Selfe Sacrifices for Barmera-Monash against Berri in Round 2 of the Riverland Football League

by Nick Kossatch

Barmera-Monash produced a superb brand of wet-weather football to demolish Berri by 45 points at rain-soaked Berri Oval in Round 2 of RFL on Anzac Day.

They set the ascendancy early via the likes of the classy rover Jack Selfe and fellow on-ballers Lauchlan Middleton and Brad Broughton. Veteran ruckman-forward Robert Price scored the Roos first and only goal of the first quarter with a clever left-foot snap. The Demons’ Chris Scholefield won plenty of the football across half back. He had an interesting duel with Chris Hughes whilst evasive forward Kirk Harwood was a threat for the Barmera defenders.

The Roos colourful full-forward Brad Wilksch (ex Berri and Rosewater) booted their second major at the start of the second term. A hard and seemingly fair contest by Terry Bonner was adjudged not that from the umpire. It was made worse with a subsequent 25-metre penalty. The Demon defenders were working overtime and it was fortunate for them that Selfe did not hurt them more on the scoreboard. He had four points to this point in the game.

Berri’s 16-year-old young gun David Hankin had a hand in his side’s first goal. Team-mate Dylan Brooks kicked truly to close the margin to eight points. Heavy rain again began to fall and Berri’s taller forwards struggled in the conditions as did Whillas Medallist Dean Storic.

Demon defender Les Pearson and wingman Chris Scholefield were showing plenty of dash and run. The Roos kicked the next two goals with the second of those resulting from Hughes intercepting a Berri kickout. Selfe’s goal from the defensive error put his side 20 points clear – probably equivalent to 40 in dry weather.

Barmera-Monash fullback Danny Millard was tremendous on Scott Muller. The Demons moved the impressive Geordie Francis from centre half back to centre half forward for the second half to give them some presence and mobility.

The third stanza began disastrously for the hosts as Barmera added another two goals. Some terrific weaving-through-traffic from Terry Packer, assisted by Dillon Millard, had Packer with his second. A misunderstanding from a couple of Berri defenders in the lead-up did not help their cause.

Dillon Millard oozes class and this player just glides across the ground and, several times, he showed his ability to dodge his opponents. The move of Francis to the forward lines paid dividends when he brilliantly kicked his first goal off his left foot. Berri’s hopes were hanging by a thread.

Those hopes more or less ended when an Anthony Ielasi six-pointer virtually put the game almost beyond doubt. The visitor’s Chris Bonney was another shining light in defence whilst Berri’s Peter Safralidis tried to spark his side whether in defence or up forward.

Missed opportunities by the Demon’s Harwood and Francis were gettable ones and potentially could have had them back in the hunt. Francis did boot his second after an infringement by Price. The margin was pegged back to 26 points.

As they have done throughout the match the Roos always responded after a Berri goal. A brilliant pass onto the chest of Wilksch from Selfe had the Roo number eight with his third goal. It was all Barmera as the hosts wilted. Some more forward-line pressure resulted in a third major to Packer, who had played a ‘Steve Johnson-type’ game. He soon spotted Wilksch that ended with his fifth.

Berri did have some positives with Pearson outstanding in defence. Francis was a strong focal point up forward. He finished with three goals in the second half. Kirk Harwood spoilt his excellent game with one goal and seven behinds. Youngsters Brooks and Hankin showed they can win the contested ball.

Barmera’s Self was tremendous and Packer a constant offensive weapon. Both the Millards played disciplined games and Rob Price stood tall when it mattered even winning several centre clearances himself.


5: J. Selfe (BM)

4: T. Packer (BM)

3: L. Pearson (B)

2: R. Price (BM)

1: Dillon Millard (BM)

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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