Heaven and heartbreak in Under 18 SANFL grand final
In an amazing finish, the Glenelg Football Club won the SANFL under 18s Grand Final, with a Toby Pink behind after the final siren, at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, September 18
Pink took a mark at the 60-metre mark with three seconds left in the game.
After the siren his shot fell 10 metres short, but bounced on its end, past a number of North Adelaide defenders to record the title winning point and spark riotous celebrations among the Bays players.
At one stage in the final term, North's lead had edged out to 14 points, before the Bays’ late charge.
Earlier, Glenelg nearly kicked itself out of the game, having 26 scoring shots to 15, but only being able to kick six goals.
The final score was Glenelg 6.20 (56) defeating North 8.7 (55).
“It was an interesting one – not sure how we did it in the end!” Glenelg coach Tyson Edwards said.
“We had eight more inside 50s, 11 more scoring shots and won in extraordinary circumstances, with a kick after the siren.
“I thought we’d eventually start kicking goals, but it didn’t happen.
“I didn’t watch that final kick; I’d started looking at the magnet board thinking about the extra time.
“I gave Toby (Pink) best player back at the club.
“Brad McCarthy was good both roles, across half back and when we moved him into the centre later in the game.
“Sam Walker went to Will Hayward after he’d kicking two goals in the first six minutes and held him for the remainder of the game.
“That was a change initiated by Sam, himself.
“Cam Buchanan took 10 strong marks in defence Liam Mackie was impressive at half back.
“Darcy Fogerty gave a good contest around the ball.
“North was very good early; in the first 15 minutes they had control of the contest.”
Both games during the minor round were close contests and results shared. The scores were level at half time of this Grand Final clash as well.
While the Bays led by nine point at lemons, they frittered away many opportunities in the third term, kicking 1.5.
North slotted through the first four goals of the last term – Hugo Barry, Zac Slade, McCallum–Tomkins medallist Dakota Nixon and Will Hayward – to have a lead of 14 points deep in the term.
Then Jack Stange kicked a goal to drag the Bays back to within seven points before Harry Cock levelled the scored with three minutes and 45 seconds remaining.
Then after the siren, Pink created his piece of football folklore.
Jonty Scharenberg collected the Alan Stewart medal as best on ground with 34 disposals and a half a dozen tackles.
Sam Davis was the Tigers only multiple goal kicker finishing with a brace.
Other key performers included key defender Sam Walker and Liam Mackie, the cousin of Geelong veteran Andrew.
Key position player Pink, Lucindale lad at half back Brad McCarthy and Cock were also conspicuous as well.
Roosters coach Jason Blair confirmed his lads were heartbroken.
“It was pretty shattering to lose a game like that,” Blair continued.
“To put it into perspective there were between 30 and 50 chances, where things could have been different to change the result.
“We had our chances, but it’s a pretty cruel way to lose a Grand Final.”
North’s athletic forward, Hayward was a potent target especially early kicking three goals in the first 11 minutes and four for the game.
Nixon, Tom Rogers and Nhill export Frazer Driscoll all were strong performers for the Roosters.
Slade and state Under 16 star Connor Rozee in defence were important contributors for the vanquished.
Northern Territory lad Brandan Parfitt led the possession count for North, with 27, followed by Nixon, on 26, and skipper Brayden Kirk, with 25, across half back.