TANUNDA ended a painful two-match losing streak by swooping in to take a crucial 57-point victory over Willaston in Saturday’s Barossa, Light & Gawler A-grade football clash.
Magpies’ coach Craig Griffiths said the way forward in Tanunda’s 2017 season just got a little clearer.
“Our headset, now, is Angaston; we’re going to be all over that, if we bring what we brought (on Saturday) I have the belief we will certainly start to sow the seed of where we’re going,” he said.
The Donnybrooks battled on, despite a height disadvantage in the ruck, playing unrelenting defensive football.
Tanunda got inside forward 50 on 10 occasions to Willaston’s five in the first term, but only managed a solitary goal – the late major went to Josh Trembath, who would later finish with 10 for the match.
Willaston coach Mal Greenwood called for new tactics at the quarter-time huddle.
“We’ll surrender the ruck and break them at the contests,” he said.
But that did not stop Tanunda – Trembath led the assault, piling on goals with Leigh Westhoff and Sam Brooks, to give his side a 26-point lead early in the second.
While there was celebration for Tanunda’s forwards, the Pies’ pressure everywhere on the field made Willaston fight for every goal.
Ashley Fry’s breakthrough goal for the Donnybrooks mounted a late surge in the second, as Michael Howson booted two shortly after, to keep the deficit at 26 entering half-time.
Tanunda looked the better side in the third quarter, linking centre clearances and forward play efficiently, as it fought to keep Willaston at bay.
A defensive stalemate ensued, before the Pies broke the deadlock to race to a comfy 45-point lead as Trembath continued his onslaught.
The Donnys resorted to possession football – a move which failed, as Tanunda ruckman Angus Kurtze found Trembath to bury another major.
At three-quarter-time, Griffiths was not convinced his side was throwing its all at the opposition.
“We’ve got structure and the ball, but we’re just letting them off instead of taking them on,” he said.
Meanwhile, Greenwood maintained belief that his side could salvage some pride, despite staring down a 40-point deficit.
“Give me something I can be proud of, we still have an opportunity this quarter to prove we are not stagnant, we are not finished,” he said.
Not going quietly, Willaston cut the deficit to 19 points in the last with goals to Lachlan Downing and Ross Whiston.
Despite the late charge, the Pies quickly knocked the wind out of Willaston’s sails, storming home with a seven-goal quarter to seal the victory.
The win moves Tanunda into sixth on the table, and a triumph against Angaston after the long weekend could see it challenge the top four.
Willaston, on the other hand, has a task ahead against South Gawler after the bye.