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U18 Match Report: Grand Final v Sturt

U18 Match Report: Grand Final v Sturt

18 September 2023

Our Under-18's win their first flag!


South Adelaide Under-18 V Sturt Under-18
Grand Final - Adelaide Oval - 17/09/2023



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Goals: Howes 3, Delean, Draper, Hargrave, Rodrigues, Shortridge, Sterzl, Wheaton        
Disposals: Draper 21, Hargrave 18, Keir 17, Pearsons 16, Howes 14
Best: Draper, Schroder, Keir, Duke, Howes

Match Replay



It all came down this; a fateful day in September which could see the Panthers Under-18's cement themselves into the history books, winning their first Torrens University Under-18's Premiership. 

The Adelaide Oval stage was set for the Grand Final against Sturt, and it was time to get the job done. 



The Panthers got to work quickly in the first quarter, with a passage straight out of the middle would find Noah Howes. Howes on the move, picked up the ball cleanly and the snap around the body was even better securing the first major of the day. 

Sturt replied but the Panthers would tighten up and apply stronger pressure, Tom Wheaton being a catalyst of this movement ending his game with 8 tackles.

It was incredibly contested, and it would take some time until the panthers were able to score again.

Wheaton would break the drought just before the 15-minute mark, taking a quick grab and finding himself 30-metres out directly in front, the kick was perfect sailing straight through.

Howes would assert himself in this term with his second. On a tight angle 40-metres away from the sticks his kick was pure and the Under-18's were building up a lead early.

However, after this Sturt lifted their intensity and found some form securing three majors in the second term. 

The Panthers needed to stop the bleeding, with Sid Draper the first to reply back. After an impactful opening term his presence was felt after he secured his first goal in a dire situation, crumbing a dropped mark and running into an open goal, securing an essential major.

Sturt were finding plenty of room with the ball in this term and they were making the most of it but the Panthers would reply late in the term with two critical majors.

Jack Delean would be taken high and find himself 30-metres away directly in front, we knew what was coming next as his kick was spot on.

From the clearance Taylor Goad would follow up his own work and stream forward, the kick lacing out Howes at the top of the square, the set shot was absolute and the Panthers would find themselves in the lead by 1-point headed into the third.

A great effort late in what could have been a detrimental term, showing the effort these boys are willing to put in.

The third term started strong as a beautiful passage would see the ball get into the hands of Phoenix Hargrave who would run on and unleash from 55-metres out, securing a long-range bomb and setting the tempo.

Sturt did well to stay close in the term but the Panthers would separate themselves in the middle of the quarter.

Cohen Shortridge was taken high out of a stoppage, and he found himself lining up from 45-metres on a slight angle, it took all he had but the kick was definitive, and he secured his first.

Blake Rodrigues would follow suit after he took a contested grab 45-metres out, the kick was piercing and the Panthers had a 2-goal lead, ending the term in the lead by 11-points.

With one quarter of the season left and the contest still in anyone’s hands the boys left it all on the field.

Sturt weren’t going down without a fight, and they kept up the intensity until the final siren.

The Panthers would only kick one major late in the final term. An entire field passage through the guts of Adelaide Oval would see the Panthers get crafty and find Dakota Sterzl, his kick from 35-metres on the move was immaculate.

Sturt did not let up at any point as they went on to reply with two goals late, but it wasn't enough. 

A number of handy points was the difference, as the Panthers would claim the 2-point win and their first Premiership.  



Sid Draper was awarded the Alan Stewart Medal for his impactful performance of 21 disposals, 3 tackles, 2 marks and a goal.



A huge congratulations is to be awarded to U18's Coach and Talent Manager Mark Clayton, Captain Nick Schroder, the whole playing group, support coaches and staff, as well as all the passionate and dedicated family members. 


To view the full gallery courtesy of Nick Hook Photography, click here

About the Author:Bailey Hutchinson

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