The Sturt Football Club held-on for a thrilling one-point victory over Port Adelaide to take out the 2017 SANFL Grand Final, claiming consecutive flags for the first time since their five in-a-row between 1966-1970.
Local boys lining-up to take on Port Adelaide were Rambler’s Jake Sutcliffe, Mannum’s Josh Dodd and coach Martin Mattner from Ki Ki. Tailem Bend’s Ben Hansen unfortunately missed out due to injury and Jarrod Lienert lined up for Port Adelaide.
The Double Blues jumped out of the blocks on Sunday, kicking 4.1 to 2.3 in the first quarter and maintained the lead until the inaccurate Magpies surged in the final term, levelling the scores.
A free-kick in the goal square saw Sturt spearhead Kory Beard put the Blues a kick clear, before James Battersby kicked his handiest point for the year, putting his side seven points up in the final minutes.
After bursting away from his opponent, Brendan Ah Chee kicked a miracle goal on his non-preferred left foot to drag the Magpies back to within a point but the Double Blues held strong until the final siren sounded.
Utility Sutcliffe kicked a clutch goal in the twenty-first minute of the first quarter to put the Double Blues three-goals in front before Port’s Matthew Lobbe replied quickly, putting through a major.
Lienert, who was one of Sturt’s best in their 2016 premiership, was solid in the backline but his efforts eventually went unrewarded.
The low-scoring affair ended with a combined 14 goals kicked, with Sturt running out 7.8 50 to 7.7 49 premiers.
Sturt also took out both the Reserves and Under 18s flags.
Imperial’s Dwayne Wilson was best on ground in the Reserves win while Sean Samblich and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher both performed admirably. Tom Lewis fronted up in the Under 18s.