Round 7 Hostplus SANFL Snapshot – Sunday

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Glenelg’s Alex Martini fires out a handball under pressure from Eagles James Rowe, Jarrad Redden and Jack Firns. Picture – Scott Starkey

Glenelg joined Woodville-West Torrens inside the Hostplus SANFL League’s top three with a hard-fought 11-point win against Woodville-West Torrens at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.

Setting up their vital win by booting five of the opening six goals of the First Nations Round contest, the Bays got back to their defensive best much to the delight of premiership mentor Darren Reeves.

This in turn allowed the visitors to show glimpses of their offensive fluency for the first time this season, thriving on the open spaces to feed Jack Oatey Medallist Lachie Hosie, who booted four goals in his return from a broken hand.

”I think the way we defended, it was an area we had a bit of concern about against Norwood and Sturt, but today we got back defensively and we know our game is based around that,” Reeves told Channel 7 after the match.

”Offensively, we feel we have plenty of growth in us and we saw some signs of that today when we moved the ball. When we click offensively we are really dangerous.”

Will Gould played an uncustomary role as a makeshift ruckman against Eagles veteran Jarrad Redden, drawing praise from Reeves, as did Alex Martini, who managed to keep Fos Williams Medallist James Rowe in check while having an impact with the ball for the Bays.

”He (Gould) was excellent, it was a bit of trying to get him going but also due to having issues in the ruck. I think it worked well and he had a real influence on the outcome,” Reeves said.

”I thought Alex Martini did a super job on James Rowe today, he was able to find a bit of the ball and hit the scoreboard as well.”

The Tigers were forced to fend off the Eagles when they got within eight points nearing time-on of the third quarter but the likes of Coles Value Player Matt Allen ensured the game would remain in Glenelg’s control.

”The Eagles have been playing terrific footy, we haven’t quite played our best footy. It wasn’t perfect but it was a lot more like the way we want to play which was pleasing,” said Allen, who chalked up 23 disposals, 10 marks and three goals.

”We expected them to throw another punch and they did but thankfully we were able to hold on. We’ve got lots of guys playing good roles at the moment which certainly helps the team.

”We all love him at the Bays, it’s been a great couple of years under Reeva and hopefully we have him here for ages.”

Hosie and fellow inclusion Darcy Bailey had huge impact in their return from injury, Bailey using the ball nicely to accumulate 26 possessions and five marks while Max Proud (23 disposals, 10 marks), Jonty Scharenberg (19 disposals) and Chris Curran (16 disposals) were steadying presences.

Dealt a blow before the bounce when captain Joseph Sinor was a late withdrawal after the KIA State Game, the Eagles continually threatened but were unable to recapture their offensive fluency which has been a feature under new coach Sam Jacobs.

Dashing defender Luke Beecken had his hands full defending Hosie but still managed to show flashes of his run with a team high 28 disposals while Riley Knight returned from a calf complaint to have 21 touches, together with Zane Williams.

Glenelg’s Lachie Hosie made a welcome return from a broken hand to boot four goals. Picture – Scott Starkey