Sturt withstood two serious challenges from Adelaide to record an invaluable 11-point win at Wigan Oval.
Now sitting in sixth spot, the Double Blues’ eighth win of the season ensures it keeps pace with fourth-placed Norwood and fifth-placed Woodville-West Torrens, who both also have an 8-5 win-loss record.
After conceding the first goal of the afternoon to Crows forward Elliott Himmelberg, Marty Mattner’s men appeared to take a stranglehold on the contest by kicking the next eight goals in succession to open up a 43-point advantage midway through the second term.
But four late goals to the visitors gave them plenty of momentum heading into the half-time break, having cut their deficit to just 17 points.
Adelaide surged again during the third quarter to regain the lead with a goal to midfielder Jay Boyle in the 15th minute.
Sensing the danger, the hosts responded again with a run of three majors on the trot, Tom Emmett’s set shot after the three-quarter time siren earning another 17-point buffer at the final change.
Despite outscoring Sturt in the final term, the Crows were unable to gain any meaningful traction as the Double Blues soaked up absorbed their pressure whilst soaking up time at critical junctures.
Premiership defender Guy Page was brilliant for the Double Blues, racking up 27 disposals and 15 marks across half-back.
His value was summed up by his courageous contested mark in the 15th minute of the fourth quarter as he held his ground at the front of a charging pack behind him.
Sturt skipper James Battersby was industrious with his 28 disposals and five clearances while Casey Voss (24 disposals, eight marks) and Steven Slimming (23 disposals, one goal), who managed to rebound from a heavy knock late in the game, also made their presence felt.
Adelaide wingman Lachlan Sholl was very clean with the ball in collecting 25 disposals, eight marks and a neat set shot goal from a challenging angle.
Development midfielder Jay Boyle (22 disposals, two goals and six clearances) found plenty of possession in the absence of the recalled Matt Crouch.
Himmelberg (16 disposals, four clearances, seven tackles, two goals) helped swing the game in Adelaide’s favour when thrown into the ruck to relieve Kieran Strachan while Josh Worrell again caught the eye with his aerial skills in snaring six marks and 17 disposals.
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