By ZAC MILBANK
Glenelg kept its U18 Torrens University Cup campaign alive with a nail-biting two-point win against a gallant Sturt in the First Semi-Final at ACH Group Stadium.
The Double Blues looked set for victory when star forward Chad Reschke’s fifth goal gave them a seven-point lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
But the Bays’ Ethan Murdock hit back two minutes later with his second goal, trimming the margin to just one point in the 18th minute.
Three consecutive behinds for the hosts before the final siren proved the difference in an incredibly even contest, in which Sturt led by as much as 14 points when Finn Wakelin goaled in the seventh minute of the final term.
Glenelg midfielder Archie Lovelock, invited to the State AFL Combine next month, was a standout with his 31 disposals, seven marks and five tackles while Kynan Dunn and Will Trevena were also praised for their efforts.
Dashing utility Jakob Ryan had an impact with 30 disposals while Tigers’ captain Ben Ridgway finished with 28 disposals, nine tackles, five clearances and a goal.
Sturt’s George Pope was selected as his side’s best performer while Reschke continued to fight hard for the Blues with his five goals coming from seven kicks and seven marks.
Ollie Reilly, Will Torode and Nick Sadler were also among the visitors’ best players.
A stunning third quarter fightback instigated North Adelaide’s impressive 31-point victory against Norwood in the U18 Torrens University Cup Second Semi-Final at The Parade.
Trailing by as many as 20 points in the second term, the Roosters trimmed the deficit to eight points at half-time by kicking the final two goals of the quarter.
It was a sign of what was to come as the visitors booked a berth in the Grand Final by booting 7.2 in the third quarter while managing to keep the Redlegs scoreless.
North’s decisive 36-point advantage at the final change proved to be more than enough as it earned a valuable week’s rest while sending the hosts to the Preliminary Final against Glenelg at Thebarton Oval on Saturday.
The Roosters’ Oliver Dignan was a huge influence on the outcome of the game with six goals from his 15 disposals and six marks while fellow tall Isaac Keeler (21 disposals, six tackles, seven clearances) and Harper Montgomery were also prominent.
Norwood’s Alex Van Wyk was a tireless performer in the ruck with 20 disposals, five marks, eight clearances and 22 hit outs Grant Catalano (18 disposals, three goals) and Josh Bradford (19 disposals) also did their best to stem the tide after the main break.