Round 1 Hostplus SANFL Snapshot – Good Friday

Glenelg players congratulate Oscar Adams after he kicked his first League goal on debut. Picture - Cory Sutton

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Port’s Logan Evans takes the contested mark in his club debut for the Magpies. Picture – Cory Sutton

Glenelg might have been a man down but that didn’t matter as the reigning premier cruised to a convincing 66-point win against Port Adelaide at Stratarama Stadium.

Less than five minutes after the Bays unfurled their 2023 premiership flag in front of more than 5,000 fans, they lost lead ruckman Cameron McGree to a broken collarbone.

McGree, who was tackled by Port’s Mitch Georgiades, was unable to return, paving the way for premiership teammate Riley Holder to have his moment in the spotlight.

Holder, who won just eight hitouts for the match, was outstanding whenever the ball hit the ground as he racked up a career-high 25 disposals to go with six clearances, five marks, five tackles, five inside 50s and three rebound 50s.

After the Tigers trailed by a point at the first change, they swung the match in their favour during the second stanza by slamming on 7.2 to the Magpies’ 2.0 to earn a 31-point break at the main change.

As Holder acted as an extra midfielder, he teamed up nicely with Matt Allen (25 disposals, three goals) and Matthew Snook (21 disposals, eight clearances, 10 tackles).

2019 premiership captain Chris Curran showed exactly why he was worthy of making a comeback after playing for Prince Alfred OC for two seasons, finishing with 24 disposals, eight marks and multiple one percenters.

Twin towers Lachie Hosie and Liam McBean booted five goals each to lead the way for the Bays while Archie Lovelock (three goals) and Hugh Stagg (two goals) looked lively inside 50m.

Port – being coached for the first time by Hamish Hartlett – got within a goal of the hosts nearing time-on of the second quarter as Georgiades kicked back-t0-back majors to take his tally to three.

But ultimately the youthful Magpies ran out of steam despite surprisingly winning the inside 50m count 56 to 51.

Captain Nick Moore on debut battled hard for his equal team high 21 disposals while Josh Sinn distributed the ball nicely for his 21 touches.

Georgiades finished with 14 disposals, three goals and seven marks while debutant Tom Anastasopoulos produced two eye-catching finishes on the run.

Glenelg’s Hugh Stagg applies a crunching tackle. Picture – Cory Sutton

Adelaide captain Jack Madgen fires out a handball. Picture – David Mariuz

Adelaide eventually overcame a brave South Adelaide by five points in a thrilling encounter at Flinders University Stadium.

Crows midfielder Billy Dowling made his imprint on the game when it mattered most, booting a long bomb goal from outside 50m to put his team up by seven points in the 26th minute of the final term.

This came after an influential centre clearance from the North Adelaide draftee – who tallied 34 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles – ended in the arms of Lachlan Gollant, who kicked truly.

The plucky Panthers had their chances to redeem some premiership points but a behind to Nic Dunshea and fellow debutant Angus Bradley consigned them to an extremely honourable defeat.

The hosts led by as much as 33 points when AAMI Rookie Noah Howes kicked one of his three majors late in the second term but were unable to hold on as the heat became a factor on their youthful legs.

Missing a host of several key players including star midfielders and leadership group members Kobe Mutch and Ollie Davis, South at least unearthed plenty of promise in key forward Howes and mature defender Nic Schroder, who looked very composed.

Elliot Dunkin led the way with 28 disposals while Hayden Sampson racked up 27 touches with his run and carry.

South recruit Jake Arundell, from Box Hill, impressed with 18 disposals, 12 marks and two goals while new co-captain Sam Skinner put his hand up for West End State team selection with 17 disposals and 10 marks.

Adelaide, playing under the guidance of Matthew Wright for the first time in the absence of Michael Godden, showed plenty of resilience to remain in the contest despite being under constant scoreboard pressure.

Luke Nankervis played strongly for his 26 disposals and 10 marks while first-year draftee Oscar Ryan had 22 disposals on debut.

Key defender Daniel Curtain finished with 18 disposals and 10 marks while Wangaratta signing Toby Murray – the younger brother of Crows defender Nick – looked dangerous with four goals.

South’s Eamon Wilkinson celebrates a goal. Picture – David Mariuz

Matthew Wright made his League coaching debut for the Crows in the absence of Michael Godden. Picture – David Mariuz

Central District withstood everything North Adelaide could throw at it before surging to a 27-point win at Prospect Oval.

Despite recording 85 fewer disposals for the match, the Bulldogs were particularly efficient as they engineered seven more inside 50s en route to nearly making coach Paul Thomas smile with a score close to triple figures – 14.9 (93).

In a highly-entertaining contest for three quarters, the visitors managed to pull away from the Roosters in the final term by piling on 4.2 to the hosts’ 1.3.

Central forward Nick Lange, the Coles Value Player, was a major influence in this period as he booted an equal career-high four goals from his 12 disposals and six marks.

And when he wasn’t kicking goals himself, Lange was setting them up for teammates as he did with Port Melbourne recruit Jake Gasper who got on the end of his neat pass entering time-on of the fourth term.

”Our goal was to be able to score two more goals per game (this year),” Lange said on Channel 7 after the match.

”So we’ve been working on mid-fwd connection and not just bombing it long all the time, so we thought we did that today.

”The new guys who have come over were super in the midfield so they have added heaps of flexibility which is good.”

Together with Gasper, key recruits Wilson Barry (24 disposals, six clearances) and Kade Dittmar (13 disposals, five tackles) made their presence felt for the visitors.

This ensured the team continued to function despite last year’s Magarey Medallist Harry Grant being well held by Sam Mayes to 10 disposals.

Gasper booted three goals in his League debut while Isaiah Dudley and Aiden Grace booted two each to give the Dogs multiple options.

North ran out of puff after losing Harrison Elbrow to an ankle-injury in the second term, with the speedy utility unable to resume after half-time.

Vice-captain Harrison Wigg collected 30 disposals and 13 marks while Mayes collected 25 touches to match Campbell Combe, who also had 11 tackles and seven clearances.

North forward Nigel Lockyer provided plenty of highlights including a contender for Channel 7 Goal of the Week when he evaded three opponents before slotting a checkside goal on the run.

Woodville-West Torrens began life under new coach Sam Jacobs in stunning fashion, romping to a 64-point win against West Adelaide at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.

Racking up a massive 60 inside 50m entries to the Bloods’ 38, the Eagles – sporting retro West Torrens guernseys in the first half and Woodville in the second – displayed what they are capable of with an impressive second half which yielded 11.5 to the visitors’ 2.6.

The hosts had a staggering 13 players join the goal kickers’ list, headed by Narrandera signing Luke McKay who booted five majors in his Hostplus SANFL League debut.

A mature-age recruit, the 27-year-old showed he will have no issue adjusting to the level after collecting 23 disposals, five marks and three tackles.

But it was second-year Eagles midfielder Adam D’Aloia who reaped the rewards of a stunning pre-season, having a huge impact with 32 disposals, 13 clearances and seven tackles.

Former Crow Riley Knight relished not having all the attention to finish with 26 disposals, 12 tackles and 11 clearances while captain Joey Sinor had 22 possessions and five marks.

Veteran Eagle Matthew Goldsworthy continues to show no signs of slowing up after collecting 19 disposals and booting two goals while Connor Ballenden contributed two goals, 12 disposals, six marks and 27 hit outs.

Coming off a trial match victory against reigning premier Glenelg, the Bloods enjoyed a stunning second term which yielded 7.1 to get within 11 points at the major break.

But ultimately, the visitors couldn’t match the class of the Eagles when it mattered as Kobe Ryan led the way for West with 20 disposals, two goals, 10 tackles and seven clearances.

Tom Morrish had 19 disposals, together with a cracking goal from a challenging angle in the second term while Sam Frost proved he will be an asset if he can stay injury free after tallying 18 disposals, 11 tackles, seven clearances and a goal.

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