Great Southern football review

HARD BALL: Yankalilla coach Ben Kane leads by example and was a decisive player when needed on Saturday, as the Tigers defeated the Magpies by one point.
HARD BALL: Yankalilla coach Ben Kane leads by example and was a decisive player when needed on Saturday, as the Tigers defeated the Magpies by one point.

Is it going to be the year of the Magpies? Although they went down in the match of the season on Saturday, Goolwa/Port Elliot proved they can go with any team in the competition.

Lacking the valuable resources and ball winning capabilities of Staple, Daniel Fry and Campbell, the Magpies pushed the highly rated Yankalilla to one point and look a team to be reckoned with if it can field its full squad.

You have to love the Tigers, as when challenged, they had the answer. The answer was multiple ball winner Kane winning the final stoppage and finding Gillings, who calmly kicked the winning goal after the final siren. You have to love our great game and our great competition.

The game was as good as any played this year and it augers well for our finals series. There would not be too many football watchers who would begrudge a Goolwa/Port Elliot and Yankalilla grand final, as both sides have not won a GSFL premiership for decades. For the Magpies it has been 40 years and the Tigers 32 years.

The fairytale was complete for the Dogs in 2016, so may be it can happen to one of these sides in 2017? There is little doubt that on their respective days they are good enough. However, there are two teams entrenched in the five that will have a fair say in the matter. Both Mount Compass and Willunga are quality outfits and in top form also. 

So those four are certainties for finals, so who will fill fifth?

It seems to be out of Encounter Bay and Langhorne Creek, as both teams had strong wins against their arch rivals on the weekend. July 22 could be the day fifth position is decided when the Bays meet the Hawks at Encounter Bay.

Round 12 had few surprises with Willunga rolling a hard working Myponga/Sellicks team by 50 points. The Mudlarks are a different team with Tom Carroll in their ranks and the Demons are an even better team when they can afford to play Jake Standfield up forward for the whole game. It gives them a more direct passage to goal and Standfield is one of the stars of the competition. Brad Haskett as a key defender is brilliant, as it is the position he helped the club win one of its many premierships a decade ago.

The Demons have only lost one game so far and will finish minor premiers. Mount Compass on Saturday accounted for McLaren and midfielder Nathan Daniel is a front runner for the 2017 Mail Medal. He has been a great acquisition for the club.

This week the GSFL has a rest while the country championships are being held at Murray Bridge. Southern zone will consist of many Great Southern players such as Marc Elliott, Ben Simounds, Ben Miels, Tyson Davis-Neale, Tarquin Brown, Mike Ross, Matt Tonkin, Tom Derham, Hamish Tonkin and Marcus Burdett.

Southern Districts is chasing its 11th title and will be coached by Encounter Bay’s Todd Butler. Unfortunatley the championships are not held in the Great Southern region due to the league knocking back the opportunity, which could have given the team an advantage and boosting the brand of the GSFL.