A stunning eight-goal second term has propelled the WAFL to a 26-point win against the West End State team at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Kept without a goal for the first term, the Sandgropers did the same to the Croweaters in the second stanza en route to earning a 24-point lead at the main change to retain the Haydn Bunton Jnr Cup.
SA managed to close the margin back to a point when Norwood’s Matt Panos kicked truly midway through the third term but that would be as close as the hosts would get as the Black Swans piled on five goals to one in the last quarter.
The visitors were quick to hit the ground running in the opening term when they led the inside 50 count 11 to 4 but were unable to convert on the scoreboard.
This seemed to spark Marty Mattner’s men into action as they kicked the opening four goals – including one to Fos Williams Medallist Zane Kirkwood – to boast a 22-point lead at quarter-time.
But from there, it was all the Sandgropers as they earned their sixth interstate win in succession since 2013.
Kirkwood was a fitting winner of his third Fos Williams Medal, adding the 2018 trophy to the ones he earned previously in 2014 and 2016 for the West End State team.
The skipper led from the front yet again while wearing the cherished red guernsey, displaying great determination on his way to finishing with 36 disposals, seven inside 50s, eight tackles and a goal from the midfield.
Panos and Magarey Medallist Mitch Grigg also found plenty of ball in the middle to register 51 disposals between them while Sam Colquhoun provided plenty of rebound from the back half with 25 touches.
Glenelg’s Josh Scott looked to be the Croweaters only significant threat in the forward half, kicking two goals and taking six marks while Central’s Darcy Fort dominated the hitouts with 31 – four more than the entire WA side could muster.
Former Collingwood player Jye Bolton was awarded the Simpson Medal as the WAFL’s best player, racking up 34 disposals, six marks and a goal for the visitors, who had plenty of contributors.
Corey Gault was dangerous inside 50m all afternoon, finishing with three goals while ex-West Coast player Andrew Strijk kicked two of his three majors in the final term.
Collingwood premiership utility Sharrod Wellingham had 27 disposals and a goal in a creative performance while former Power wingman Kane Mitchell used his hard-running ability to collect 25 possessions.
WAFL 0.4 8.6 10.9 15.12 (102)
SANFL 4.2 4.6 9.7 11.10 (76)
LEADING DISPOSALS -WAFL: Bolton 34, Nelson 30, Wellingham 27, Mitchell 25, Horsley 21, Palmer, Marsh, Black, Gault 20.
SANFL: Kirkwood 36, Grigg 26, Panos, Colquhoun 25, Stevens, Allmond 24, Schiller 23.
GOALS -WAFL: Gault, Strijk 3, Johnson, Waters 2, Bolton, Horsley, Palmer, Stevenson, Wellingham.
SANFL: Scott 2, Colquhoun, J. Hayes, Hone, Hoskin, Kirkwood, Motlop, Panos, Riley, Stevens.
FOS WILLIAMS MEDAL – Zane Kirkwood
SIMPSON MEDAL – Jye Bolton
UMPIRES – Andrew Crosby, Jamie Broadbent, Justin Power
At Adelaide Oval
CHIEF SANFL WRITER