South Adelaide stunned top-of-the table North Adelaide with a vital two-point win at Flinders University Stadium.
Desperate to stay in touch with the top five, the Panthers did exactly that when midfielder-turned-makeshift forward Ben Heaslip kicked his third goal approaching the 22nd minute of the final term.
It was the only goal kicked in the final half-an-hour as the hosts paid tribute to former captain Keegan Brooksby in his 100th SANFL League match.
South coach Jarrad Wright would have been delighted with the resilience of his men given they appeared set to squander their hard-earned 27-point lead after Heaslip’s second early in the second term.
Despite North hitting the front after Will Combe’s neat set shot in 26th minute of the third term, South found a way to keep their season alive and bank their fifth win of 2022.
Experienced Panthers defender Joseph Haines was outstanding with 29 disposals and six marks while Fraser Turner (25 disposals), Oliver Davis (22 disposals) and Hayden Sampson (20 disposals) worked hard through the midfield.
Former West defender Elliot Dunkin relished his role further up the field with 24 disposals, often constructive through the corridor while Brooksby had 16 possessions and four clearances in his milestone match.
North trio Harrison Wigg (34 disposals), Aaron Young (29 disposals) and Campbell Combe (26 disposals) were again high among their team’s best performers, particularly Wigg, who is firming as a contender for the Magarey Medal.
Roosters captain Alex Spina tallied 23 disposals in defence while ruckman Mitch Harvey finished with 11 disposals and three clearances in his 150th SANFL League match.
Glenelg produced its most complete performance of the season after restricting Sturt to just four goals in a statement-making 67-point win at ACH Group Stadium.
Coming off an indifferent five-point win against West Adelaide, the Bays looked a completely different outfit as they went about dismantling the Double Blues in an incredibly composed manner.
Not only did the Tigers celebrate the 100th SANFL League match of rejuvenated defender Darcy Bailey, they kept the visitors to their lowest score against them across 263 matches.
Sturt’s final tally of 4.10 (34) was less than the 4.19 (43) managed against Glenelg in the 1988 Elimination Final or the 5.13 (43) kicked in Round 3 of 2003.
Enjoying the presence of triple Ken Farmer Medallist Liam McBean who returned from illness, the Tigers got on the board from a McBean long bomb from inside the centre square.
It would be his first of four for the match as his side kept Sturt goallless until Josh Rentsch kicked truly from a close range set shot in the fourth minute of the third quarter.
Bailey revelled in his milestone match, racking up a game-high 35 disposals and eight marks across half-back while Matthew Snook added two goals to his impressive tally of 31 disposals, nine clearances and seven tackles through the midfield.
Tiger Corey Lyons kicked a nice goal from 45m to go with his 28 disposals while Andrew Bradley (23 disposals), Luke Partington (21 disposals, two goals), Matt Allen (19 disposals), Cole Gerloff and Billy Stretch (18 disposals each) all played their roles for the team.
Sturt was surprisingly never able to get out of second gear as captain James Battersby and defender Casey Voss battled hard for 27 disposals each while defender Guy Page had 23 disposals.
The Double Blues weren’t helped by having to play out the match with one less rotation after ruck recruit Daniel Schoell was stretchered off in the first minute of the match after appearing to injure his knee.
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