Eastern Eyre football
Cowell 12-11 (83) def Kimba 7-10 (52)
FRESH conditions greeted players and supporters at Corey Enright oval in Kimba on Saturday for what turned out to be a very interesting day of footy.
Kimba took the honours in both the junior grades but the Cowell Cats turned the tables in both the B and A grade matches.
This had many supporters talking about the last time the Cowell club achieved this and the general consensus was as far back as 2009.
The wind certainly played a role and to Cowell’s credit in the B grade they played the conditions perfectly.
The Tigers could not even manage a goal, which also had people scratching their heads as to whether or not this had ever happened.
The A grade match started with Kimba kicking with the aid of a three to four goal breeze.
They hit the score board first through the ever reliable Matt Vandeleur but from about the 10-minute mark the Tigers could not get a set shot on goal with Tim Walsh playing the loose man role in front of spearhead Joel Fitzgerald to perfection.
The Cats pushed a lot of players behind the ball, won the contested ball then kicked to an open forward line and their young runners simply had too much speed for some of the Tigers more seasoned players.
The marking ability of Wildman and Whycamp would have raised concern in the Kimba coaching box as they and Walsh controlled the air all day.
Quarter time saw Cowell with four goals, while Kimba only had 1-4.
The second quarter was much the same as the first with Kimba pushing forward and having opportunities to add scoreboard pressure but they only managed 1-3 for the quarter while Cowell pilled on three and seemed to be controlling every area of the ground.
Kimba battled the quarter out with 17 on the field after Shannon Larwood was yellow carded for the second time in a couple weeks, which really cut down Kimba’s drive through the midfield.
At half time, Kimba trailed with 2-7 to Cowell’s 7-2.
The half time break could not come quick enough for the Tigers and after a spell and a few positional changes they would have been hoping to use the breeze for the third and get themselves right back in the match with a chance to hold on in the last.
Cowell had other ideas and with all the momentum in the match going their way they defended extremely well with Walsh and Whycamp again chopping off supply to Fitzgerald.
It really was not until he moved up the ground that Kimba could actually move the ball with some confidence deep into their attacking zone as Scott Redden (who was a late call up for Dion Woolford) threatened to get Kimba back in the game.
However it was not to be as Cowell stopped any momentum Kimba were gaining with a goal of their own into the stiff breeze and went to the last change 8-3 (51) to 4-8 (32).
The last quarter was certainly fought out as Kimba moved players all over the ground to try and find a combination that would work but to the Cats’ credit they had the answer for anything Kimba threw at them.
They controlled the aerial contests and when the ball hit the ground the likes of Todd Schuman and Alec Klingberg were too quick for their Tiger opponents.
Cowell dominated the last quarter with 13 scoring shots to Kimba’s two and really should have run away with a more convincing victory.
The Cats had good players all over the ground with the experienced Tim Walsh being the pick of them.
Not far behind was Whycamp who was at times spectacular in the air and his dual with Tommy Freeth was one to watch.
Jack Smith kept Fitzgerald to three and Piggott, Todd Schumann and Alec Klingberg were all outstanding.
For Kimba it was certainly a struggle to find good players but Sam Haskett (who had to compete against Walsh and Whycamp in the ruck) was probably Kimba’s best and young Matt Ramsey was at times quite spectacular.
Others to contribute included Larwood, Maitland and Buchanan.
Matt Vandeleur also showed he can still cut it at A grade level and his determination to simply not get beaten should be something some of the younger Tigers take note of.
The mid-season break will certainly be appreciated for Kimba and they will face the Ranges in a few weeks with the inclusion of Corey Enright.
They would also be hoping Eyre Peninsula representatives Kemp, Clements and Dion Woolford are close to a return.
For Cowell they have now proven that they are a contender this year and would be chock full of confidence knowing two of the competitions best midfielders in Burton and Tyler Franklin will be available for their next game against Ports.