By ZAC MILBANK
Glenelg stitched up the 2023 Hostplus SANFL League minor premiership as Central District qualified for its first finals berth since 2017 as an eventful Super Saturday brought the home-and-away season to a close.
The Tigers’ convincing 60-point win against South Adelaide at Stratarama Stadium was the only certain result midway through the final quarter as all five Round 18 matches unfolded simultaneously.
Earning a week’s rest with direct entry into the Second Semi-Final, the Bays – who have finished top at the end of the minor round three times in the past five years – also celebrated the Ken Farmer Medal win for Lachie Hosie, who finished the minor round with 52 goals.
At X Convenience Oval, Paul Thomas’ brave Bulldogs stormed home from a 21-point deficit early in the fourth term to eclipse the Magpies by 15 points.
As a result, Central will now play Port – featuring in its first major round since the 2019 Grand Final – in consecutive weeks when they line up in the Elimination Final from 12.15pm next Sunday, September 3, at Adelaide Oval.
Sturt ensured it would take meaningful form into the major round after it ran over the top of North Adelaide by 27 points at Prospect to finish in second spot.
Leading by just two points 14 minutes into the final quarter, the Double Blues piled on the last four goals of the game to kill off the Roosters’ flagging finals hopes.
Marty Mattner’s men will tackle Adelaide in the Qualifying Final from 3.15pm next Sunday, September 3, at Adelaide Oval.
After a slow start, the Crows looked set to roll over the top of the Redlegs when they took a 22-point lead into three quarter-time but the hosts lifted themselves into seventh on the ladder with a seven-goal final-term blitz.
And in the so-called ”dead rubber” of the day, West Adelaide spoiled the farewell of Eagles coach Jade Sheedy at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval when Liam Delahunty goaled from his 40m set shot after the final siren to win by six points.