The Blackwood Football Club has recorded its second A Grade loss on the trot going down to Uraidla Districts by 34 points in Round 5 of the Mortgage Choice Hills Football League. The loss at Uraidla Oval was the fifth in the past seven matches between the two sides at the venue.

Both sides entered the match relatively even in the statistics before the round with Blackwood ranked as the third best attack and fifth defence whilst Uraidla ranked as the fourth best attack and the second best defence. Blackwood made one change from its Round 3 line up with Josh Taylor making his A Grade debut in the place of Martin Thompson who was a late withdrawal.

Uraidla made the better start in the match controlling the ball in their forward half for the first part the term. The Woods defence held strong until the 12th minute when Edward Allan on return from Sturt was able to get the first major of the match. Through a turnover in the middle of the ground, Patrick Kepa was able to find Braedon Renshaw at the top of the 50, kicking long the ball split to the front of the pack with Allan finding space to snap over his shoulder on his left boot. The Demons continue to put their foot on the throat of the Woods kicking three goals in the next six minutes to blow the game wide open. Pressuring the Blackwood defence caused a turnover in the 15th minute which saw Nick Amato kick a long range goal from deep in the pocket. Oscar Walters was able to get the third goal for the Demons in the 17th minute through a free kick and resultant 50 metre penalty. When Toby Oakley kicked the fourth major of the term in the 21st minute the Demons were all over the Woods. A late goal from the next centre clearance to Blackwood’s Liam McCarthy drew the margin back to 19 points at the first break.

Coach Ryan Anderson urged his players to lift their skill level during the first break with multiple turnovers by foot hurting the Woods. Making the early play during the second term the Woods were able to get back-to-back inside 50 metre entry in the first few minutes. Nick Homburg got a major on the board in the third minute courtesy of a boundary throw in. Deep in the pocket, the throw in dropped short with ruckman Phil Hopton able to take the ball out of the air and handball to Homburg who snapped it off the outside of his right foot straight through the middle. The Demons got the next goal of the match turning the ball over across the centreline through Tom Kluvanek, they were able to switch the ball to the outer wing to find Renshaw in space. Playing on, he was able a running goal from 50. Immediately from the next centre break, the Demons were able to score another major. Pressure the Woods defenders, they were able to turn it over with Renshaw able to find space and kick his second of the match. Playing a purple patch, Renshaw was able to kick his third of the term in the 17th minute and when they got their eighth goal from the next centre break the game was looking like it was already over. Late goals to Matt Tuck and Anderson saw the Woods remaining within touching distance at the main break.

Blackwood made the better start in the third term kicking the first major in the third minute. Finding space 20 metres out Jacob McCarthy was able to mark and kick straight much to the delight of the travelling Blackwood fans. An inspirational smother from James Richards on the club room wing saw the Demons able to move the ball forward to Renshaw who was able to kick his fourth major of the match. Some clever footwork from Kluvanek which wouldn’t have looked out of place at the Soccer World Cup saw Amato kick his second goal from deep in the pocket. Closing up the quarter the Demons locked the match down with no further goals able to be scored from either team.

Cooper Spry was able to hit the score in the third minute of the final term snapping truly from the goal line after the Demons were able to move the ball with speed through the centre of the ground. Two final term goals from Phil Hopton closed the scoreboard margin for the Woods but they were soundly beaten across the ground all day by the Demons. The Demons controlled much of the territory and were able to capitalise having 25 scoring shots for the match compared to only 16 for the Woods. The defensive end has been a struggle in the opening matches for the Woods conceding on average 73.3 points per match to date in 2019. This is 17.4 more than during 2018 and the worst since 2014 when the side averaged 80.0 points against.

Final scoreboard

Blackwood 1.1 4.4 5.6 7.9 (51)

Echunga 4.2 8.4 10.9 12.13 (85)

Goal Kickers: P. Hopton 2, N. Homburg, L. McCarthy, R. Anderson, M. Tuck, J. McCarthy

Best Players: N. Homburg, K. Thompson, L. McCarthy, J. McCarthy, J. Atkinson

Other HFL Results

B Grade – Blackwood 7.6 (48) defeated Uraidla Districts 6.9 (45)

Senior Colts – Blackwood 12.6 (78) defeated Uraidla Districts 5.3 (33)

Junior Colts – Blackwood 9.8 (62) defeated Uraidla Districts 2.0 (12)

Mini Colts – Blackwood 6.7 (43) defeated Uraidla Districts 2.5 (17)