SANFL FINALS 2020 -- Week 2 Wrap-Up

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Premium Platinum
May 8, 2001
X Convenience Oval, Elizabeth
AFL Club
Other Teams
CDFC (SANFL), Port Melb (VFL)
Hi Footy fans...

The Preliminary Final. The absolute last chance saloon for two teams, one more opportunity to earn their place on the arena of the immortals. The thing is, history will show that those who have contested this game, more often than not, have still fallen at the very last hurdle. Still, its not an absolutely impossible feat. In fact, more recent history has proven that it can be done. The last five victors of this scenario have gone on to take out the Thomas Seymour-Hill Trophy, starting with the Bloods in 2015 up to the Tigers last year. From the collective number of Preliminary Finals played in SANFL history, around a third of the winners have gone on to win the premiership the following week. Awaiting this year's victor are the Roosters, who were no doubt in amongst the crowd taking notes on their potential opponents in next week's decider. Also in no doubt is their fans probably making up the bulk of the allowed 25,000 spectators being admitted to the big dance, so the winner here will be walking into the SANFL equivalent of the Roman Colosseum, with a very hostile red and white army awaiting them. One week to go, people!

Welcome to the Week 2 edition of the SANFL Finals Wrap-Up.

For this year's Preliminary Final, its the Eagles and the Panthers facing off at Adelaide Oval on a sunny Sunday afternoon, conditions absolutely perfect for football. Their 2020 encounters read very much like their two previous finals meetings, during this year's minor round the Panthers won by a goal in the season kick-off while the Eagles got their own back later at Noarlunga in Round 8 by 21 points. With their finals outings, the Panthers ran out 20-point winners back in the Elimination Final in 2014, vengeance for a disastrous 2011 1st Semi-Final where the Eagles walloped South by 70 points on their way to that year's premiership. Technically this isn't their first dance together in a Preliminary Final, you'd have to go back over 80 years where you'll find the 1939 edition. On that day, West Torrens defeated the Panthers by 35 points, unfortunately their premiership dream would be dashed the following week at the hands of Port Adelaide. The Eagles of today have a lot of bad history in regards to finals, but over the last five seasons it seems that momentum has been on the side of the winner of the prelim. As for the Panthers, as always for this long period in the wilderness there was plenty at stake. A premiership drought of over half a century, no Grand Final appearances for over 40 years. Too much work had gone in to surrender now. Memories of their missed opportunity in 2018 still fresh in their minds.

The Eagles made a meal of their opportunities to begin with, they dominated the possession but the Panthers had the cleaner finish and made more of their opportunities. The minor premiers kicked 11 scores but only three of them found the big sticks while the Panthers scored 5.2, including a trio of majors in time-on spanning four minutes. Instead of an Eagles' lead of at least four goals, South would hold a one-goal lead at the first change. The Eagles' accuracy improved a little in the second term, but still spurned a few chances to put some serious pressure on the blue and whites. The Panthers would find themselves down at the long break, one last shot on goal just prior to the half-time siren going wide as the Eagles' 4.4 to 3.3 saw them up by a point. Unfortunately for the South Adelaide faithful, their dream of a first grand final berth since 1979 was about to descend into yet another nightmare. Upon the restart of play, the Eagles got straight back on task. A burst of three goals in the first six minutes was just the beginning. The Panthers were held to just 1.1, the Eagles running off to a 38-point lead by the three quarter-time siren after bagging altogether 7.2, their first half goal-kicking woes well and truly behind them. The final term was relatively subdued compared to the rest of the game, the Eagles finishing up with a 2.1 to 1.2 last quarter to run out 43-point winners, sounding a warning to the Roosters crew that were on hand. With the recent results of Preliminary Finals of the last five seasons, is the pressure on the Roosters this time? James Rowe was a vital cog in the forward line, kicking five goals. But as for best all-round player for the Eagles, that honour went to Matt Goldsworthy who racked up 22 possessions, kicked two goals and laid four tackles. For the Panthers, their standout was Ben Heaslip, who finished with 21 disposals, five marks and seven tackles.

Sunday October 11

Woodville-West Torrens 16.15 (111)
South Adelaide 10.8 (68)
5,110 @ Adelaide Oval

OTHER GRADE FINALS -- Blues boys get second bite at Redlegs, Bulldogs bundled from Reserves
In the Under-18 Torrens Uni Cup, the Double Blues ruined the Eagles chances of all their grade sides playing for flags after defeating them by five goals at Thebarton Oval on Saturday morning. Inaccuracy on goal by the Blues was an all-day issue as they burned several chances on goal. But more bewildering is the fashion that the Eagles went down. The scores were level at quarter-time, the Blues kicking 2.6 to three goals. The Eagles then scored 5.3 to 2.5 to lead by 16 points at half-time, all the momentum seemed to be with them especially after they bagged four goals in the last seven minutes of that second term. Then it all fell to pieces for the Eagles, as slowly but gradually the Blues overran them. The Eagles kicked 2.1 for the entire second half while the Blues scored 8.11 to secure a second shot at Norwood in the Grand Final next week. Then on Sunday at Adelaide Oval, the Bulldogs were ditched from the finals race in straight sets at the hands of the Roosters. The Bulldogs looked nothing like their minor premiership winning selves, not even scoring a goal until near the end of the first half when they were down by over six goals. Any chance of a comeback seemed too far away, Centrals unable to catch a break not only on the scoreboard, but also with the officials who handed North at least a dozen more free kicks. Inaccuracy in the final term was a big factor, the Roosters winning by 29 points and will now meet the Eagles in the Reserves decider.

Saturday October 10 @ Thebarton Oval
U-18 PRELIMINARY FINAL -- Sturt 12.22 (94) def. Woodville-West Torrens 10.4 (64)

Sunday October 11 @ Adelaide Oval
-- North Adelaide 10.14 (74) def. Central District 6.9 (45)

So here's the schedules for the three deciders... this is it!

Saturday October 17

Norwood vs. Sturt; Thebarton Oval @ 11:30am

Sunday October 18 @ Adelaide Oval

Woodville-West Torrens vs. North Adelaide @ 11:30am

North Adelaide vs. Woodville-West Torrens @ 3pm

So until next weekend... see you at the Footy!

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