Round 15 SANFL Snapshot – Saturday

West Adelaide players sing their song with gusto after breaking a 26-game losing streak against Port Adelaide. Picture - David Mariuz

Compiled by Zac Milbank

West Adelaide players salute their fans after snapping their 26-game losing streak against Port. Picture – David Mariuz

After 441 days and 26 consecutive losses, the drought is finally over for West Adelaide after it defeated Port Adelaide by 27 points at Hisense Stadium.

Snapping the equal-third longest losing streak in SANFL history, the Bloods – who led at every change – registered their first victory since May 2 last year when they defeated Central District in Round 5 of the 2021 season.

The relief from West players, officials and of course, coach Brad Gotch, was obvious as they held on kicking against the wind in the final term as the Magpies charged home.

Leading by 22 points at three-quarter time, the Bloods found themselves in front by just seven points after rushing a behind soon after a 60m long bomb from Port’s Trent McKenzie in the ninth minute of the final term.

But West premiership forward Jono Beech was refusing to let another opportunity slip, kicking truly to settle the nerves in the 16th minute.

And once debutant key forward Riley Corbett gathered a handball from Jackson Edwards and kicked a checkside goal from close range, the red-and-black party was starting in the 28th minute.

Despite having 13 fewer inside 50m entries, former Power star Hamish Hartlett used the ball well for West with 30 disposals, six marks and nine tackles while captain Tom Keough (20 disposals, one goal) and Beech (18 disposals, three goals) were other steadying influences.

Bloods defender Kaiden Brand was forced from the field after a heavy knock with 10 minutes to play but before he departed, he racked up 20 disposals and eight marks as Corbett and Josh Gore booted three goals each.

McKenzie gained valuable touch with 27 possessions, six marks and his long goal while consistent midfielder Sam Mayes (28 disposals, 13 clearances) and captain Cam Sutcliffe (25 disposals, one goal) also battled hard on a forgettable day for the Magpies.

Port’s Nick Moore handballs out under pressure from West’s Cade Kennedy. Picture – David Mariuz

Crow Zac Taylor celebrates one of his two goals. Picture – Peter Argent

Adelaide reclaimed top spot on the Hostplus SANFL League ladder with an efficienct 27-point win against North Adelaide in Whyalla.

Playing just the third SANFL League game at Bennett Oval as part of the SA Country Championships, the Crows edged ahead with a 0.7 per cent advantage after being spurred on by a six-goal second term.

Trailing by 13 points at the first change after managing just one goal in the opening term, Michael Godden’s men slammed on 6.9 to the Roosters’ one behind to open up a commanding 31-point lead at half-time.

Even with defender Andrew McPherson sidelined by injury in the second half, Adelaide was able to hold North goalless in the final quarter while kicking another 3.4 to coast to a 10th victory of the season.

Neat-kicking Lachlan Sholl led the way on the stats sheet with a game-high 31 disposals and 10 marks while exciting prospect Zac Taylor kicked two goals to go with his 28 possessions.

Experienced Crow Matt Crouch returned back to the SANFL side to rack up 28 disposals, together with mid-season draft pick Brett Turner.

Adelaide captain Matt Wright booted three goals, while Taylor and Elliott Himmelberg added two each.

North – without inform Andrew Moore (Health & Safety Protocols) – had silver service from Aaron Young yet again as he chalked up 34 disposals and eight clearances while Harrison Wigg continued his consistent season with 27 touches.

Speedy Rooster Frank Szekely enjoyed the wide expanses of the pristine Spencer Gulf venue to collect 24 possessions and eight marks while Keenan Ramsey led the way on the goal scorers list with three majors.

North’s Harrison Wigg looks to handball down the field. Picture – Peter Argent

Glenelg responded to its fortnight from hell with a stirring 25-point win against Woodville-West Torrens at ACH Group Stadium.

Coming off uncharacteristically heavy losses to Adelaide and South Adelaide in consecutive weeks, the Bays were outstanding in the first half as they made the most of a strong breeze in the opening quarter.

Brett Hand’s charges – without key defender Jordan Moore in the second half – slammed on 6.5 while keeping the reigning premier scoreless in the first term, before driving home their advantage against the wind in the second stanza.

Having made the most of a 26-3 inside 50m advantage up until the first change, the Tigers then managed two goals against the grain while continuing to hold the Eagles without a major until Connor Ballenden goaled 19 minutes into the third quarter.

Jack Oatey Medallist Matthew Snook earned the Coles Value Player award for his trademark grunt work at the stoppages, collecting 29 disposals, 10 clearances and kicking a rare goal on his right foot in the fourth term.

After being blanketed last round, Darcy Bailey returned to form with 29 touches for the Bays while Matt Allen was very constructive with his 18 disposals on his wing.

Glenelg debutant Lewis Rayson played an intelligent game in defence while collecting 12 disposals while fellow backman Toby Pink did an excellent job of keeping Daniel Menzel to just one kick and no score.

Eagles milestone man Jimmy Toumpas finished with 26 disposals in his 100th SANFL League game while Riley Knight never gave in whilst accumulating 25 disposals, 12 tackles and eight clearances.

Under-sized forward Jack Firns competed hard for the Eagles through centre-half forward to have 20 disposals and lay seven tackles while Connor Ballenden returned from his hamstring strain in positive fashion with three goals, seven marks and 14 disposals.

Sturt hung tough late in the contest to scrape across the line with a four-point win against Central District at X Convenience Oval.

Despite seeming in control for the majority of the afternoon after leading at every change, the Double Blues made the most of the Bulldogs’ inaccuracy after they finished with 6.16 (52).

The visitors’ efficiency was also underlined by them having seven fewer inside 50m entries but it didn’t stop them from having to endure a tense finish to keep inside the Hostplus SANFL League’s top five.

Sturt defender Will Coomblas did well to get a finger on a clever snap along the ground from opponent Luca Whitelum in the 24th minute of the final term.

Whitelum’s teammate Oliver Shaw then had another opportunity to put the hosts in front when he lines up for a tough set shot from the boundary line in the 26th minute only for it sail just left of the left goal post for another behind.

Sturt’s Guy Page continued his excellent form to collect a team-high 26 disposals and eight marks while fellow defender Casey Voss took 11 marks to go with his 22 touches.

Double Blues skipper James Battersby finished with 19 disposals, seven marks and five clearances while emerging midfielder Sam Breuer – the son of former Cat and Power player Shayne – kicked the final goal of the game amongst his 18 disposals.

Central’s Travis Schiller tallied the most possessions on the ground with 30 while midfield teammates Kyle Presbury had 21 and Jarrod Schiller 18, to go with his nine tackles and eight clearances.

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