SOME Under-18 talent is now really settling in with the League sides over this week and impressing again at the next level. The South Australian squad members will now leave their SANFL clubs as they prepare for their upcoming first match of National U18 Championships. Jamie Morgan, David Chapman and Tom Wyman take a look at what made news in South Australian football over the past week.
Norwood Vs Port
League – Norwood 19.8 (122) defeated West Adelaide 10.9 (69)
Reserves – Norwood 13.9 (87) defeated West Adelaide 8.7 (55)
U18 – West Adelaide 10.7 (67) defeated Norwood 9.12 (66)
Norwood capitalised on a diminished West Adelaide midfield, recording a 53-point victory at The Parade under Friday night lights. Talented Under-18 duo, Cameron Taheny and Dylan Stephens starred for the Redlegs, in just their third and fifth games respectively. Up forward, the medium-sized Taheny booted a career-high five majors, with his clean hands and ability to read the flight of the ball standing out, despite the dewy conditions. He finished with nine disposals and six marks. While not receiving as much attention due to Taheny’s scoreboard impact, Stephens also played his best game at league level. In a largely outside role in the midfield, the potential first round draftee gathered 25 disposals (17 kicks and eight handballs), six marks, laid five tackles and sent the ball inside-50 on six occasions in what was a well-rounded performance. The pair will ramp up National Championship preparations as they attempt to lead SA’s title defence. Elsewhere for the victors, the reliable Brad McKenzie and Dom Barry were both prolific and damaging through the middle, whilst reigning Margarey Medalist, Mitch Grigg was at his dominant best and 19-year-old Cole Gerloff booted four goals. Kaine Stevens won 28 touches, while former-Crow Jono Beech was the only multiple goalkicker for West Adelaide.
Eagles vs South
League – Eagles 12.15 (87) defeated South 6.9 (45)
Reserves – Eagles 15.14 (104) defeated South 11.6 (72)
U18 – South 15.10 (100) defeated Eagles 11.12 (78)
The Eagles are getting their season on track with another win under new coach Sam Lonergan. Experienced ex-Crow Jared Petrenko and former Swan, Jordan Foote helped control the game for the Eagles despite a slow first quarter. South had debutant Luke Bogle in his first League match, finishing with a goal on debut. Cooper Gaffney from the Eagles continues to do well at League level and was rewarded with a Breakthrough Player nomination for his performance this round.
In the Reserves, it was another solid win for top side Eagles, with their depth once again coming through. U18 player Jackson Mead continues to chalk up numbers in the midfield finishing with another 22 disposals and six clearances. James Boyd was a standout for the Eagles. U18 squad member Daniel Sladojevic finished with a goal for South and was among their better players on the day.
Adelaide Crows 15.6 (96) defeated North Adelaide 9.11 (65)
Adelaide ruckman Sam Jacobs showed why he has been such a consistent AFL player, returning to the SANFL for his first game in a decade, and dominating with 20 disposals, nine marks, five clearances, 28 hitouts and five goals in a massive best on ground performance. He was the difference in the Crows’ 31-point win over North Adelaide, in a Crows side that did not lack experience with Richard Douglas (31 disposals, seven marks, eight clearances and a goal) and Matthew Wright (26 disposals, 10 marks and three tackles) standing up. For the Roosters, Campbell Combe was the best with 24 touches, eight marks, seven tackles and three clearances, while Alexander Barnes booted three goals from 19 touches, six marks and four clearances.
North vs Glenelg
Reserves – North 11.8 (74) defeated Glenelg 9.8 (62)
U18 – Glenelg 10.13 (73) defeated North 8.6 (54)
North held off a fast finishing Glenelg in the Reserves hitout. SA U18 talent, Dyson Hilder (North) finished with 11 disposals, while Brady Searle from Glenelg had 16 possessions, but an impressive six clearances.
In the U18s Glenelg were too strong, but some young talent was impressive with Harrison Magor again dominating possession for North finishing with 37 disposals while Reid Kuller had another good game for the Tigers with 35 disposals and 10 tackles.
Sturt vs Centrals
League – Sturt 15.8 (98) defeated Centrals 8.11 (59)
Reserves – Sturt 12.12 (84) defeated Centrals 5.7 (37)
U18 – Centrals 17.10 (112) defeated Sturt 4.8 (32)
Sturt easily accounted for Centrals off the back of a nine goal to zero first half. Quality games from Steve Slimming and Sam Colqhoun helped guide the Blues to victory. Casey Voss (son of Michael Voss, Brisbane Lions great) was rewarded for his good form in the reserves, making his league debut for Sturt and finished with nine disposals and a goal in a good first up performance.
Sturt had a mix of young and experienced talent in their Reserves win, with SA squad members, Jed McEntee (15 disposals and a goal), Josh Shute (14 disposals, one goal), Oliver Grivell and Lachlan Burrows putting on good performances.
Centrals and under age SA squad member, Corey Durdin was best in Centrals’ U18s win with 28 disposals, continuing his good season to date.
PAC 11.10 (76) defeated Rostrevor 4.4 (28)
In the feature match of the round, with both these teams having lost to Sacred Heart by less than 10 points, this was going to be the battle of the round and could well determine the end of season top two ladder position.
The first half was a defensive battle, with Rostrevor holding a slender 21-20 point lead at the main break. The first quarter was a real masterclass of forward play by PAC full forward James Borlase. He took multiple contested marks, coming from behind, in front and the side to be a handful for the Rostrevor defence. However, his accuracy cost PAC as he managed 1.4 in the first quarter. Up the other end, captain Karl Finlay repelled many attacks from centre half back and in the first half was dominant with his intercept marking a real highlight, as well as his poise with the ball in hand. Rostrevor didn’t get many inside 50s, but defensively kept the contest close, and they showed some run and carry through the midfield.
The second half started with a quick PAC tap, clearance and long goal from midfielder Jamison Murphy. This broke open the game in the quarter and PAC were all over the Rostrevor defence, with the ball trapped inside the PAC forward half for the majority of the second half. PAC were cleaner with the ball by hand in the contests and there were some surgical passes by foot inside 50, particularly by Isaiah Dudley, as PAC stormed home with nine goals to one in the second half. Draft prospect, Kossie Pickett was always dangerous around the ball as well as a good attempt at what could have been mark of the year. For Rostrevor, Anzac Lochowiak was well held by PAC, while Cam Taheny did not take the field, having had Norwood League duties the night before where he kicked five goals.
Immanuel defeated Trinity by 109 points
Westminster defeated Scotch by one point
St Peters defeated Pembroke by 18 points
Sacred Heart – played trial game vs. SA U16 side:
SHC 8.11 (59) def SAU16 5.6 (36)