West End State Team displays its grit against VFL

The victorious West End State Team celebrate after winning its fifth win in succession against the VFL. Picture - David Mariuz


SANFL has again stamped itself as Australia’s best State League with a gritty 14-point win against the VFL at Stratarama Stadium.

Earning its fifth win against the Big V in succession, the West End State team appeared to draw upon its inspiring speech from 1994 State of Origin captain Chris McDermott after trailing by 13 points at the first change.

”His speech was unbelievable – I felt like running through a brick wall after listening to him,” SANFL’s Fos Williams Medallist Jez McLennan said.

”It was very inspiring and uplifting so we took that into the game to ensure we would not walk away with any regrets and that’s the way we played.”

The Croweaters booted the opening four goals of the second term to claim their first lead 13 minutes after quarter-time with Glenelg trio Lachie Hosie, Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds all hitting the scoreboard in the defining period.

With Central District’s Jez McLennan SA’s most composed player under siege in the first term, SANFL continued to turn the screws on the Vics in the third term by kicking the only three majors.

McLennan, who finished with 24 disposals and eight marks across half-back, was a deserving winner of the Fos Williams Medal as SA’s best player.

The former Gold Coast Sun teamed nicely with vice-captain Max Proud and Casey Voss in defence with Jack Heard and Josh Ryan also playing their roles to hold their rivals to just seven goals amid stunning conditions.

Lachie Hosie celebrates one of his first half goals for the West End State Team. Picture – David Mariuz

Bulldog Harry Grant (25 disposals) lifted in the midfield during the final three terms of the game as the onball brigade was forced to carry a heavy load after losing Eagle Riley Knight to an ankle injury in the opening minute of the third term.

Knight was unable to return after being helped from the field by runner Paul Thomas but Harrison Wigg (19 disposals) and Mitch O’Neill (16 disposals) lifted through the centre square as Matt Allen produced a strong final term.

In attack, Hosie was a difference-maker with his four goals while McBean finished with two while Jackson Callow continually presented strongly through the air to haul in eight marks, 13 disposals and a goal.

The Croweaters, who triumphed in their last meeting with the VFL eight years ago at Adelaide Oval, boast an admirable record against their Victorian foes, winning seven of their past eight meetings with their only loss coming in 2002.

It was the second AAMI State Game played at Glenelg after SANFL beat WAFL by the same margin of 14 points in 2012.

Central District defender Jez McLennan with his Fos Williams Medal. Picture – David Mariuz

His speech was unbelievable - I felt like running through a brick wall after listening to him.''

Fos Williams Medallist Jez McLennan


SANFL  1.1  5.2  8.4   10.5 (65)

VFL  3.2  5.4  5.5  7.9 (51)

BEST – SANFL: McLennan, Grant, Hosie, Proud, Wigg, Callow, Voss

VFL: Brown, Woodcock, Brew, Long

GOALS – SANFL: Hosie 4, McBean 2, Allen, Callow, Lowe, Reynolds

VFL: Long 2, Bianco, Crossley, Dixon, Smith, Woodcock

FOS WILLIAMS MEDAL – Jez McLennan (Central District)

FRANK JOHNSON MEDAL – Callum Brown (Box Hill)

CROWD – 4207 at Stratarama Stadium (Glenelg)

Eagle James Rowe fires out a handball for the West End State Team. Picture – David Mariuz

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