The U18 Torrens University Cup launched over the weekend which was music to the ears of SA’s finest underage footballers who finally had the opportunity to put their best foot forward ahead of this year’s AFL National Draft.
Sturt commenced its 2020 campaign with a comprehensive 49-point win over Central District thanks to dominant performances from Tom Powell and Mani Liddy at X Convenience Oval on Sunday.
Powell and Liddy lined up alongside each other in the opening centre bounce and set the tone for the match as Powell found the opening clearance, burst through the forward 50m ark and opened the scoring in the first 20 seconds of the game.
Unfortunately for Powell it was a behind, which was the only aspect of his game that might need a little more sharpening up during the week as he concluded the match with 1.3, alongside 34 disposals, 20 handballs and seven clearances.
While Powell and Liddy combined for 18 clearances in a powerful midfield display, Bulldogs midfielder Austin McDonald evened the scales with 12 clearances and 27 disposals of his own to help his side claim the overall clearance battle 38-35.
Liddy rounded out the match with 33 disposals, 11 clearances and five tackles.
Sturt tall Morgan Ferres was the dominant forward with three goals and seven marks as the Double Blues led from the start to open the season with a 14.13 (97) to 7.6 (48) victory.
Despite their incredibly interrupted campaign, North Adelaide draft prospects Jamison Murphy and Tariek Newchurch didn’t skip a beat in the Roosters’ 12-point win over West Adelaide at Prospect Oval on Saturday.
Both members of the 2020 AFL Academy SA Hub, Murphy and Newchurch helped their side fight back from a three-goal deficit midway through the third term to kick five unanswered goals and take the two premiership points.
After a fast start from North, kicking the opening two goals inside five minutes, the Bloods kicked seven of the next eight majors, including three to Dylan White, to wrestle control of the contest.
West forward Connor Richardson took a strong pack mark and goaled at the six-minute mark of the third term to stretch the margin to a match-high 18 points before Newchurch entered the scene to boot three of the final five goals of the match, earning victory for the Roosters.
Newchurch, listed as a Crows Next Generation Academy prospect, finished the game with a flurry and rounded out the match with 17 disposals, four marks and three goals.
Roosters captain Murphy was a consistent performer through the midfield and ran out the game well following the extended break, finishing with 26 disposals, including 16 kicks, six inside 50s and five rebound 50s in the 8.10 (58) to 7.4 (46) result.
North’s Kallis Freer was his side’s leading possession winner with 27 disposals, while West Adelaide’s Bailey Chamberlain led all comers with 28 touches.
Woodville-West Torrens midfielder Caleb Poulter had a monumental impact in his side’s 10-point loss to South Adelaide at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval on Sunday.
Poulter – named the Round 1 Torrens University Cup MVP nominee – started forward before moving into the midfield where he gathered 34 disposals, seven clearances and laid 10 tackles in an outstanding display to kick off his season.
The Panthers started the match strongly with the first two goals before the Eagles kicked eight of the next 10 majors to place themselves in a commanding position, 20 points ahead early in the third quarter.
South came storming home on the back of three second half goals from Liam Nye and strong performances from Max Clifton (26 disposals, seven clearances) and Liam Hamilton (24 disposals and 10 marks) to claim a Round 1 victory over the reigning U18 premiers.
Glenelg tall forward Lucas Schultz was the star in the Tigers’ 44-point win over Norwood at ACH Group Stadium in Glenelg on Saturday.
Schultz booted four majors and took six marks in a commanding performance.
Tall midfielder and Adelaide Crows father/son prospect Luke Edwards played his role for the Bays finishing with 22 disposals, six tackles and five clearances while Luke Pedlar started the 2020 season strong for the Tigers with 28 disposals and a goal.
Norwood was well led by Matthew Dnistriansky, who had 25 disposals and nine marks while AFL Academy SA Hub member Cooper Murley chimed in with 20 possessions and three tackles.