Willunga went into the local derby against McLaren knowing that they were up against the best team in the League. Willunga’s performance with no interchange players on the bench for much of the game was inspirational, as they inflicted McLaren’s first loss for the season.
McLaren controlled the first 10 minutes of the first quarter. Loots set up McLaren’s first goal when he set up Watchman. Cook got it back for Willunga and the Demons regained their composure and were able to move the ball skilfully through the disciplined McLaren defence.
Bass roved and snapped truly, but Hansen equalled the score for the visitors. Willunga’s dependable wingman, Nelson, delivered the ball to Cook who passed to Bass, who kicked his second for the quarter. Two minutes later Vandeleur. At quarter time Willunga led by 11 points.
Willunga’s narrow lead was extended in the second term when Mills roved a ball that got over the back of the pack into the open goal square. Matthews quickly replied for McLaren. Beath then snapped truly, then Green and Watchman combined for an equaliser. The game was played at a frantic pace.
Players from both sides moved the ball up and down the ground with precision kicks. Ross, moved to the forward lines marked and kicked a team lifting goal, followed by a skilful goal by Milford to give the Demons a 22 point lead at halftime.
Matthews passed superbly to Watchman who kicked accurately to give McLaren a sniff early in the premiership quarter.
Goals to Altus and Standfield extended Willunga’s lead to 29 points at the last change.
Fenoughty, Zohar and Matthews worked hard for McLaren, but Willunga’s defence, ably supported by their midfield, cut off McLaren’s avenues to goals.
McLaren needed to double their score in the last quarter – but were unable to goal, either could Willunga.
Most goal less quarters are a result of mistakes and bad play. But not this one – it was first class.
Willunga won the game by 27 points. The match winning factor was that Willunga were harder at the ball.