By DAN KELLY
It was business as usual for Southport as the defending premier secured their first victory for 2019 with a 33-point practice match win over Redland at Fankhauser Reserve on Saturday.
Despite consistent rain and a damp field, Southport was able to run away 11.10 (76) to 6.7 (43) winners over Redland, in what was the Bombers second hit out for the season and Southport’s first.
It was an even contest throughout the first half, before Southport kicked away after half-time with seven goals to Redland’s three.
Like any wet weather contest, it was a tightly combusted match with both teams putting an emphasis on their contested football.
Southport coach Stephen Daniel was happy with the result, with a particular emphasis on giving players game time in their first hit out of the year.
“In the end it was just virtually getting some miles into the legs,” Daniel told neafl.com.au after Southport rotated through 30 players.
“For about 13 players today it was about giving an opportunity and that’s what it was all about.”
Southport co-captains Andrew Boston and Seb Tape, and Ryan Davis saw a half of football and were withdrawn at half-time.
Today’s match saw the debuts of off-season acquisitions Josh Williams and Jamieson Shea, with Shea kicking three goals in the match.
“He’s has had a pretty impressive off season and he was quite good today in the trying conditions,” Daniel said of Shea’s performance.
For Redland, it was about looking at players again following their first trial against Aspley last week.
The Bombers played a reduced squad, and added NEAFL Team of the Year fullback Adrian Williams and midfielder Damian Steven to the line-up.
While lamenting a disappointing finish in the last quarter, coach Phil Carse said the wet weather contest gave the side an opportunity to work on their contested football.
“They (Southport) played some disciplined, man-on-man footy (and) our contested footy was really good,” he said.
Eyes now move to both sides final trial matches next week with Redland facing the Brisbane Lions and Southport taking on Aspley.
Check out the full NEAFL practice match schedule here.
NEAFL Practice Match at Fankhauser Reserve
SOUTHPORT 2.3 3.4 5.7 11.10 (76)
REDLAND 0.2 3.3 3.6 6.7 (43)
GOALS – Southport: J Shea 3 J O’Shea 2 K Scheers D Fyfe E Baru J Mentha S Jewell. Redland: H Bertoli- Simmonds B Bailey R Dadds J Rolls C Cameron M Hammelmann.
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