Round 5 Hostplus SANFL Snapshot – Sunday

Coles Value Player James Rowe (middle) celebrates a goal with his teammates. Picture - Cory Sutton

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Sturt captain James Battersby is chaired off by premiership teammates Guy Page (left) and Josh Hone. Picture – Cory Sutton

Woodville-West Torrens spoiled Sturt’s party when it managed to swing the pendulum back in its favour for a highly-entertaining eight-point lead at Thomas Farms Oval.

With popular Double Blues captain James Battersby celebrating his 200th Hostplus SANFL League match at a newly-renovated Unley surface, all signs pointed to the bumper 3,158 crowd enjoying a home win in the stunning sunshine.

But the rejuvenated Eagles, thriving under the presence of new coach Sam Jacobs, had other ideas as they managed to withstand a six-goal third term surge from the hosts.

”We struggled a bit last year as we lost to Sturt twice,” Eagles star James Rowe told Channel 7 after the match.

”We new they would come out hot for James Battersby so we set ourselves as a group to make a statement to the competition and I think we did that today.”

Rowe, who was awarded the Coles Values Player after racking up 25 disposals and booting two goals, said his side had plenty of belief at the final change despite trailing by 13 points.

”As a group, we feel like we are a great last-quarter team,” Rowe said.

”We’ve won every last quarter this year so we have a lot of belief we can run over teams and we were able to do that again today.”

The visitors led by as much as 31 points entering time-on of the second quarter as they seemingly had the game under control while holding a 20-point half-time advantage.

But Sturt, again without star midfielder Tom Lewis, fired back as it attempted to honour Battersby, slamming on the opening six majors of the third quarter to lead by 18 points nearing time-on.

Blues forward Lachie Burrows booted the opening goal of the last term to stretch his team’s margin out to 19 points but that would be his side’s last score until a pair of rushed behinds more than 23 minutes later.

The Eagles’ bevy of contributors included emerging onballer Adam D’Aloia with 29 touches, six clearances and 10 tackles while captain Joey Sinor had 25 disposals, 12 tackles and eight clearances.

Mature-age signing Luke McKay continued his hot start to his SANFL career with the Eagles with 24 disposals, 10 tackles and an eye-catching long range goal while tall Connor Ballenden had a huge say in the outcome with his four goals from five marks and 13 disposals.

Sturt’s Will Snelling again found plenty of the Sherrin with 37 disposals, six clearances and five tackles while Casey Voss collected 27 disposals and eight marks.

Double Blues forward Connor McFadyen was a strong presence inside 50m with 20 disposals, nine marks and two goals while Battersby tallied 19 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances in his milestone match.

Eagles forward Connor Ballenden celebrates a goal. Picture – Cory Sutton

A scratchy Glenelg overcame inaccuracy and inefficiency to escape Flinders University Stadium with a 27-point win against South Adelaide.

Despite dominating inside 50m entries by 16 to five in the opening term and 31 to 15 by half-time, the Bays only led by a point as they limped to 4.10 (34).

Without Jack Oatey Medallist Lachie Hosie (broken hand) and with fellow forwards Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds being well held by disciplined South defenders Jake Summerton and Sam Skinner, the visitors were only able to break free by booting 4.4 to 1.3 in the final term.

Eventually Glenelg’s ability to retain possession, it had 56 more marks than the Panthers, helped it break the dam wall at Noarlunga as Hugh Stagg booted two final term majors, while James Bell and Riley Holder also hit the scoreboard.

Jack Oatey Medallist Matt Snook was particularly busy in the first half in helping construct the win with 28 disposals, seven clearances and nine tackles while Matt Allen’s only concern was his 1.4 in front of goal as he racked up 27 disposals, 15 marks and six clearances.

Returning defender Chris Curran was a steadying presence as he used the ball well with his 21 disposals and 10 marks while Bell was damaging with his 20 possessions and 2.2.

Glenelg would have been encouraged by the debuts of inclusions Jake Walker, Will Stockman and Hunter Window, with Walker enjoying a strong final term and Stockman working hard in the ruck.

South co-captains Summerton and Skinner were brilliant defensively while weathering 51 inside 50 entries while Ollie Davis (28 disposals) and Hayden Sampson (24 disposals) worked hard in the middle.

Kobe Mutch made a promising return from injury with 23 disposals while key forward Noah Howes did well from limited chances to boot three goals from 11 disposals and seven marks.

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