Yankalilla v Langhorne Creek
This game was set to be a good early gauge as to where these two sides might sit in this year's competition.
Langhorne Creek were on the board quickly through Mitch Cleggett, but the Tigers replied just as quick.
The Tigers started to handle the ball cleaner and have more opportunities, while Jesse Fitzgerald and Jelinek were presenting well.
The Tigers looked in control, but weren't finishing off. Tigers up by seven points at the first change.
The second quarter was a great arm wrestle as Cooper and Chandler were defending well for the Hawks.
But it was fast pressure footy out there and players who normally look calm and steady with the ball in hand were suddenly looking under the pump. The Tigers slowly kept their lead of nine points at half time.
There had been no malice throughout the game so it was all down to a lack of concentration from both sides, as mistakes were being made and by three quarter time, the Tigers led 12.7 to 9.6.
Langhorne Creek came straight out at Yank in the last and a goal to Mitch Cleggett brought the sides within a couple of kicks of one another.
The Tigers were forced to do all the defending until Jelinek and Brad Fitzgerald combined to kick a steadying goal.
However, Perry and Alex Cleggett combined, showing the Hawks weren't letting go of this one just yet.
The Tigers were looking far too complacent and Braendler was trying to impress, but his kicking was letting him down. Langhorne Creek pressed hard, as play was dominated in the Hawks' 50.
Then the Hawks hit the front deep into the last for the first time in the day.
The Tigers looked to have the game in control nearly all day and it was left to Braendler again to steal lead back with one from outside the 50.
In a thrilling battle the Tigers hung on in a great game of footy, getting the job done for coach Kay.
Tigers have a little more depth to return, as this was the second week in a row they haven't been able to break the shackles in the last quarter and kick away.
Langhorne Creek ran the game out the best, but the Tigers just seem to have the experienced personnel to get the job done each week. The clash of the day and most enjoying to watch was Durdin against Kellock.
The margin at the end of the day said it all, Tigers by three points - 14.8 to 13.11.
Encounter Bay v Willunga
Longtime rivals Encounter Bay and Willunga fronted up at the Bay Oval on a perfect day for footy. The Demons kicked with a breeze which was worth a couple of goals. They had their first goal on the board after Dawson marked an Encounter Bay mis-kick. The game was fast and furious but inconsistent umpiring was confusing players and spectators alike.
The big strong Willunga bodies were making life difficult for the young Eagles, as Standfield marked and scored a goal. Encounter Bay captain Neale received two 50 metre penalties to put his team's first goal on the board, but the Demons gradually pulled away. Hoffman, Hutchens and Bass added major scores, making things look ominous for Bays.
It seemed that pace was what was needed. Illingworth and Hall combined to put Neale in range and he kicked truly. At quarter time Willunga led 5.2 to Bays 2.0. With the breeze behind them in the second term, Encounter Bay were quick to respond. The Tonkin boys were on top, Illingworth and Crispin used their pace and with Barrett and Baldock targets, Encounter Bay closed the gap.
Marshall kicked the goal that put them in front midway through the term, but Willunga's Beath replied as the lead changed again. The Eagles regained the lead when they turned defence into attack and Baldock brought home a goal. At half time Encounter Bay were just two points up and it was anybody's game.
The breeze continued to influence the play and with strong bodywork and marking the Demons regained the ascendancy. Hunt kicked a couple of goals, before goals from Cook and Beath. If it hadn't been for a great quarter by Encounter Bay's Fraser Tonkin in defence, the lead may have blown out.
Encounter Bay gave it everything, but only points resulted, so the margin was almost four goals at the last change. A close finish was anticipated when Nick Marshall marked and scored a goal for Encounter Bay in the early stages of the last term.
However, strong defence by the Demons forced turn-overs and errors as the Eagles over did the handball and short game. Neale and Baldock each kicked goals for Bays, but Willunga held on to win by 8 points. The final score was 12.6 to 10.10.
Best players for Encounter Bay were Illingworth, Barrett and Callum Tonkin. Neale was dangerous as usual, while Crispin and Costello played well and Fraser Tonkin defended strongly. Willunga were a bit too big and strong for their opponents. Bass, Beath, Collier and Hutchens played well, while Meigel and Hoffman impressed.
Victor Harbor v Goolwa/Port Elliot
Another bumper crowd at Goolwa Oval for what promised to be a big match, but it was anything but, as a rampant Victor Harbor side completely outplayed the Magpies, winning by 107 points
The first quarter was where it was won and despite missing mail medalist, Michael Ross, it came out of the middle with ease, giving the Victor forwards first use as Sam Bashsm and Davey got majors early and Wade also chimed in and looking lively. Despite the efforts of Ferguson and Cinc, it was almost done and dusted at quarter time with the Roos up by 44 points at the first change.
The second term was more competitive as Robinson got a major in his 150th and James Fry kicker truly, but Victor through Yeomans, Connors and Bramley extended their lead to 63 points at the long break.
The third term was ugly and defensive as Victor only managed three goals and the home side limped a single goal through. McKay was having a great game for the Roos, while Weetra was in everything. Trent Griffen, Ferguson and Sutter held firm, while Marsh continued his outstanding year for the Magpies. The margin was 78 points at the last break
The highlight of the final term was Travis Griffen turning back the clock for one of the best behinds you'll see. Cinc, despite his size continued to show his toughness and Stoldt tried hard. But in the end the Magpies were no match for the Roos. Davey and Basham ended with five goals each. The final margin was 107 points.