GLENELG has won its sixth SANFL premiership and its second in five years after beating Sturt by 24 points at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, winning the 2023 Grand Final under first-year coach Darren Reeves.
The Tigers made a fast start to build a 29-point lead at half time and then weathered a brief fightback from the Double Blues during the third term, keeping their opponents at bay each time they challenged to win 13.8 (86) to 8.14 (62).
TIGERS v DOUBLE BLUES Check out all the stats from the SANFL Grand Final
Glenelg forward Lachlan Hosie was outstanding, kicking six goals – including three in a tense third quarter – to ensure the minor premiers got the job done after falling short in the 2021 decider.
The key forward, who played five games for North Melbourne in 2020, was awarded the Jack Oatey Medal as best afield after missing the 2019 premiership when he was drafted mid-season by the Kangaroos.
Corey Lyons was instrumental in setting up Glenelg's early lead, amassing 17 of his 28 disposals in the first half and kicking a brilliant goal from the boundary late in the second quarter as the Tigers took control of the contest.
Matthew Snook (26 disposals and 15 tackles) and Brett Turner (20 and six) were the other major ball-winners for the premiers, with Luke Reynolds hitting the scoreboard with three goals.
It was heartbreak for Sturt, playing in its first Grand Final since back-to-back premierships in 2016-17, with the Double Blues also losing the reserves Grand Final as well as the under-16s and under-18s deciders.
They mounted a short challenge in the third quarter, with ill-discipline in the Glenelg backline opening the door for a double goal before defender Will Coomblas pressed up and snapped accurately for a third on the trot.
Back-to-back goals from Hosie late in the quarter got the margin back out to a more comfortable 37 points, however, and Glenelg was able to hang on from there as Sturt kicked a wasteful 2.8 in the final term to fall short.
GLENELG 4.3 7.5 12.7 13.8 (86)
STURT 0.3 2.6 6.6 8.14 (62)
Glenelg: Hosie 6, Reynolds 3, Lyons, Gerloff, Bell, Allen
Sturt: Mathews 2, Voss, Richards, Grivell, Frederick, Coomblas, Burrows