Glenelg wins thrilling SANFL Anzac Day Blockbuster

Bob Quinn Medallist Sam Durdin takes one of his 11 towering marks. Picture - Cory Sutton

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Eagle Daniel Menzel flies sideways for a mark ahead of Tiger Nick Minchin. Picture – Cory Sutton

A piece of Reid Kuller brilliance proved to be the difference as Glenelg won a thrilling Anzac Day classic against Woodville-West Torrens by five points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. 

With his team in desperate need of a goal, having squandered a 19-point lead at the final change, Kuller stepped up to produce a classy finish on his left foot with less than a minute to play.

After teammate Toby Pink put the ball inside 50m, Kuller accepted a contested handball from impressive rookie Hugh Stagg, turned against the tide of play and swung the ball in beautifully with the natural angle of his kick in the 28th minute.

The ball went back to the centre but after the Eagles managed to clear it, the visitors claimed control of and were able to kick laterally across half-back until the final siren sounded.

Livewire Eagles forward Daniel Menzel had tied up the scores with his ice cold set shot in the 21st minute, his team’s fourth of the final term.

Fellow forward Clay Cameron then benefited from the next smother and centre clearance by Eagles midfielder Joseph Sinor but his set shot slid to the left, giving the hosts a one-point lead in the 23rd minute.

It felt like it might be enough for the Eagles to cling on for a memorable win in SANFL’s traditional Grand Final rematch but Kuller had other thoughts four minutes later.

Glenelg defender Sam Durdin was fittingly awarded the Bob Quinn Medal as best afield, the tall backman regularly intercepting the Eagles’ forward forays with his 11 marks or thumping spoils over the boundary line.

Durdin also finished with 22 disposals, 13 rebound 50s and three tackles in an inspiring, yet exhausting experience, given he struggled to muster any words upon presentation of his award.

2022 Bob Quinn Medallist – Glenelg’s Sam Durdin (right) with Greg Quinn (left). Picture – Cory Sutton

Desperate Tiger Matthew Snook tallied 29 disposals and 11 clearances while fellow midfielders Corey Lyons and Luke Partington, who chalked up 26 disposals each, were also tireless in their endeavour.

Darcy Bailey (25 disposals), Billy Stretch (24 disposals) and Andrew Bradley (21 disposals) set up plenty of play off half-back while unpredictable Tiger forward Lachie Hosie provided the spark with his three of his four goals in the third term.

Bays rookie Hugh Stagg continues to show great promise at League level, kicking three goals and supplying Kuller with the game-winning goal assist.

Eagles midfielder Riley Knight had 32 disposals and Jimmy Toumpas worked back towards full fitness with 28 but it was Sinor who showed great desperation to haul his team back into the game.

The unheralded onballer finished with 23 disposals, 10 tackles and eight clearances as Essendon recruit Dylan Clarke tallied 24 possessions and 10 tackles.

Menzel and fellow elusive Eagles forward Zane Williams kicked five goals each to contribute 10 of their team’s 12 majors ruck recruit Connor Ballenden had 21 disposals, five marks, four clearances and 44 hitouts.

Glenelg’s Brett Turner is tackled by Eagle Jesse Lonergan. Picture – Cory Sutton

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