Eagles fly into Statewide Super League Grand Final

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Woodville-West Torrens ensured it will have the opportunity to defend its crown after surviving a stirring Glenelg comeback by four points in a thrilling Second Semi-Final at the Adelaide Oval.

Buoyed by their pressure-packed Qualifying Final win against Norwood, the Eagles brought the same heat early in the contest en route to booking a berth in the 2021 Statewide Super League Grand Final.

From midway through the first quarter, the Eagles dictated terms as they ramped up the pressure on the minor premier whilst also defending space with precision.

Ken Farmer Medallist Liam McBean gave his side the lead with his first goal of the game but from that point, the Eagles clicked into gear while generating 13 of the next 14 inside 50 entries.

When Eagles defender Luke Beecken pounced on a loose ball to goal impressively on the run, his side suddenly led by 25 points nearly four minutes into the second term.

The Eagles appeared headed for a comfortable victory before Glenelg stormed home in the final term, booting 6.1 to the Eagles 2.0.

Glenelg hit the front when Luke Reynolds converted his chest mark 19 minutes into the fourth quarter but fellow forward Lachie Hosie was only able to extend the advantage by a point when he missed his set shot less than two minutes later.

Livewire Eagle Tyson Stengle timed his third goal to perfection when he made the most of a second chance to snap from 20m, putting his side back in front by the final margin of four points.

Glenelg kept coming though, with regular defender Sam Durdin, who switched into attack in the final term, taking a mark inside 50m just after the final siren had sounded.

Eagle James Tsitas collected a team-high 25 touches to shade teammate Riley Knight with 24 while Joseph Sinor collected 21 to go with his nine tackles.

Daniel Menzel was lively with four goals as Stengle booted three and Troy Menzel two for the Grand Final-bound Eagles.

Now set to face South Adelaide in the Preliminary Final, Glenelg will be hoping Magarey Medallist returns from a hamstring strain after missing the Second Semi-Final.

Jack Oatey Medallist Matthew Snook fought hard all night for 29 disposals and seven clearances and Brett Turner was a key instigator for the Bays in the second half with 23 disposals, 10 tackles and a goal.

McBean booted three goals for the Tigers while Reynolds, Hosie, Darcy Bailey and Matt Allen kicked two goals each.

Eagle Jesse Lonergan celebrates a goal with Ben Jungfer and Riley Knight (7). Picture – Scott Starkey

Glenelg’s Darcy Bailey launches the ball forward. Picture – Cory Sutton