Round three of the 2012 Southern Football League (SA) gets under way on Saturday 21 April with seven games and some enticing contests. There is also, unfortunately, some potential for big score blowouts. Isolated showers are forecasted for Saturday, with a temperature top of 24. Hopefully the rain stays away until the evening.
Brighton v Morphettville Park: Morphettville Park will again take on a northern rival when the Kangaroos travel to Brighton Oval to take on the Bombers. Brighton lost a narrow and hard fought game to Noarlunga last weekend by a solitary goal and will be looking to make amends. The Kangaroos defeated Edwardstown last round and had control of the match from the second quarter onwards. As reigning premier, Brighton will be keen to make amends and come out hard to ensure they don’t start the season 0-2 and the Kangaroos may not have enough depth to go with them for the whole game. The home side should get up by 30 points.
Christies Beach v Reynella: Christies has had a fantastic start to their year, but they key fact is that they have played sides well below their talent level. This week they run in to their first big challenge in the Reynella Winefiles. Reynella played the always daunting Morphett Vale in their first match of the year and went down by 54 points. The Wineflies new look side had some good moments against the Emus, especially in the first quarter, but could not withstand Morphett Vale for the whole match. Of concern for the Saints is their third quarter lapses where both Hackham and Aldinga were able to get quick and easy goals right after the half time break. Whilst Christies was still able to re-group and win those quarters, another fade out against Reynella could prove fatal. The Wineflies will be out to prove they are not a spent force and the Saints will want to show they are the real deal against a 2011 finalist. This should be a very good game if both sides play at their best and despite my allegiances, Reynella should get up by 2 goals (though I am more than happy to be proven wrong).
Edwardstown v Marion: Marion travel down the road to Edwardstown undefeated to take on a side without a win, surprisingly a rare event for the current Rams team. Marion had the week off last round whilst Edwardstown lost to Morphettville Park on Kellett Reserve by 26 points. In round one, the Rams pulled off a surprising victory against O’Sullivans Beach / Lonsdale, but their week off has probably lessened their momentum. Marion will also find it harder to stay with a more experienced side for a whole game. The Towns are a resilient side and will not let last year’s wooden spooners off lightly. They also have a lot to prove after what can only be termed a disappointing effort against the Kangaroos. Back on their home turf, Edwardstown should pull the victory off by 40 points.
Hackham v Flagstaff Hill: After being handed a one hundred point belting on their home turf by the Saints in round one, Hackham travelled to Lonsdale in round 2. There they worked hard for a 20 point victory over OSB/Lonsdale. This week they return home to take on Flagstaff Hill. The Falcons are coming of yet another loss to their nearest rivals, Happy Valley, conceding a 20 point victory to the Vikings. Hackham’s side is young and still vulnerable to errors. Flagstaff Hill did well to get back into the match against the Vikings, holding Valley to just one goal after half time after conceding nine in the first half. I expect the Falcons to easily dispose of the Hawks and record a 60 point victory.
Happy Valley v Cove: Cove was overcome by Port Noarlunga in the last quarter of their match last Saturday to lose by 5 points at Cove Oval. Happy Valley suffered a major fade out, scoring just one goal in their last half versus the Falcons. The only difference between these results is that the Vikings managed to hold on for a win. Playing home at Happy Valley Oval will be a big plus for the Vikings over the Cobras given the size difference in the respective club’s home grounds. Happy Valley has some decent firepower up front and if they can be more accurate than last week, they have potential to post a big score. Cove on the other hand will be reeling from a fourth quarter fade out. They will be more focussed and their defence more miserly. Both have forwards capable of kicking a bag and this game could be a high scorer if the weather is good and the rain doesn’t come until late. Happy Valley should get the points at home but it will be a close one, Vikings by 20 points.
Morphett Vale v Aldinga: This is probably the biggest mismatch of the round and the most likely to get ugly on the scoreboard. Aldinga was on the bad end of a 117 point margin last week against Christies Beach whilst Morphett Vale accounted for Reynella by 54. Aldinga’s undisciplined acts cost them momentum in the third quarter against the Saints and their game unravelled from there. The Emus continue to show why they are always a premiership contender regardless of who is coaching them and have the fitness to run out their games, as evidenced by their 14 goal half last Sunday. Morphett Vale should clock this one up easily with a 100 point win, minimum.
Port Noarlunga v O’Sullivan’s Beach / Lonsdale: After a promising season in 2011, O’Sullivan’s Beach / Lonsdale look to have some serious issues in 2012. They have lost both of their games in 2012 to clubs that finished lower on the ladder than them. Many thought the loss to Marion was a blip on the radar, but Hackham managed to outlast them in the second half as the Lions defence began leaking goals. Port Noarlunga on the other hand snared an early away win against Cove in a tough game. Port Noarlunga’s score was contributed across ten players, which will be tough for the lower ranked clubs to defend. The Cockle-Divers’ confidence will be high whilst the Lion’s morale will be at an all-time low. Porties should remain undefeated after this round with a 40 point win.
Noarlunga has the bye.