By TOM WYMAN
Sturt booked its spot in the Torrens University SANFL U16 Grand Final after defeating Central District by 33 points at Thebarton Oval.
The Double Blues took an 11-point lead into the quarter-time break after a high-scoring start to the Second Semi-Final, with Sturt’s Blake Thredgold and Bulldog Dougie Cochrane both kicking two goals.
Sturt’s accuracy continued into the second quarter as it booted 3.1 to Central’s 1.3 to establish a 21-point break at half-time.
Sturt’s Gill Wakelin kicked the only goal in a tight third term, reflective of the strength of both sides.
The Double Blues made a fast start to the final quarter with Noah Mennillo kicking truly before Cochrane nailed his third in quick reply to keep Central’s hopes alive.
However minor premier Sturt proved too good as they ran out victorious, led by Jett Dahlitz (26 disposals, ten marks and nine rebound-50s) and Noah Roberts-Thomson (24 disposals, ten clearances and a goal).
Dyson Sharp impressed for the Bulldogs with 26 disposals and eight tackles, while Dougie Cochrane finished with three goals and 23 disposals.
West Adelaide remain in the premiership hunt after defeating North Adelaide by 21 points in the First Semi-Final at Hisense Stadium.
The Bloods booted the first two goals of the contest via Joseph Raphael and Patrick Amber and established a seven-point lead at the first change.
However, five goals in the space of ten minutes, including two from midfielder Blake Oudshoorn-Bennier, saw the Roosters pull away to an 11-point lead at the main break.
The Bloods got the better of the third quarter by kicking four unanswered goals, two to forward Lucas White, and took a slim five-point lead into the last.
West continued to get the better of the clearances and inside 50s, despite North’s hit-out advantage, with the likes of Amber and Gus Downs strong at the coalface.
White booted the final two goals of the game to finish with five in a match-winning display, helping the Bloods progress to next weekend’s Preliminary Final against Central District.
West’s Josh Goldie finished with 22 disposals and a goal, with teammate Downs managing 18 disposals and eight clearances.
Blake Oudshoorn-Bennier did all he could for the Roosters, accumulating 31 disposals to go with nine marks and three goals.
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