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Crows halt Sturt surge

Harrison Wigg was named best afield by Crows coaches against Sturt on Saturday
Harrison Wigg was named best afield by Crows coaches against Sturt on Saturday

Adelaide has celebrated its historic SANFL home match at Thebarton Oval with a thrilling 12-point victory over ladder leaders Sturt on Saturday.

For the second consecutive week, young key-position prospect Keenan Ramsey was the hero in the final term. The 192cm rookie coolly slotted two clutch set shot goals in the dying minutes to help Adelaide seal the memorable 13.9 (87) to 11.9 (75) win in front of over 3,000 fans.

Mitch Grigg then made the most of a 25-metre penalty to ice the contest with the final goal of the game.

The clash was a fitting sequel to the enthralling battle between the two teams earlier in the season. Neither side gave an inch as the lead swapped hands no less than seven times throughout the course of the match.

Sturt led for the majority and edged 13-points clear early in the second term. But the home side looked stronger the longer the game wore on, eventually breaking the deadlock with a five goals to Sturt’s two in the fourth quarter.

The result snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Double Blues and was another significant step for the SANFL Crows as they strive towards their maiden finals series. The win solidified Adelaide's place in fourth position on the SANFL ladder, three games clear of sixth spot with seven rounds remaining.

The day was a huge success for Adelaide on and off the field. A healthy crowd braved the chilly conditions as SANFL footy returned to Thebarton for the first time since 2012. Fans were treated to a quality contest which was played with finals-like intensity.

Offseason recruit Curtly Hampton impressed in his first game for the Club in his return from a long-term foot injury. The former GWS Giant settled into the game well and used his trademark pace and skill to be a solid contributor across half-back.

Fellow comeback Crow Paul Seedsman was instrumental in his first SANFL appearance for the Club. The 24-year-old worked the wings confidently and hit targets at will with his 27 disposals.

Tough midfielder Cam Ellis-Yolmen dug deep late to again top Adelaide’s possession tally with 29 touches, including a game-high 10 clearances.

Fellow onballer Harrison Wigg continued his fine SANFL season with another gritty 24-possession display which also included seven inside 50ms and two goals.

Young defender Tom Doedee was outstanding in defence once again for Adelaide. The 19-year-old claimed a match-high five intercept marks and repelled the ball time and time again to keep the Crows in touch during the opening half.

Fresh off a six-goal haul against North Adelaide, promising forward Harry Dear competed hard all afternoon and was the focal point in attack for the SANFL Crows. He finished with three goals and nine marks from 14 disposals.

SANFL Stats: Round 15

Crows SANFL coach Heath Younie said the win proved just how far his side had come since the start of the season.

"That was a real mature effort," Younie said.

"We’ve had a couple of those types of games now. At the start of the year we were 40 points up against South Adelaide (and lost). We learned a lot from that game.

"I think the boys have grown some confidence and maturity. It was a really mature effort from our guys."

Younie said he was impressed with Hampton's maiden performance after over four months on the sidelines.

"I thought he fitted in well," Younie said of the recruit.

"He hasn’t played footy for a long time, and he hasn’t played in our system at all. We weren’t necessarily looking at the output as such, it was more about getting him through that game unscathed. For him it’s just about getting his body right.

"It was pleasing for him and the Club."

The game was affected by a steady breeze blowing across the ground which caused trouble for players from both sides in the early stages.

Hugh Greenwood slotted Adelaide’s first goal with a crafty checkside from a fast break, but it was the Double Blues who had the better of the opening term.

Hampton and Seedsman both found plenty of the ball early. A tremendous smother from Wigg was followed up with a goal against the flow to keep Adelaide within a kick at half-time despite Sturt’s early dominance.

Paul Hunter pounced on a poor kick-in but again the visitors had the answeres and goaled after the siren to edge ahead at the three-quarter time break.

Scott Spriggs nailed his first SANFL goal in style and further scores to Wigg, Ramsey and Grigg ensured the Crows were winners in their first home fixture in suburban Adelaide.

Adelaide’s next SANFL match is against Glenelg at Gliderol Stadium on Sunday, July 17.



ADELAIDE   3.2   6.5   8.7   13.9 (87)
STURT          4.3   7.5   9.7   11.9 (75)

Dear 3, Ramsey 3, Hunter 2, Wigg 2, Greenwood, Spriggs, Grigg
Sturt: M. Evans 3, Beard 3, Kirkwood, Penfold, Lienert, McMahon, Battersby

Wigg, Ellis-Yolmen, Ramsey, Dear, Gore, O’Brien, Doedee, Seedsman
Sturt: Kirkwood, Crocker, Paprotny, Jonas, M. Evans, Battersby

Adelaide: Nil
Sturt: Nil

ATTENDANCE: Over 3,000 at Thebarton Oval

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs