Undefeated South Augusta crowned SGL premiers

PREMIERS: South Augusta celebrate a third straight SGL premiership after crushing Solomontown by 61 points at Central Oval.
PREMIERS: South Augusta celebrate a third straight SGL premiership after crushing Solomontown by 61 points at Central Oval.

South Augusta defeated Solomontown in the Grand Final for the second year in a row to complete their historic three-peat.

The Cats were no match for the fast-paced Bulldogs, who wrapped up their undefeated season with a massive 61-point win.

Sollies were put on the back foot when Tom Hamilton made early inroads with a goal in the opening three minutes.

The Cats then had their opportunities to score, but failed to capitalise and kicked two behinds, before Corey Davey broke through to put them in front by a point.

However, the joy of having the lead was short lived because South then piled on four straight goals to give themselves a 23-point advantage.

SGL leading goal kicker Lionel Brown was having an early impact and had a goal to his name by the 12-minute mark, while Hamilton had two by quarter time.

Sollies captain Lindsay Bearman kicked a late major to stem the flow of South goals, bringing the margin back to 19 points at quarter time, before starting the second term with another.

The Cats were lifted by the efforts of their skipper, and a goal to Madigan Medallist Aziel Stuart didn’t even halt their charge, as Riley Bernhardt clunked a big mark in the goal square before turning around and putting his side back to within 13 points.

Sollies continued their press, but a big turning point in the game came when Corey Davey marked the ball inside 50.

Rather than having a shot to bring the margin back to seven points, Davey chose to pass it off, but the ball was spoiled away by Harry Holland and South ended up going down and getting a goal of their own through Kyle Aitken.

This sparked a major turnaround as South kicked eight of the next nine goals.

South led by 31 points at half time, with Matt Downey dominating the ruck and co-captain Darcy Kildea having one of his better games of the season.

Davey started well for Sollies and was keeping them in the game with his clean skills, but South were too strong collectively as a team.

Brown kicked his second soon after the main break to get the Bulldogs on track towards the flag, and although Lawson Munzberg kicked his first goal for the game, South continued to dominate in most areas.

Brown and Gary Warren livened up and both kicked two goals in the quarter, while Vinny Urbancic was again rewarded for his good performance with his third for the match.

Joe Caputo kicked a late one, but the game already seemed out of reach for Sollies, trailing by 50 points by three quarter time.

Unfortunately for the neutral supporters, the game was already won by the time the last quarter commenced, but the South fans were thoroughly enjoying watching their players soak up their third consecutive premiership.

Goals to Hamilton and Brown ticked South over the triple figure mark, but with the sting taken out of the game, Sollies were able to kick some goals of their own through Bearman, Nick Redman and Joe Caputo.

However, the icing was put on a wonderful cake for South by Brown and Clayton Milera, as the celebrations began with South 61-point winners.

In a season dominated by South, it never seemed like anyone else was going to win the premiership. They went through undefeated and never really looked challenged at any change.

There were many players who could’ve been considered the best player for South, as they had so many solid contributors, but the umpires awarded the medal for best on ground to Tom Hamilton.

Hamilton made a big contribution with three goals, while Warren was also influential with three of his own. Vinny Urbancic had a good game, while Kildea, Downey and now two-time premiership captain Caleb Ritter were terrific in their respective positions.

For Sollies, midfielders Davey, Hayes and Redman continued to do their best, but they were no match for this brilliant South side.

The biggest question throughout the entire season was ‘who can stop South?’ and the answer was simply ‘no one’.