2019 SANFL Preliminary Final – Glenelg v Adelaide
The Tigers were carrying a lot of history into the Preliminary final against Adelaide, having appeared in a number of grand finals but without a flag since those achieved back to back in 1985/86. They certainly opened the match playing like the only thing that mattered was breaking through to next weekend’s grand final for the first time in over a decade, with three goals up via Reynolds, Motlop and McBean just 8 minutes in. The Adelaide side were in shock as the Bays ran all over them with a free flowing, precise game that threatened to smash Adelaide’s ambitions early. Twelve minutes in and Adelaide was on the board via Matthews, and something subsided in the intensity of Glenelg’s gameplay, leaving the door open for Adelaide to score via Stengle and the Bays ahead by 13 points at the first break.
Both sides appeared to struggle in the second quarter to find their flow, and an arm wrestle began with tit for tat goal scoring for Adelaide (McAdam), Glenelg (Scott) and Davis (Adelaide) before Adelaide scored a second in a row via Fogarty and clawed the lead back to just 3 points. The momentum was with Adelaide and goals by Gallucci and McAdam put Adelaide 9 points up, whilst Scott squandered an opportunity at the other end to score a major for the Bays and earnt a point. Adelaide ended the quarter 8 points ahead.
The third quarter was marred by some invasive and questionable umpiring towards both sides and the crowd was frustrated and vocal. McBean opened with a goal, but the Bays squandered opportunities again, missing a set shot from Nicholson who should have run into an open goal after a mark 15 metres out. Hunter’s goal punished the Bays, and if it wasn’t for the solid defence of Glenelg’s back line, Adelaide would have found itself further in front. The tide was set to turn in the Bays favour with a goal from the 2019 Magarey Medallist Partington, and another from McBean following a stunning solo effort from Motlop to take on three of the opposition at once and pass cleanly to McBean who converted accurately. Solid gameplay by Scott lead to another Glenelg goal and suddenly they were up by 17 points, the largest margin of the game.
The final quarter was set to be a battle of wills, as neither side had found it possible to truly break free from the opposition and assert their dominance. A grand final berth hung in the balance and it was going to be massive final quarter. It was the Bays who burst out of the blocks with play reminiscent of the opening moments of the first quarter – goals to Snook and Scott had the Tigers up by 32 points, and it should have been more after a couple of other wasted opportunities and Motlop just missed pulling off a miracle. A goal to Stengle kept Adelaide in touch, but with 21 minutes gone you had to wonder if it was too late for a resurgence. Motlop put the game beyond all doubt with some right foot magic at the 24th minute and Reynolds sealed the deal at the 29th minute, despite a late major from Gallucci. A 27 point win the Bays and a spot booked to battle Port Adelaide in the Grand Final.
With great atmosphere and weather throughout the finals series, Sunday’s Grand Final will be a battle in brilliant conditions. The main match stats at 3pm, but get there early to see the U17s, and reserves battle their own finals matches, and the headline performance by BAD//DREEMS at 1:55pm.
Match report by Tony Polese
MATCH DAY TIMINGS
8:30am | Car Parks open
8:45am | Gates open
9:15am | 2019 U17 Futures Match
11:25am | Reserves Grand Final | Norwood v Eagles
1:55pm | Official Pre-Match Entertainment commences – BAD // DREEMS perform LIVE on the West End Hill
2:20pm | Premiership Cup Entry
2:55pm | National Anthem
2:58pm | Coin Toss
3:00pm | SANFL Statewide Super League Grand Final | Port Adelaide v Glenelg