By TOM WYMAN
Glenelg have won their second SANFL Reserves premiership in three years by defeating Sturt by 10 points at Adelaide Oval.
Glenelg midfielder Reid Kuller was awarded the Bob Lee Medal as best on ground, gathering 20 disposals, six marks, nine tackles and four clearances.
Kuller’s in-and-under presence was strong throughout and he spread from the contest well to record five inside-50s.
Glenelg’s pressure was high early as they dominated field position, however it was Sturt’s Heath Wingard who streamed into goal to boot the opener against the flow of play.
The Tigers continued to win the ball at the coalface and put the Sturt backline under pressure, and soon they were on the board at the eight-minute mark via Darcy Scott.
Goals to Nick Leck and Hunter Window helped Glenelg gain further reward for their strong start, but a terrific set-shot goal from Sturt’s Jordan Hein on the stroke of quarter time closed the gap to eight points.
It took less than a minute into the second quarter for the Double Blues to kick their third through Will Crane, and the inside grunt work of Brad Jefferies and outside class of Malachy Curruthers helped Sturt wrestle back the momentum.
Two goals in as many minutes courtesy of Tye Bedford and Blake Tabe had the Double Blues ahead by 11 points.
Tigers midfielders Kuller, Jared Deep and Brady Searle started to get their hands on the ball and Glenelg capitalised with goals to Austin Kitschke and Will Chandler to regain the lead.
However, the advantage was short-lived as dangerous Sturt tall forward Chad Retschke’s set-shot sailed through.
Reschke’s presence in attack was emulated at the other end by Glenelg forward Austin Kitschke, who converted a difficult set-shot to bring up his second.
Searle was on target for Glenelg, but a slick passage of play resulted in a mark inside-50 to Sturt’s Hein, who made no mistake to bring about the game’s seventh lead change.
A late goal to Josh Rentsch saw the Double Blues take a seven-point lead into the final term.
Second goals to Nick Leck and Josh Rentsch had the game on a knife’s edge with 10 minutes remaining, but a classy snap from Glenelg’s Hunter Window edged the Bays ahead.
With the final siren fast approaching, a desperate goal-line lunge from Tiger defender Cooper Beecken prevented a certain Sturt goal, and Nick Leck kicked the sealer on the final siren for the black and gold.
Deep finished with 23 disposals and ten tackles, while Searle accumulated 20 disposals, seven clearances and a goal.
Sturt midfielder Brad Jefferies worked tirelessly for the Double Blues, winning 21 disposals and nine clearances, and Blues ruckman Hamish Allan won a game-high 34 hit-outs.
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