HIGHLY rated South Australian prospect Will Gould will enter the AFL as a SANFL premiership player after helping Glenelg snap its 33-year drought.
The 18-year-old had a strong game in defence as the Tigers defeated Port Adelaide by 28 points in the Grand Final in front of a bumper crowd of 39,105 at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Congratulations @GlenelgFC the 2019 @SANFL Premiers A crowd of 39,105 were at #AdelaideOval to watch the Tigers beat the Magpies by 28 points. It’s the first time Glenelg has won the flag in 33 years #SANFLGF pic.twitter.com/7TXmTfVVFp— Adelaide Oval (@TheAdelaideOval) September 22, 2019
It's Glenelg's first senior premiership since 1986.
Gould wasn't afraid to throw his 191cm, 98kg frame around in the Glenelg backline while also picking up 18 disposals.
It's easy to see why Gould is projected to be a first-round selection in November's NAB AFL Draft.
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Glenelg's Magarey medallist Luke Partington – delisted by West Coast at the end of last season – also did his chances of securing an AFL lifeline no harm, picking up 23 touches through the midfield in the 11.7 (73) to 6.9 (45) victory.
Port will be disappointed to have fallen short of its first state-league flag since 1999, despite fielding 17 AFL-contracted players.
Captain Cam Sutcliffe did everything he could to inspire his troops, kicking three goals in the third quarter when the Magpies attempted to stage a fightback, to go with 17 disposals.
Former Fremantle utility Sutcliffe was added to Port's senior list in the mid-season rookie draft and is a good chance to earn a new contract next year.
Cam Sutcliffe in action for Port Adelaide's AFL side against Sydney. Picture: AFL Photos
Midfielder Jack Trengove also pressed his claims for a new deal, picking up 24 disposals.
Willem Drew, Sam Mayes and Jarrod Lienert were strong in a beaten side, while off-contract forward Billy Frampton – who has been linked to a possible move to cross-town rivals Adelaide – was a constant threat in attack, but should have had a more significant return than 1.3 from 13 disposals and seven marks.
Glenelg made all the early running with the first five goals of the game.
It took a brilliant contested mark from Port rookie-listed small forward Tobin Cox at the 13-minute mark of the second term for the Magpies to get on the board.
Momentum started to shift towards the Magpies, but inaccurate finishing in front of goal would prove to be costly.
Partington was relatively quiet for the Tigers in the first half, but stamped his mark on the game with a brilliant long-range goal in the third quarter to extend his side's lead to 32 points.
Just as the Magpies appeared to be on the ropes, Drew threw his body on the line to deliver a desperate smother in the centre square.
From the subsequent play, Sutcliffe almost bombed a certain goal when he had his kick charged down, only to recover and kick his third for the quarter.
Sutcliffe started the game in a tagging role on Partington, but the tactical switch as a deep forward was paying dividends.
The last quarter was a scrap, with the sides trading goals before Marlon Motlop kicked his third goal of the afternoon to seal the victory.
Tigers midfielder Matthew Snook was a deserving winner of the Jack Oatey Medal as best on ground, racking up 28 disposals and seven clearances.
GLENELG 4.1 6.2 9.5 11.7 (73)
PORT ADELAIDE 0.3 2.7 5.8 6.9 (45)
Glenelg: Scott 3, Motlop 3, Reynolds 2, Nicholson, Close, Partington
Port Adelaide: Sutcliffe 3, Cox 2, Frampton
Glenelg: Snook, Partington, White, Agnew, Motlop, McBean, Gould
Port Adelaide: Drew, Trengove, Lienert, Mayes, Appleton, Sutcliffe