Round 18 Hostplus SANFL Snapshot – Super Saturday

Central players celebrate reaching their first Hostplus SANFL League finals series since 2017. Picture - David Mariuz

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Central’s Justin Hoskin reaches for a one-handed mark. Picture – David Mariuz

Central District displayed its fighting spirit to earn a berth in the Hostplus SANFL League finals series for the first time since 2017 with a 15-point win against Port Adelaide at X Convenience Oval.

Coming off a spirited two-point win against fellow finals contender North Adelaide in Round 17, the Bulldogs overcame a goalless quarter and a match-high deficit of 27 points in the second term to secure the memorable victory.

The hosts trailed by as much as 21 points when Pies ruckman Dante Visentini converted in the second minute of the fourth term.

But from there, Paul Thomas’ charges booted eight of the next 10 goals to not only storm to a Round 18 victory but bank vital confidence in preparing to face the same opponents in next Sunday’s Elimination Final.

With a strong kick-to-handball ratio, the Bulldogs still registered seven more inside 50 entries despite having 48 fewer handballs for the afternoon.

Prolific Bulldogs midfielder Harry Grant continued his sensational season with 29 disposals, five clearances and a goal while captain Jarrod Schiller collected 21 disposals, five clearances and a goal.

Rebounding Dogs defender Billy Iles had 19 disposals while playmaking teammate Kyle Presbury had 18 touches.

Nick Lange booted three goals for Central while Ethan East, Shay Linke and Hugo Munn booted two each.

Port’s Jackson Mead topped his team’s stats sheet with 29 disposals and 11 tackles while Jase Burgoyne notched 25 possessions.

Crafty goalsneaks Cody Szust and Jed Hagan booted three goals each for the visitors while Orazio Fantasia and Visentini kicked two each.

Port’s Cody Szust (left) and Jed Hagan celebrate a goal. Picture – David Mariuz

South’s Bryce Gibbs gets a handball away under pressure from Glenelg’s Riley Holder. Picture – Cory Sutton

Glenelg banked its third minor premiership in five years as it cruised past South Adelaide with a 60-point win at Stratarama Stadium.

Stung by an upset loss to Woodville-West Torrens in Round 17, the Tigers weren’tt able to shrug the plucky Panthers until the second half as they piled on 9.6 to 1.4 after the main change.

The Bays knew they could control their destiny with a win booking a berth in the Second Semi-Final but as it turned out, they would have still finished top after Norwood upset Adelaide at The Parade.

Glenelg spoilt the triple farewell of South veterans Bryce Gibbs, Matt Broadbent and Matt Rose, with Broadbent sidelined in the first term under concussion protocols after a tackle by Tiger Brady Searle.

South went two rotations down when impressive first-year forward Ben Shillabeer strained his hamstring in the first half, allowing the hosts to wear down their southern rivals after half-time.

Tiger Matt Allen was a fitting winner of the Coles Value Player award, racking up 26 disposals, seven marks, five clearances and three goals.

”We had an opportunity to earn top spot last week but we weren’t great so today was a good result,” Allen said.

”It was a nice to get a bit of reward as we had a down day last week as a group so it was nice to bounce back.

”When we play good footy we are defending really well and we get the result so that will be the challenge (in finals).”

Inform Bays midfielder Corey Lyons racked up 29 disposals, eight clearances and a goal while fellow onballers Matt Snook and Billy Stretch each tallied 21 disposals.

Returning to the line-up after a week off in Round 17, vice-captain Liam McBean registered 20 disposals, nine marks and four goals while fellow forwards Luke Reynolds and Lachie Hosie booted two goals each.

Hosie wrapped up his first Ken Farmer Medal, finishing with 52 majors for the season.

South’s Joseph Haines finished with a game-high 38 disposals, including 32 kicks, while Gibbs had 29 disposals including a drop kick in the final term to emulate his father Ross in the dying stages of the 1985 SANFL Grand Final.

Oliver Davis finished his campaign with 25 disposals as Damon Freitag and Jack Delean booted two goals each.

Glenelg’s Luke Reynolds launches into his kicking style. Picture – Cory Sutton

Sturt put an end to North Adelaide’s 2023 campaign with a confidence-boosting 27-point win at Prospect Oval.

Needing to regain form after a lacklustre finish resulted in a loss to Adelaide in Round 17, the Double Blues were able to respond to multiple challenges from the Roosters.

North, needing victory to book a berth in the Elimination Final, trailed at every change but got within a point when 150-game milestone man Keenan Ramsey kicked his second goal nine minute into the fourth term.

But just as they had done throughout the afternoon, Marty Mattner’s men showed why they will be deserved Qualifying Finalists by slamming on five of the next six goals.

Despite having three fewer inside 50s and 21 fewer clearances, the visitors controlled the air with 57 more marks as they moved the ball constructively by foot.

Bullocking Blues midfielder Tom Lewis chalked up 31 disposals, six clearances and seven tackles while captain James Battersby was his consistent self with 22 disposals.

Sturt half-back Casey Voss had 24 disposals while ruckman Amos Doyle was dominant with 20 disposals and an eye-catching running goal.

Bigman Lachlan Burrows continues to provide an important avenue to goal for Sturt, booting three goals while Oliver Grivell booted three as Josh Hone and James Mathews contributed two each.

Without hamstrung Magarey Medallist Aaron Young, North had the returning Campbell Combe lead the way with 23 disposals and five tackles while Andrew Moore finished with 22 disposals.

Ramsey, Mitch Harvey, Dyson Hilder and Sam McInerney each kicked two goals as reliable defender Cam Craig collected 12 disposals in his final game after announcing his retirement on Friday.

Norwood restored sudden ladder respectability into its 2023 campaign with a heartening 19-point win against Adelaide at The Parade.

Just seven days earlier the Redlegs were ensuring they wouldn’t finish with the wooden spoon with a draw against West Adelaide.

But after losing their first eight matches of the season, the reigning premiers will officially record a seventh-placing after leapfrogging South Adelaide and the Eagles in Round 18.

And they did it on the back of a resounding fourth quarter blitz against the finals-bound Crows, booting 7.2 to just three behinds after three quarter-time.

Having started the contest in fine form by applying scoreboard pressure through accurate kicking, the Legs led at quarter-time and half-time only to find themselves down by 22 points at the final change.

Norwood refused to roll over though, taking meaningful momentum into the preseason with a sensational blitz as Jackson Callow, Jacob Kennerley and Ben Jarvis booted three goals each.

Connor Mclean and Mitch Wilkins, playing his final SANFL League game after announcing his retirement, booted two goals each.

Nik Rokahr racked up 31 disposals for the hosts while Swans recruit Matt Ling had 25 as Kennerley, Pierce Seymour and Cory Stockdale had 23 possessions each.

Adelaide’s Luke Nankervis responded positively to his AFL demotion with 31 disposals and nine marks while Billy Dowling continues to develop nicely in the midfield with 28 disposals, 10 tackles and eight clearances.

Lachlan Sholl tallied 26 disposals and two goals for the visitors while Brayden Cook booted two goals from his 16 touches.

West Adelaide spoiled the farewell of Woodville-West Torrens coach Jade Sheedy thanks to an after-the-siren goal by Liam Delahunty at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.

With scores locked together at 12.8 (80) each, Bloods forward Delahunty marked on the lead 40m out, only to hear the siren sound as he lined up his set shot.

Needing any score to secure the Bloods’ fourth victory of the season, the developing key forward slotted his fourth major of the afternoon to cause his teammates to come from all parts of the ground to celebrate.

Even Westies’ Reserves players jumped the fence to embrace their League comrades as the visitors were finally on the right side of yet another tight result in 2023.

Despite it being the only Round 18 contest without any consequences for the top five, the match was an entertaining, see-sawing battle in which the margin never exceeded 13 points.

West’s Michael Mattingly racked up 30 disposals, six tackles and five clearances while Kobe Ryan’s consistent campaign finished with 29 disposals, five clearances, nine tackles and a goal.

Rebounding West defender Callum Park had 27 disposals while Ned Stevens booted three goals and Josh Gore two for the visitors.

Eagles captain Joseph Sinor ended his first season in charge with 35 disposals and a goal while Zane Williams collected 31 disposals.

James Rowe hit the scoreboard with three goals to go with his 23 disposals and six marks while Connor Ballenden and Luke Beecken booted two majors each for the hosts.

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