1974 Premiership

Team 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
STURT 6.5-41 6.6-42 6.12-48 9.16-70
Glenelg 0.1-1 4.6-30 6.7-43 8.7-55

Best Players
R.Davies, M.Nunan, P.Bagshaw, G.Wild, B.Adcock
R.Klomp, J.Murphy, M.Graham, R.Barton
Goal Kickers
K.Whelan 2, M.Graham 2, R.Klomp 2
R.Barton 1, R.Davies 1, T. Burgan 1
Best on Ground
58,113 (Football Park)

Premiership Team
Forward: G.Wild K.Whelan R.Oatey
Half-Forward: M.Graham R.Klomp G.Lauder
Centre: T.Burgan B.Howard B.Miels
Half-Back: T.Lloyd P.Nelson C.Casey
Back: B.Adcock B.Winter J.Murphy
Ruck: R.Davies P.Bagshaw M.Nunan
Reserves: R.Barton T.Sims

Match Report
This was the first Grand Final played at Football Park, the new home of SANFL football. As the ground was nowhere near completion, it wasn’t protected from the elements and a strong 5 goal wind blew down the ground towards the golf course end. Paul Bagshaw won the important toss of the coin and he elected to kick with the wind in the first quarter, the Blues used the wind to their advantage and led by a possible match winning 40 points at quarter time after kicking 6.5 to Glenelg’s solitary one point for the quarter. By half time, however, the Tigers had come back, using the breeze to their advantage by kicking 4.5 and holding the Blues to only one point for the quarter. At half time Sturt led by 12 points and with rain falling were looking good as they would be kicking with the breeze in the third quarter. In an amazing third quarter by Glenelg in which they used the tactics of short kicking and handball out of defence, they restricted the Blues to a score of only 6 points for the quarter, while they added 2.1 kicking into the breeze, so at three quarter time Sturt was leading by only 5 points and with the Tigers to come home with the breeze, most were thinking that it was only a matter of time before Glenelg would go back to back, after winning the 1973 Grand Final. However, the Blues instead of trying to hold on to a small lead, went all out attack and did exactly what Glenelg had done in the previous quarter, holding Glenelg to only 2 goals, while scoring 3.4 themselves into the breeze, one telling move by Sturt coach Jack Oatey in this quarter was that of bringing on the fresh legs of reserve player Robert Barton, who had an immediate impact. Sturt blew the lead out to 25 points by midway through the last quarter and the Tigers looked done, but they did come back, however, in the end Sturt hung on bravely and ran out winners by 15 points. Ruckman Rick Davies and rover Michael Nunan tied for the best on ground honours, working as a team within the team to secure the Blues victory. This game marked Robert Oatey’s 250th game and his first Premiership in a long and distinguished career and also the 259th and final game for All Australian and Team of the Century member Brenton Adcock.

Michael Nunan giving Rick Davies a celebratory hug after Sturt won the 1974 Premiership

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