled for Glenelg last week. Often Liam McBean is one of those, and the bays simply need more opportunities for their forwards to collect from his doorstep. They had 70 fewer touches from an even supply in the ruck, were out marked, outtackled and were hustled out from the contest. They lost the inside 50 count almost two-to-one and could only kick four goals from 12 attempts; running at 30 percent accuracy in front of goal will not produce the much-needed win against the Bulldogs. 

Rest assured Central District will be eager to atone for a winnable game last week, even as visitors, so a win here will go a long way for Glenelg’s title defence. Both teams come into this match with a clean bill of health, relatively speaking, and this could make for a hard-fought contest. I predict Glenelg to be defeated.

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