Local Footy: Berri’s finals chances go up in smoke in fiery clash

By Nick Kossatch

Berri’s chances of playing in the Riverland Football League finals have all but ended after going down by two goals in a fiery round 11 match against Waikerie.

The Berri Oval clash was at times riddled by errors and was marred by a spiteful brawl midway through the third quarter.

The Magpies had a three-goal northerly wind during the first term and were all over the hosts.

Nathan Tape was damaging for Waikerie and after a bright start by Ben Venning – the Demons’ Steve Renfrey tightened up on the power forward.

Tom Hyde booted two excellent goals from general field play instead of his customary marks.

Hyde turned his Berri opponent Steven Raeder inside out to kick his second goal.

Blonde-haired duo, Jake Langdon and Salisbury North recruit Dylan Brookes, were prominent in Berri’s goal-less first quarter and they were 25-points in arrears.

The home side began to win the stoppages via Langdon and Ty Allen and makeshift ruckman Dean Storic’s leaping at the centre ball-ups was spectacular.

Kirk Harwood and skipper Peter Safralidis booted successive goals for the home side and the game became a keenly fought affair.

Waikerie over-used the ball at times, especially in the scoring zone, but wily campaigner Craig Griffiths snapped a regulation goal off a pack.

It was the visitor’s only major in the second quarter.

Steve Leibich, Scott Porgorecki gave the Pies plenty of drive from defence and midfield and Aaron Bland was a cool and calculated defender.

The third term belonged to their team-mate Matt Gibson, who kicked three goals, none better than when he booted the ball from mid-air for a freakish six-pointer.

It was moments after an all-in brawl that had Nathan Tape reported and sent off for the remainder of the match and Storic was sinbinned for 10 minutes.

Geordie Franks kicked an equally amazing major for Berri from the northern end boundary to reduce Waikerie’s lead to 23 points with a quarter remaining.

The Magpies had some nervous moments in the last stanza being outscored six goals to four and they had a limited bench with Luke Horner and Jackson Sutton injured.

Hyde booted three in the last quarter to finish with five goals and youngster Gerard Dutton kicked a great goal from the left forward pocket.

Franks and Harwood were the sparks in Berri’s revival, which got them to within three goals, but their rivals did enough to secure the vital two points and the coveted double chance.

5: S. Liebich (W)
4: D. Brookes (B)
3: J. Langdon (B)
2: S. Porgorecki (W)
1: A. Bland (W)

About Nicholas Kossatch

Tall and intelligent and athletically built who calls a spade a spade. Love sports writing and sending letters and texts to the editor about AFL and the Port Adelaide Power - win, lose or draw. I do not sit on the fence. Soon to be 40! I play basketball and over 35's supers football. Have played amateur footy and a bit of cricket and basketball when living in Adelaide. Do some writing for the Murray Pioneer,

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