By Peter Argent
In what was a high-scoring affair, Tanunda – in its second consecutive Grand Final – held off minor premiers Angaston to win the 2019 BLG premiership by 13 points.
After an even first quarter at Freeling Oval in warm mid 20s spring conditions, Tanunda started to apply the pressure in the second, kicking six goals to four in this term.
The Magpies set up victory with a blistering third term, led by as much as 41-points early in the final quarter before surviving a late charge from the Panthers to win the game 18.13 (121) to 16.12 (108). Lachlan Agars – the younger brother of former SA Country player Sam – collected the prestigious Hurn medal as best on ground after a five-goal effort across half forward, which included four in the first half.
Matthew Prior across half-forward, the strong marking full forward Josh Trembath with six goals, key defender Luke Snowden, the hard-running left footer Lee Westhoff and 2019 Schluter Medalist (the Association’s best and fairest) Riley McFarlane all played telling roles.
Veteran and former premiership coach in the Magpies’ previous win in 2011 Ben Britton also kicked three goals for the victors.
Angaston skipper Jack Miles was their best across half back, followed by Ben Antonie, coach Jay Shannon and ball-magnet Steve Summerton.
Ben’s twin brother Jayden Antonie, Andew Pech and Jake Hood all had their moments as well.
Leading gold kicker in the competition Ryder Eberhard finished with three majors for the day, as did Ben Antonie.
Played at the picturesque Melrose Oval, the Northern Areas A Grade Grand Final saw Mundoora face off against Crystal Brook for the fourth consecutive year.
After even first quarter, the Eagles started to edge clear in the second term and took a 19-point advantage into the long interval.
With a further six goals to three in the third quarter, Broughton Mundoora’s lead moved out to 38 points at three quarter time and, despite a rally by Crystal Brook in the last quarter, the Eagles had a magnificent 47-point victory sparking riotous celebration among the Eagles faithful.
The final score was Broughton Mundoora 18.9 (117) defeating Crystal Brook 12.8 (80).
Tough-as-nails on-baller Tom Button kicked four goals and produced a best on ground performance, winning the John Noonan Memorial Medal, while Tommy Wheelan was strong in defence.
More strong performances came from Joseph Schmitt, Maddy Hayes, Gene Robinson, who kicked seven goals up forward, and Fraser Kessling. Robinson finished with 97 goals across the season.
Best player for the “Brooks” was Will Combe, followed by Mail Medalist Luke Kapitola and six-goal forward Daniel Hill.
Nathan Lambert and Luke Bartlett were also solid performers for the well-beaten Crystal Brook Roosters.
Playing coach Nick Hewett has now played in all three flags this century for the Eagles – 2006, the thriller at Gladstone in 2016 and now 2019.
The top two teams in the expansive Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara competition, Mundulla and Lucindale, played off in the season decider at Penola Oval last Saturday.
The Mundulla Tigers, minor premiers with 13 wins from 16 games in the regular season, conceded four goals to one in the first quarter but came back with five in the second to lead by three points at the long interval after both teams were accurate in front of goal in the first half.
Goals were at a premium in the third quarter with Mundulla kicking three and Lucindale slotting through a further two, resulting in just a 10-point margin at lemons.
However, in the final quarter the Tigers broke clear and kick four unanswered goals as the rain came down, winning by a comfortable 34-point margin, 13.5 (85) to 8.3 (51).
Half forward Nick Mosey, with three goals, produced a best on ground performance, followed by midfielder Nicholas Gregurke, running defender with the “Golden Fist” Tom Gaydon, skipper Jake McGrice and returning defender Lachlan Duell.
Full forward James Hinge also kicked three goals (and finished with 52 for the season) and was among the better players.
Dual sporting talent McGrice and Jonte Dolling both kicked two goals in this triumph.
Riley Milne was the Roos’ best followed by former Port Adelaide footballer Ryan McInerney, Anthony Laurencic, Scott Spriggs, Justin Watson and Tristan Menz. Both Spriggs and Milne kicked two goals each for the vanquished.
This was the Tigers’ second successive premiership, having defeated Keith in an upset last year. Mundulla and Lucindale also played off in the 2017 decider, with the Roos triumphant that year.
At McLaughlin Park in Millicent, North Gambier kicked five goals to one in the second quarter to set up a victory over the West Gambier Bulldogs in the 2019 Western Border League Grand Final.
With the Tigers nearly four goals up at half-time, both teams kicked five goals in the third quarter, before North sealed the game with three unanswered goals in the final stanza.
When the final whistle blew, the Millicent Oval scoreboard read North Gambier 15.9 (99) defeating West Gambier 8.12 (60).
Jake Schutz produced a best on ground display, while Sam Stafford kicked six goals in an impressive performance.
Mercurial veteran Justin McConnell finished with three majors, while other strong players included SA Outback’s cricketer Nick McInerney, Dylan Munn, the industrious Hamish Telford and Fraser Marshall.
Other multiple goal scorers for the victorious Tigers included Tom McLennan and Matt McInernery.
Best for the Bulldogs was Lawrence Bradley-Brown, Jess Pfitzner and Kyle Giddings. Tomas Zeitz (two goals) and Todd Lewis were serviceable, with Joshua Schapel also kicking a brace.
The battle at Wallaroo Oval between fierce Southern Yorke Peninsula rivals the Eagles and Crows proved to be a quality grand final.
It was a very close contest until the Southern Eagles (a combination of the Edithburgh, Yorketown and Warooka clubs that amalgamated 25 years ago) pulled away in the last quarter.
The game was on a knife’s edge until three quarter time, with just a couple of points separating the sides at both the half-time and three quarter time intervals.
But the Eagles slammed through five unanswered goals in the last quarter to win by 28 points, 12.5 (77) to 7.7 (49).
Eagles ruckman Matthew Taylor received best on ground honours for his work at the stoppages and ability to kick three goals when pushing forward.
Teejay Halkias, Brad Robertson and Nik Seccafien also played key roles.
Michael Eichnerm, who had a big job on forward Port Adelaide Magpies player Ben Edwards, was an important contributor despite a size and strength difference. Edwards, however, still managed to kick four goals.
Luke McMahon was also noteworthy for the Eagles, while Jacob Pedler slotted through three goals in the victory.
This was the Southern Eagles’ first A Grade triumph in a decade, with their last A Grade premiership in 2009.
Better players for the CMS Crows (Curramulka-Minlaton-Stansbury) were Josh Hoyle, followed by Liam Cocks and teenager Max Litster.
Defender Murphy Short, who also plays District First Grade Cricket for West Torrens, Jarryn Male and Edwards were all serviceable.
Playing in its sixth consecutive A Grade Grand Final and looking for its fifth flag during this period, United Yeelanna had a comfortable win over Ramblers at Cummins Oval last Saturday to collect the 2019 Great Flinders flag.
Former triple Central District premiership player Daniel Havelberg kicked seven goals in this victory, while another former SANFL League player Xavier Watson, back at his home club, produced a best on ground performance in the 16.11 (107) to 7.3 (45) win over the Magpies.
Other significant performers in the triumph included Matt Dyer, Aaron Watson, Mitchell Jolly and Bryce Breed.
For the Ramblers, who weren’t in the contest after quarter time, Tysan Mickan was their best, followed by Scott Blacker and ex-Crow Robert Shirley.
Will Haarsma and George Pedler had their moments, while James Richardson kicked three of the Magpies’ seven goals.
In what can only be described as a dominant display in their 100-point premiership win, the United Yeelanna Eagles were undefeated in 2019, averaging upwards of 22 goals a game in the regular season.
Minor premiers West Whyalla enjoyed a comfortable 49-point win over the Central Whyalla Roosters at Bennett Oval last Saturday in that league’s 2019 season-decider.
Leading by 17 points and in control at half-time, West Whyalla kept the Roosters to just one point in the third quarter while kicking three majors themselves to set up the triumph.
After four more goals in the final quarter, West won 14.10 (94) to Central 7.3 (45).
Ben English produced a best on ground effort, just in front of Nathan Grzona who kicked six goals up forward. Bill-Joe Russell, Elliott and Myles McNamara along with Damien Coyne all had significant impacts in this match.
Marco Tansell, Sam Ellis, Dwayne Colson and Hamish Quirk were the Roosters best while big Scott Collison kicked three majors and Brenton Colson finished with a pair.
Having played in every Whyalla Football League Grand Final since 2011, West has now won four consecutive A Grade titles.