By Anthony Probert
MOUNT Barker Bulls clipped the wings of Denmark-Walpole Magpies at Sounness Park on Saturday with a thrilling ninepoint win to spring back up the Great Southern Football League ladder, keeping their finals aspirations alive.
The result boiled down to two dominant quarters for the Bulls – the first and the last.
They utilised every bit of the blustery breeze in the opening term, piling on seven goals including a cheeky snap on the siren from Tyson Sujdovic to take a six-goal lead into the first break.
But the tables turned quickly in the second quarter when the Magpies booted three quick majors before the Bulls stemmed the flow of centre clearances towards the Pies’ main forward target in Shayne Zanetti.
Once settled, all the Bulls could do was retain possession as their efforts forward into the breeze were repelled by Denmark’s defence, who were keen to make amends for a loose first quarter.
They did the job, holding the Bulls goalless for the term, much to the chagrin of veteran Bull Sam Lehmann who bellowed loudly, calling for more from his troops.
The Magpies closed the gap to 16 points at half-time and continued to convert their opportunities in the third term as the conditions deteriorated slightly.
For a second successive quarter, the Bulls failed to click, managing a single goal and conceding the lead heading into the final term.
With two points in it and a place in the top four at stake, the match was set for a thrilling finish.
The Bulls lifted, managing to thwart the Magpies’ relentless attack on the ball and broke the scoring drought from the previous two quarters of football.
Six goals for the quarter, and a few missed opportunities from the Magpies late in the match delivered a much-needed win to the Bulls on home soil.
Five goals from Bulls’ forward Dionne Woods and efficient games from Nick Chidgzey and Brent Parsons had them among the best players, while four goals from Magpies’ forward Zanetti and a tireless game from Tyler Stone got Denmark-Walpole pretty close in the end.
Earlier in the day, the Bulls’ reserves team came back from a goaless first term to claim a 37-point win over the Magpies, 8.5 (53) to 14.6 (90).
The result kept Denmark-Walpole at the bottom of the ladder, with Bulls sitting just above them.
In the colts match, a five-goal to nil first quarter set up the match for the Magpies, who came away with an impressive 35-point win, 4.14 (38) to 10.13 (73).
The young Bulls team had plenty of opportunities to capitalise, but were plagued by inaccuracy in front of goals.