By ZAC MILBANK
Sturt’s domination of Central District continued after a barnstorming first quarter propelled it to a comfortable 39-point win at Peter Motley Oval on Sunday.
A seven-goal blitz in the opening term effectively put the Bulldogs out of the contest by quarter-time as the Double Blues earned their eighth consecutive win against Central and fifth in a row at Unley.
The Dogs’ lowest score of 4.7 (31) was at risk given they didn’t score a goal until Troy Menzel marked and converted a quick Jarrod Schiller kick forward at the top of the goal square nearly six minutes into the third quarter.
This proved to be the first of four goals in succession for the struggling visitors, who then conceded another three in a row to allow Sturt to stretch the margin back out to 57 points at the final change.
All the damage was caused in the first 30 minutes of the match as Sturt wingman Steven Slimming booted two of his side’s first four goals, the second a classy checkside snap on his left foot from a tight angle in the pocket.
Central’s sole score for the first term was a behind to inclusion Wyatt Patterson in the 14th minute as the hosts opened up a commanding 44-point break at quarter-time.
Former Bulldog Sam Colquhoun torched his junior club for 26 disposals and the opening major of the second term as James Battersby, Aidan Riley and Danyle Pearce all used their experience to get control of the match in the centre square for Sturt.
The result was all the more impressive for the Double Blues given captain Zane Kirkwood had a quiet game for his lofty standards with 17 touches.
Casey Voss, the son of Brownlow Medallist Michael Voss, made his Statewide Super League debut for Sturt, celebrating it in style with a bullocking goal from a stoppage late in the final term.
Sturt – 5-3 win-loss record – has now firmed a place in the top five after going two premiership points and percentage ahead of Port Adelaide in sixth spot.
In contrast, Central is continuing to lose touch with the pacesetters, now sitting eighth with a 2-6 win-loss record and facing an in-form Woodville-West Torrens in Round 9.
STURT 7.3 9.4 13.7 15.8 (98)
CENTRAL 0.1 0.3 4.4 8.11 (59)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Sturt: Battersby 30, Riley 29, Colquhoun 26, Pearce 25, Sumner 21, Kirkwood 17, Crocker, Slimming, F. Evans 16.
Central: T. Schiller 29, J. Schiller 27, Habel, Fort 23, Goodrem 21, Menzel 19, Hoskin 17.
GOALS – Sturt: Hansen 3, Patullo, Slimming, Sutcliffe 2, Colquhoun, M. Evans, Greenslade, J. Hone, Munn, Voss.
Central: Presbury 3, Barreau, Haydon, Hoskin, Menzel, Jydon Neagle.