South East won its fourth South Australian Men’s Country Championships with a nail-biting one-point win against Central in the Grand Final at Bennett Oval in Whyalla.
Despite the River Murray Football League shifting to Eastern since last year’s carnival, the boys from the Limestone Coast earned their fourth title, adding to victories in 2014, 2016 and 2017 as Murray South East.
South East had as many as six players selected in the Team of the Championships, including former South Adelaide and Eagles forward Tom Whittlesea and captain Matt Willson, who also earned the Don McSweeny Medal as Player of the Championships.
Victorious South East mentor Jack Kelly was awarded the Bill Murdoch Medal as Coach of the Championships.
Pacy Southern Districts rover Luke Mitton was adjudged Best Under-21 Player while former Port Magpies defender Sid Masters proved he can play at either end after winning the Leading Goal Kicker trophy with nine majors for Eyre Peninsula.
Selected as Umpire of the Championships last year, Hudson Noack backed up his effort after earning the same award in 2022.
Champion – South East
Final Standings –South East, Central, Eyre Peninsula, Eastern, Northern, Southern
Don McSweeny Medal (Player of the Championships) – Matt Willson (South East)
Bill Murdoch Medal (Coach of the Championships) – Jack Kelly (South East)
Best U21 Player –Luke Mitton (Southern Districts)
Leading Goalkicker – Sid Masters (Eyre Peninsula) – 9 goals
Umpire of the Championships –Hudson Noack
Men’s Team of the Championships
F: Sam DeMichele (E), Sid Masters (EP), Leigh Ryswyk (C)
HF: Steve Burton (C), Shane Ballantyne (N), Tom Whittlesea (SE)
C: Jack Kenny (EP), Troy Parker-Boers (E), Matt Willson (SE)
HB: Sam Tharaldsen (SD), Aseri Raikiwasa (EP), Giles Ellis (C)
B: Zane Montgomerie (EP), Ben Edwards (C), Brad Byant (SE)
R: Mark Marriott (SE), Tim Woolford (E), Pat Davies (SE)
INT: Luke Mitton (SD), Jed Woolford (EP), Jacob Eats (SE), Steve Jackson (N), Patrick White (C), Murphy Short (C)
Southern Districts surged to its second SA Women’s Country Championships crown with a comfortable 21-point win against South East in the Grand Final at Bennett Oval in Whyalla.
Adding to their inaugural title in 2019, the Navy Blues went through the tournament undefeated after winning their two qualifying matches against Eyre Peninsula and Northern.
Southern Districts had seven players selected in the Team of the Championships, including Glenelg wing Madison Bennett, who won the prestigious Player of the Championships award as well as being selected at half-forward.
Southern Districts coaches Wade Phillips and Mark Rix shared the Coach of the Championships mantle after guiding their team to victory while the Navy Blues’ Tamara Page was Leading Goal Kicker with four, including two in the title-decider.
Promising young Central ruck Nikita McRostie sealed her stunning carnival with selection in that position in the Team of the Championships, as well as landing the Best Under-21 Player Award.
Champion –Southern Districts
Final Standings – Southern Districts, South East, Central, Northern, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula
Women’s Player of the Championships – Madison Bennett (Southern Districts)
Best Under 21 Player – Nikita McRostie (Central)
Coach of the Championships – Wade Phillips & Mark Rix (Southern Districts)
Leading Goal Kicker – Tamara Page (Southern Districts) 4 goals
Women’s Team of the Championships
F: Jennifer Thompson (EP), Alice Tentye (SE), Kendall Saffin (SE)
HF: Tella Wise (E), Kiara Pring (C), Madison Bennett (SD)
C: Tess Andrews (SE), Amber James (C), Teagan Cordes (C)
HB: Esther Heywood-Smith (E), Brooke Moore (EP), Jodie Hunt (SD)
B: Ashley Baker (C), Rebecca Deer (N), Chelsea Frost (SE)
R: Nikita McRostie (C), Annabel Mould (SE), Erin Horsnell (SE)
INT: Rachel Searle (SD), Katrice Turner (SD), Amy Vitkunas, (SD), Kalani Bates (SD), Tess Huxtable (SD), Aisha Thomas (C), Alex Mason (EP)
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