By ZAC MILBANK
Sturt claimed an historic hat-trick of premierships when it engineered a stunning comeback to defeat Woodville-West Torrens by five points in the 2023 Novita SANFL Wheelchair League Grand Final at Lights Stadium.
The dominant Double Blues had to roll up their sleeves after trailing by 12 points at quarter-time and seven at half-time as the minor premier Eagles showed why they were the in-form side leading into the title-decider.
But a match-turning third quarter display swung the momentum in Sturt’s favour as it piled on 4.1 to 2.0 to earn a handy six-point lead at the final change.
It would prove to be enough of a buffer to secure a third flag in succession for the Double Blues, having also reigned supreme in 2021 and 2022 under the captaincy of Steven ”Budgie” Avery.
A massive seven-goal haul from experienced Sturt forward Giang Danh proved pivotal in the result, while teammate Johnny Phanratry kicked two majors.
The Eagles, captained by Chris Simpson, had Matt McKenzie finishing off their hard work with five goals while vice-captain Trevor Jarrett chimed in for three majors.
In the playoff for third place played as the curtain-raiser, Central District defeated Norwood by three goals after trailing by a point at half-time.
2023 Novita SANFL Wheelchair League Grand Final
Sturt 1.2 4.3 8.4 10.5 (65)
Eagles 3.2 5.4 7.4 9.6 (60)
GOALS – Sturt: Giang Danh 7, Johnny Phanratry 2, Hallam Chitty
Eagles: Matt McKenzie 5, Trevor Jarrett 3, Steve Edge
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