J.Stephens, Z.Kirkwood, J.Greenslade, J.Osborn, G.Page
F.Evans, J.Battersby, A.Riley, S.McMahon, K.Beard
K.Beard 3, J.Greenslade 3, J.Lienert 2
M.Evans 1, B.Hansen 1, Z.Kirkwood 1, J.Stephens 1
Best On Ground (Jack Oatey Medal)
30,213 (Adelaide Oval)
Our fairy tale script is complete after we stormed home to a 27 point victory over Woodville-West Torrens in our first Grand Final in 7 years and our first against the Eagles on a beautiful day for football at the magnificent Adelaide Oval. We claimed our 14th Premiership and our first since 2002 with rookie coach Marty Mattner conjuring a remarkable turnaround after we finished in eighth place last season. We hadn’t beaten the Eagles in all 3 of our games against them, losing to them only 2 weeks before in the 2nd Semi Final by 24 points. In a low scoring first quarter, the Eagles started the better, kicking the first goal of the game, but we held them and late in the quarter kicked a goal ourselves, courtesy of Mark Evans, so at the first break it was the Eagles, but only by 3 points. A higher scoring second quarter saw three lead changes, but importantly, with a goal late in the quarter to Jack Stephens we took the lead into half time, albeit only by 3 points. Very little had separated both teams during an absorbing first half in which just 7 goals were kicked between both sides and it wasn’t until late in the third term that we made our move through Jarrod Lienert. Tucked up on the boundary line 40 metres from goal, the Powerade Star Search winner gave us an 8 point lead 24 minutes into the quarter and then when Kory Beard put a flat helicopter punt through the big sticks after the three quarter time siren, we went into the final change with all the momentum and an important 14 point buffer. Eagles forward Lachlan McGregor climbed high and converted truly for his side deep in the pocket at the 2 minute mark of the last quarter, but from then on our relentless pressure, which included an incredible 106 tackles for the match, broke the back of the Eagles and saw us kick the next 4 goals in succession and get out to a game high 33 point lead before a late goal to the Eagles brought the margin back to 27 points when the final siren sounded. Fittingly, Zane Kirkwood kicked a true Captain’s goal at the 18 minute mark of the last quarter, putting us 21 points in front and effectively sealing the victory, sending the majority of the 30,213 strong crowd into celebration. Kirkwood finished with 27 disposals to be edged out by Jack Stephens for the Jack Oatey Medal, unheralded Stephens played the perfect game for a defender, choosing the right time to attack and defend while also sneaking forward for a goal before half time. Jack didn’t waste any of his 22 disposals, while having 8 marks and applying 5 tackles in an influential performance, while the surprise packet of the game was the ever dangerous John Greenslade with 3 goals.